Q&A

What does Comprehensive Health Insurance cover?

What does Comprehensive Health Insurance cover?

Comprehensive Health Insurance

Comprehensive health insurance covers all the medical needs of you and your family. Unlike basic plans it covers outpatient as well as inpatient treatments. This includes consultations, scans and tests as well as hospital stays.

A Look At Medical Technology Infographic

A Look At Medical Technology Infographic

‘Moratorium’ Vs ‘Full medical’ Underwriting

‘Moratorium’ Vs ‘Full medical’ Underwriting

When you have made an application for private medical insurance (PMI), insurers use one of two methods to underwrite your application. These are:

  • Moratorium underwriting
  • Full medical underwriting

What do these two terms mean? And how do they affect your application? Keep reading to find out.

Outpatient & Inpatient Cover Options

Outpatient & Inpatient Cover Options

Every private medical insurance policy is different. So, when you’re looking for the right cover for you, it’s vital that you compare health insurance policies to find the one that offers all the right benefits at the right price.

Many PMI policies offer some element of both inpatient and outpatient cover. But, what is inpatient and outpatient cover? What treatment and care is included? Our guide explains everything you need to know.

Your guide to Cancer Cover

Your guide to Cancer Cover

One of the main reasons that you may be considering private medical insurance (PMI) is to ensure you have access to the highest quality cancer care. Figures from Cancer Research show that around 320,500 people were diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2009, equivalent to about 519 cases for every 100,000 people. The charity reports that the most common cancers are: breast, lung, bowel and prostate.

Health Plans Vs Private Medical Insurance

Health Plans Vs Private Medical Insurance

Universal free health care remains one of the top entitlements UK citizens enjoy, but many patients choose to pay for private care due to long waiting lists, fear of communicable diseases rampant among the general population, and to choose their health care providers. Private medical insurance offers supplemental cover that guarantees quick treatment, fast consultations, and second opinions.

Private medical insurance vs the NHS: Pros + Cons

What are the advantages of PMI over the NHS?

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) will take care of your medical issues very well, but there are long waiting lists. Sometimes it takes years to receive the inpatient care you need from the NHS. Private health insurance (PMI) solves this problem by allowing immediate medical attention. It requires making payments on premiums every month, and many people cannot afford it. Premiums for PMI can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce the cost, and it has become affordable for many people.

Can I still use the NHS if I have private health insurance?

Using the NHS with medical insurance

Yes. Private medical insurance is designed to supplement the services offered by the NHS, not to replace them. After you have seen your GP and you are referred to a specialist you would ordinarily then speak to your PMI provider about making a claim. When your claim is approved you could then use private services for your treatment.

Is it cheaper to buy joint health insurance with my partner?

Joint Medical Cover For Husbands, Wives + Partners

A joint private health insurance (PMI) policy gives you the peace of mind that neither you nor your partner will have to wait for medical treatment on the NHS. It also gives you a choice about when and where you are treated and gives you access to the best quality drugs and care.

How Can I Reduce My Private Health Insurance Premiums?

Getting Cheaper Medical Cover

There are five ways that you can cut the cost of your private health insurance (PMI).

Increase your policy excess

A policy excess on a health insurance policy works in a similar way to the excess on your home or car insurance. You choose the level of excess you want on your policy. When you make a claim, you pay that part of the claim and the insurer pays the rest.

Should I buy private medical insurance or a health cash plan?

Health Insurance Vs Cash Plans

If you’re looking at protecting you and your family’s health there are lots of insurance options to choose from. Two of the most common are ‘private medical insurance’ (PMI) and ‘health cash plans’. Keep reading to find out more about each type of cover and what the differences are between the two types of scheme.

Until what age can children remain on a family medical insurance policy?

Keeping teenagers and students covered by health insurance

This depends on the specific policy and varies from insurer to insurer. It can often range from 17 up to age 25.

Family policies allow you to provide private health insurance for you and your dependent children. They are a great way of making sure that all your family has access to private healthcare when and where they need it.

Are there any specific senior health insurance plans for people nearing retirement?

Medical cover for older adults and pensioners

Yes. Many insurers now offer private medical insurance to people nearing retirement. These are often called ‘over 50s health insurance’ or ‘over 50s private medical insurance’ plans.

In the past, lots of health insurance companies applied upper age limits to people wanting to take out private medical insurance. However, with more and more people living longer and staying fit and healthy into their 70s and 80s, many health insurance providers now offer cover to people of all ages.

My health insurance premiums have increased – am I able to change provider?

Changing between private medical insurers

If you’re unhappy with your current private medical insurance provider or your premiums have increased it is possible to change insurer. There is lots of competition in the PMI market and so you have lots of different policies to choose from.

Before you change provider there are several things you should take into account.

Will health insurance cover laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery on PMI

Generally, health insurance (or ‘private medical insurance’) won’t cover the cost of laser eye surgery. This is because laser eye surgery is mostly done for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons and it isn’t typically carried out as a medical procedure.

Generally speaking, if you are short-sighted then you can wear glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision. Laser eye surgery is considered by PMI providers to be a ‘luxury’ rather than essential treatment.

How Does Health Insurance Work?

The UK is one of the few countries in the world that boasts free healthcare. However, while NHS treatment is widely available, perhaps you would like to be able to choose where you receive treatment? Do you want to be assured that you will receive the highest quality drugs and care? Or, maybe you don’t want to wait on a list for treatment and would prefer to be treated straight away?

Why should I use a broker and not go direct to the insurer for my health insurance?

There are three main reasons that why using a broker rather than heading directly to an insurer can benefit you:

1. Using a broker for your private medical insurance quote will save time

Getting quotes for private medical insurance can be time consuming. When you approach a PMI provider they will require a lot of information from you in order to provide you with a quote. This will include your personal details, information about anyone else you want to be covered by the policy and details of your medical history.

Is there a maximum age limit for private medical insurance?

Health Insurance Age Restrictions

Some companies have a maximum age limit for new policyholders while other companies allow you to take out cover at any age. Those companies that have a maximum age limit typically set this limit at somewhere between 65 and 80 years of age. However, with more and more fit and healthy people working into their 60s and 70s, many companies have removed the upper age limit from their PMI cover.

Do I Need Health Insurance?

Should you buy private medical insurance?

If you live in the UK, the chances are that you are entitled to free medical care from the NHS. However, if you would prefer to be treated in a private clinic or you want access to a wide range of the latest drugs and treatments, these may not be available from your local hospital.

If you’re looking for private care and the widest choice of treatment, you may want to consider getting a health insurance quote – sometimes called Private Medical Insurance or PMI.

Will my medical insurance cover me abroad on holiday or business?

Using Health Insurance Overseas

This depends on the level of cover under your private medical insurance policy. Some comprehensive health insurance policies will provide limited cover if you are overseas but this may be restricted to emergency treatment only.

What's the maximum I can claim on private medical insurance?

Limits on health insurance claims

This depends on your private health insurance policy. With dozens of different healthcare policies available, the amount of cover you will benefit from will differ from insurer to insurer and from policy to policy. For example, some basic PMI policies are likely to have maximum claim limits or annual limits which restrict the amount you can claim towards your treatment. Others may offer unlimited medical cover.

Do I need a medical examination to buy health insurance?

Checkups + Exams

Possibly. When you apply for private medical insurance (PMI) you will be asked to complete an application form. As well as your personal details you will also be asked for information about your health as well as details of any medical conditions or treatment you have had in the past.

How much excess should I pay on my health insurance?

Choosing an excess

If you’ve ever bought car or home insurance you will probably have agreed to a policy excess. Your policy excess is the amount of any claim that you have to pay yourself. And, private medical insurance policies are no different, with most having a choice of excess amount.

When you shop around for health insurance you should always take into account the policy excess. Most policies have a choice of excess levels which can range from £100 or £200 up to £500. Your excess could be:

Will my health insurance premiums rise over time?

The cost of private medical cover

Yes. Most private medical insurance costs are reviewed annually and you can expect to see your payments rise at each anniversary. And, as the cost of providing medical care becomes more expensive, you can expect to see your premiums rise above the rate of inflation.

There are a number of reasons why your premiums will rise over time:

How does the 6 week wait option on health insurance work?

Wait Periods On Medical Insurance

There are lots of ways you can cut the cost of your private medical insurance (PMI). For example, you can increase your excess (the amount of any claim you have to pay). You can take out a more basic policy which restricts the cover available to you. Or, you can choose a ‘six week wait’ option on your policy.

Does medical insurance cover me against emergencies?

Emergency health coverage

No. While private health insurance (PMI) is designed to provide cover for a wide range of in-patient and out-patient treatments, it does not typically cover a visit to Accident and Emergency (A&E).

It is important to remember that healthcare insurance is designed to supplement NHS services, not take their place. Consumer group Which? says in their PMI buyer’s guide: ‘PMI doesn't replace all NHS services - for example, accident and emergency treatments aren't covered.’

Is it worth joining my company's group medical insurance plan?

Deciding On Corporate Health Insurance

This depends on your employer’s scheme and the cost of joining the private health insurance plan.

Many employers offer private medical insurance (PMI) as a benefit to employees and their families. Depending on the specific policy, this can ensure that you – and your family if covered – have quick access to consultants and out-patient treatment as well as in-patient treatment in a private hospital or ward.

Is pregnancy or childbirth covered by health insurance?

Pregnancy + Private Medical Cover

No. Pregnancy and childbirth is not normally covered under a private medical insurance (PMI) policy.

Health insurance is designed to offer fast, private treatment for unexpected illnesses and medical conditions. It allows you to bypass NHS waiting lists and for you to see a consultant, get diagnostic tests and treatment quickly and, often, in a private hospital.

Would regular exercise or gym memberships offer me cheaper health insurance?

Medical cover + Exercise

If you’re fit and healthy it’s less likely that you’ll have to make a claim on your medical insurance. So, it follows that private medical insurance providers are less likely to have to pay out on your policy.

Will health insurance cover me for routine dental treatments?

Dentistry + Medical Insurance

Private medical insurance does not generally cover you for dental treatment although there are lots of dental insurance options available.

The Association of British Insurers’ health insurance buying advice includes ‘dental services’ in their list of treatments that are not ordinarily covered by a PMI policy alongside organ transplants, pregnancy and childbirth, accident and emergency treatment and gender reassignment.

Can I visit a private GP with my medical insurance?

Health Insurance + Private GPs

Not generally. Private Medical Insurance (PMI) policies are designed to help you avoid NHS waiting lists and be seen quickly by a consultant. They help you to receive private treatment for short-term, curable medical problems. In addition, PMI allows you to be treated privately in an NHS hospital or in a private hospital. They don’t typically give you access to private GP services.

Is it worth paying as you go for private cover instead of buying health insurance?

#1: What Will Private Cover Do For You?

Paying for private treatment will serve your needs without forcing you to pay a fixed premium for services you do not use. Private cover is tailored to your every need, and you will purchase a policy that helps you get the health coverage you need. Purchasing private cover will help you trim costs, but you will not have a broad policy that is needed for a variety of health concerns.

#2: What About Private Health Insurance?

Private Care Options As An Alternative To The NHS

During 2010, the National Health System in the UK was noteworthy for becoming one of the largest healthcare systems globally. The NHS grapples with budget constraints and overrun with a sedentary, aging society, which has left the system burdened down to the point of failure.

12 Signs The NHS Is In Crisis - And How It Will Affect You

The National Health Service (NHS) is duty bound to provide all U.K. residents with the medical attention they need regardless of their ability to pay for it. For decades, this principle of tax-funded health care for every British citizen has been in place, and it has had its moments of challenge and turmoil. Today, however, the NHS is in a true state of crisis, which is having dismal effects on those who depend on it for care.

The Benefits of Private Medical Insurance vs the National Health Service

The National Health Service in the UK provides adequate care for the majority of people in our nation. However, there are several reasons that a growing number of people, seven million and counting, are choosing private medical insurance as a supplement to the NHS. Here are the top benefits of private medical insurance in the UK.

Why A New Tory Government Makes Private Medical Insurance Essential

The recent elections have put a Conservative government in power, and with this mandate from the voters, it is well within the realm of possibility that the Tories will begin to make changes to the NHS that might make private medical insurance a more attractive option than ever before.

How To Beat Long Hospital Waiting Lists

Avoiding hospital waiting lists is essential to your care, and you must consider how to find a way to get past the long lists that prevent you from getting good care. Everyone who is looking for hospital care must use the tips in this article get past the wait lists that cause you pain and suffering.

#1: Compare Wait Times

What Everyone Should Know Regarding Private Medical Insurance

Residents of the UK who do not want to use free health care services can take out private insurance which grants them more control over the level of care, how and when it is provided. Citizens can choose from different covers at different premium rates to access a variety of services. Basic PMI plans cover nursing, consultations, surgery, and other essential treatments excluding drug addictions and terminal conditions for which people need comprehensive private medical insurance.

PMI News Roundup, 10th July

The Telegraph reports today that many British expatriate workers take the view that 'it won't happen to me' when it comes to health insurance:


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