UK residents are able to enjoy quality healthcare thanks to the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS delivers the majority of the nation’s healthcare. As such, you don’t have to worry about finding your own insurance policy or paying premium costs. But in recent years, increasingly more UK residents seek out private health insurance.
The NHS is meant to handle healthcare needs. However, as the UK population continues to grow each year, challenges like limited funding and individuals living longer have led to lengthy waiting periods and a lack of choice in medical treatments and doctors. That’s where having a private health insurance plan can be of great benefit.
A private health insurance plan gives you coverage that goes beyond the free healthcare you’re already getting from the NHS. It gives you more of a choice in your medical care. Plus, it covers some or all of your medical bills for private treatments. Though coverage varies from plan to plan, having a private health insurance plan could help you take better charge of your medical care.
There Are Benefits to Private Health Insurance
A private health insurance plan can offer several benefits. While the NHS offers solid, well-reputed health coverage, there are perks to using a private insurer that the NHS simply can’t offer.
The following are some of the biggest benefits you’ll get if you choose to buy a private health insurance policy.
Shorter Waiting Periods
The NHS has notoriously long waiting times for treatments, which is very frustrating if you’re in need of important treatment. However, with a private health insurance plan, you don’t have to wait a long time to get the treatment you need. In fact, you might not even need to wait at all.
Private health insurance companies can give you treatments with little or no wait time. In fact, you can request a date for your necessary treatments in some cases. With private health insurance, you are in complete control of when to schedule your treatment and how long you’ll wait.
More Choice and Control
The NHS doesn’t offer you much control over your healthcare or medical needs. You have to see doctors, including GPs and surgeons, who are part of the NHS. You’re also assigned based on where you live. On the flip side, when you purchase a private health insurance policy, you’re able to choose.
Private insurance allows you to choose your doctor, your treatment hospital, or even your surgeon. You can choose who treats you and where you’re treated. This gives you more control over your healthcare and who guides your care.
Access to Specialists and Special Treatments
When you rely on the NHS alone, you may not be able to receive certain treatments from specialists or take special medications. If a specialist, treatment, or medication is too expensive or isn’t approved by the NHS, you won’t be able to use it. But with private health insurance, you have more flexibility.
Private health insurance policies might cover the specialists, specific treatments, and important medications you’re looking for. You can search for a private health insurance plan that offers coverage for or access to specialists that aren’t available on the NHS. Coverage will vary, but you may be able to find a plan that covers exactly what you need.1
Private Hospitals and Private Hospital Rooms
A private hospital room might not seem very important. But when you’re recovering in a hospital, a private room allows you to rest, recover, and relax without other patients in your space. Unfortunately, if you rely on the NHS only, you don’t have any choice in the hospital or your hospital room.
Private health insurance, however, allows you to choose your preferred hospital. You can also opt for a private hospital room instead of automatically staying in an open ward. This is ideal if you need privacy or are worried about being in a mixed-sex room.2
Shop Around for the Best Private Health Insurance Plans
In order to choose the right private health insurance plan for your needs, you’ll want to shop around. Fortunately, you can do this with ease online.
You can search online and compare different private insurers all at once. You can consider their plans and policies, look at prices, and compare coverage levels. Additionally, you can check out what the UK’s top private health insurance companies are offering.
You can begin your search by considering the following top insurance providers in the UK.
Aviva offers a comprehensive Private Health insurance policy, as well as two Health Essentials options to suit anyone’s needs.
The Private Health plan can be customized, with a limited and a full coverage option that includes coverage for surgery, hospital stays, and even cancer treatments. The optional Health Essentials can either cover those who have been diagnosed with cancer or have an injury. The latter option allows you to get faster access to physiotherapy.
As the second-largest health insurance company in the UK, AXA PPP is a quality choice with its Personal Health Policy. This private plan comes with standard inpatient treatment as well as comprehensive cancer care, including diagnostic tests, scans, and surgeries.
On top of the standard features of the plan, AXA PPP allows you to customize your coverage. As such, you can increase your outpatient coverage, adjust your waiting period, and scale back your cancer coverage as much as you’d like.
Since 1929, CS Healthcare has offered health insurance to UK residents who’ve worked in the Civil Service, public sector, or for a charitable, non-profit organization. Unlike other private health insurers, CS Healthcare offers community-rated pricing. This means your premiums, or out-of-pocket costs, aren’t going to increase when you file a claim.
CS Healthcare offers two options for health insurance coverage:
- The comprehensive “Your Choice” plan, or;
- The budget-friendly “HealthBridge” plan.3
Make Sure to Do Your Research
Regardless of which private health insurance company you choose, make sure you do your research first. The only way to fully understand how you can benefit from a private insurance policy is to compare different options. Moreover, you may be able to save money if you choose a plan that’s affordable and offers the coverage you can’t get from the NHS alone.