We all know that it is important to stay healthy and fit. With the current pandemic embattling the world we understand even more the importance of good health. However, with changing lifestyle habits, stress, environmental changes, dietary changes and many other factors of our day to day lives, it’s fair to say that not all of us are in peak health. Even with those of us who are careful with their diet and lifestyle etc, we can never truly predict when we might fall sick with an unexpected illness or ailment. It is at such a time that the full benefits of health insurance can be appreciated. Though the NHS provides good quality medical care for all of us in the UK (regardless of status), NHS waiting times, and tightly stretched resources are apparent to many of us. Any UK resident that’s entitled to NHS treatment has the option of purchasing private health insurance, to empower the individual with more choice over their own healthcare. Through private care there is quicker access to specialists, better facilities, and crucially shorter times to wait for your appointments and care.
Around 10.5% of the UK population have private health insurance, giving them better access to medical care. Approximately 3.3% of total health expenditures in the UK consists of private health insurance. There are four major health insurance companies in the UK; BUPA, Vitality, Aviva and AXA PPP. Together they represent a total of almost 87.5% of the health insurance market, with the remainder consisting of smaller local insurers.
The need for health insurance in the UK
Unlike other countries, the NHS in the UK offers free treatment to all. This means that by choosing health insurance, purchasers are effectively choosing to ‘upgrade’ their healthcare. The additional benefits of health insurance are as follows:
- Covering the cost of almost all in-patient and daycare treatments such as tests and surgery.
- The cover of out-patient treatments.
- Paying for each night of stay in an NHS hospital.
- Reducing the waiting time for NHS treatment.
- Lets you choose your surgeon and the hospital of your choice (such as a private hospital to suit your time and location).
- Covers you for certain specialist treatments and medications that are not available through the NHS.
- Gives the option of private specialist referrals.
- Pays for the cost of scans that are not available on the NHS.
- Pays for the cost of a private ward.
- Quicker access to physiotherapy.
Depending on the type of plan, you can choose between; comprehensive, standard or even NHS top-up coverage.
What does private health insurance cover?
Private health insurance covers you for short term curable conditions at a hospital of your choice, with a consultant of your choice. Many other benefits that you are entitled to will depend upon the policy that you purchase, any pre-existing conditions however may not be covered by health insurance. Though the NHS provides extensive medical care for all, there are specific advantages that private health insurance can offer you.
How much does health insurance cost?
An average health insurance policy can cost around £1,435 annually. Though there are a number of factors which determine health insurance costs, and if you are not advised correctly you could end up paying more than you need to. The cost of a premium increases if you are buying cover for your whole family, or if you are above 50 years of age and the place where you live is more prone to illnesses. At Try Compare we compare quotes with different providers on the market to help you get the cheapest deal. Our insurance brokers are well versed in finding affordable private health insurance that suits your personal circumstances and requirements.