Is it worth having Private Health Insurance
Private Health insurance also known as private health insurance provides access to medical treatment if you are ill instead of having to wait for treatment on the NHS. Private Health treatment covers short-term illnesses or injuries and can include consultations, surgery and nursing care and hospital accommodation. With Private Health insurance you will normally stay in a private en-suite room in a private hospital, or in a private room in an NHS hospital.
Is it worth buying Private Health Insurance?
In the UK everyone is entitled to free treatment from the NHS. However many people opt to cover themselves privately instead so they can be treated in private hospitals. The main benefit is that you can normally be treated more quickly and have more choice about when and where you are treated.
The major benefit of taking out private health insurance is that you won't have to wait for health care treatment on the NHS. Although waiting times have reduced a little in the last few years you could still have to wait several months for treatment. For example, you might have to wait for almost three months for a knee or hip replacement on the NHS. You could also have to wait almost two months for a cataract removal and two months for varicose vein surgery. This could mean your life is put on hold while you wait for treatment. It can also be very stressful for you and your family.
Another benefit of private treatment is that you are normally given a private en suite room in a private hospital or NHS hospital.
Self-pay Private Treatment
Another option to the NHS and private health insurance is to pay for the treatment privately when you need it. However treatments can be very expensive so you need to be aware that it could cost you thousands of pounds to get the treatment you need. For example, if you need a knee or hip replacement it could cost you between £8,000 and £15,000 to pay for the treatment yourself. It could cost more than £3,000 to remove a cataract, almost £4,000 to repair a hernia, or almost £2,500 for varicose vein surgery.
Other Insurance may be More Important
Before choosing private health insurance make sure you have other insurances in place. For example, if you have children then you need life insurance. Also do you have cover to replace your income if you are unable to work because of illness? Many people are wasting money paying for payment protection insurance on credit cards and loans, or don’t have the right level of cover to protect their regular outgoings. Many people only have mortgage payment protection that although it covers your mortgage for normally 12 months won’t give you an income to live on. Income protection insurance will pay out for longer, normally until you retire, or the end of the policy.
Critical illness insurance pays out if you are diagnosed with one of a list of life threatening illnesses. You could use this money to pay for treatment or to adapt your home, for example.
Income protection insurance pays you a monthly income if you are unable to work because of illness or disability. Unlike mortgage and payment protection insurance it pays for as long you are unable to work or the end of the policy or until you retire. Payment protection insurance and mortgage payment protection insurance normally only pay out for 12 or 24 months.
Life insurance is essential for anyone with someone that relies on them financially. For example, if you have children, or a partner that is dependant on your income then you need life insurance.
Weighing up the benefit of medical insurance against free treatment on the NHS depends on your personal circumstances and your budget. Private health insurance can be costly and depends on your age and health and lifestyle. However Private health insurance could give you access to medical treatment when you need it without having to wait for treatment on the NHS especially given the high cost of paying for treatment yourself.
How to Find the right Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance is complicated and it's essential that you choose the right policy. We specialise in health insurance cover and will search the market and help you find the right cover at the best price available. Quotes for health insurance are free and you are under no obligation.