Private Medical Insurance – Is It Worth It?
In this country we are lucky enough to have the NHS – which means most UK residents have access to free healthcare. This is a truly amazing system, and even though it’s under a lot of strain at the moment, it’s still one of the best things about living in the UK today. But for some UK residents, the NHS isn’t doing everything it can. Whether that’s because there is a lack of NHS specialists, equipment or facilities in their area – there is an argument for augmenting the wonderful services the NHS brings us with a more private healthcare element. So today we wanted to look at some of the pros and cons of private medical insurance in this country, and help you decide if taking out private medical insurance is the right choice for you.
The Pros of Private Medical Insurance
One of the main advantages to investing in private medical insurance is the fact that you will have access to instant, on-demand care. Relying on the NHS could mean you are waiting a very long time for treatment, especially if you are suffering from a rarer illness that requires specialist expertise. With private medical insurance, you can effectively ‘jump the queue’, and find specialists much more quickly.
With private medical insurance, you will also have access to a much wider range of resources. Private hospitals and departments can provide a large selection of treatments, ranging from the most basic procedures to the most specialised support. It also gives you quicker and easier access to ongoing treatments and recovery options, like physiotherapy which may have long waiting lists or simply not be available on the NHS in your area.
Finally, private medical insurance gives you a far greater choice in your medical treatments. From which facility you go to, to which doctor you use and even which private room you stay in. If you need surgery, you can take your pick of surgeons, hospitals and places to stay, which is likely to make your healthcare experience more pleasant and less stressful.
The Cons of Private Medical Insurance
Of course, as with anything in life, there are some drawbacks to taking out private medical insurance. The main downside is probably the more obvious one – all of those pros come at a price. Private medical insurance isn’t generally cheap, and the amount of Premium you pay will be based on a number of factors, including:
- Your provider
- Your health at the point of purchase
- Previous diagnosis
- If you are insuring family members as well
According to the Money Advice Service, a typical family premium covering two adults in their 40’s and two children under 10 can vary from £700 to £1,800 per year, and can increase every year, or if you make a claim.
It’s also important to know that private medical insurance doesn’t actually cover every single medical condition out there. So there may be times that you think you will be insured, but find you aren’t. For example, most private cover doesn’t include chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even some incurable forms of cancer. This might mean that you find yourself using the free NHS services, even though you have paid for private medical insurance.
Is Private Medical Insurance Right for You?
The truth is, only you can answer that question. If you are in good health, with no pre-existing conditions, and want to make sure you can stay that way, sacrificing a little of your disposable income on private medical insurance can seem like a no brainer. But if you suffer from a chronic condition that isn’t covered, or you have had health issues before, it may be harder to get coverage – even though it may be worth it in the end! Ultimately, the decision on whether it makes sense to take out private medical insurance depends on your needs as an individual, and as a family.
If you’re not sure if private medical insurance is right for you, then the first thing we suggest is that you talk to an expert. At Chilvester Financial, we can give impartial advice based on your current situation, your needs and your plans for the future, and help you decide if private medical insurance is right for you. And if you do decide to go for it, then we can also help create a tailored plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us today.