In the UK, private health insurance can be an attractive option for many people looking to take better care of their health. However, the cost of private health insurance can be difficult to ascertain, and often comes with hidden costs that can add up quickly. In this blog post, we will explore the various factors that can affect the cost of private health insurance in the UK, as well as tips for finding the best coverage for your needs.
NHS waiting lists are getting longer
As the population in the UK continues to grow, NHS waiting lists are becoming increasingly longer. The NHS is struggling to keep up with demand and many patients are left waiting weeks, even months for appointments and treatments. For those who require medical attention quickly or need ongoing care, the wait time can be extremely frustrating and impact their quality of life. Private healthcare can provide a solution for those wanting quicker access to medical professionals, but it comes with its own set of costs and considerations.
Private health insurance is expensive
The cost of private health insurance in the UK can be quite prohibitive. Private medical insurance usually covers the cost of seeing a private consultant, tests and treatments that are not available on the NHS, or where you may have to wait a long time for them.
The cost of private health insurance depends on the type of plan you choose and the amount of coverage you want. The average cost of private medical insurance in the UK is around £1,200 per year, although it can range from as little as £50 per month to as much as £3,000 per year. It’s also important to remember that with some policies, you may have to pay an excess each time you make a claim.
Furthermore, some insurers will not cover pre-existing conditions. So if you have an existing health condition, you may find that you cannot get insurance for it or that your premiums are higher than normal. It’s important to check the small print when signing up to a policy to ensure that your condition is covered.
There are often hidden costs
When you consider taking out private health insurance, there are some additional costs that you should be aware of. Many insurers will charge an administrative fee each year, which can be as much as £100. Additionally, if you need to make a claim, you may have to pay an excess. This could be anywhere from £50-£500 depending on your policy.
Another important cost to take into account is the cost of prescription medication. Although private health insurance will cover some of the cost, you may still need to pay a percentage of the overall cost.
Finally, if you want certain treatments or tests done, you may need to pay extra for these. Some of these tests and treatments may not even be covered by your insurer at all. Therefore, it’s important to do your research and make sure you are getting the best deal for your money.
You might still need to use the NHS
Despite opting for private health insurance, you may still need to use the NHS. In some cases, treatments and medications may not be covered by private health insurance plans. This could mean having to pay for the treatment yourself or going through the NHS. In other cases, your private health insurer may cover the cost of the treatment, but it may still have to be done on the NHS.
It is also important to remember that even if you do have private health insurance, NHS services will still remain free at the point of delivery, meaning that if you are in an emergency you will still be able to use the NHS. You may find that your private health insurance plan does not cover all aspects of healthcare, and in this case you will need to turn to the NHS for help.
You might not be covered for everything
One of the biggest drawbacks of private health insurance is that you might not be covered for everything. While it may offer a greater range of services than NHS, not all services and treatments are covered. For example, some health insurance policies do not cover mental health treatment, fertility treatments, pre-existing medical conditions or long-term care. This means that if you are looking for these services, you may still need to turn to the NHS.
It’s important to read the small print carefully and make sure you understand exactly what is and isn’t included in your policy. Be aware that some policies may also have limits on how much they will pay out for certain treatments, so it’s a good idea to ask your insurer about this before you sign up. Ultimately, there can be some costly surprises if you’re not careful.