Private Medical Insurance

Quick access to medical treatment, with the freedom to choose who treats you, where and when.

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Although most UK residents are entitled to excellent free healthcare from the NHS there can be significant benefits to having Private Medical Insurance.

Private Medical insurance pays all, or some of your medical bills if you’re treated privately (depending on the policy conditions). It gives you a choice in the level of care you get and how and when it is provided.

Private medical insurance can be beneficial if:

  • You want peace of mind that you can get diagnostic and treatment quickly.
  • You would prefer not to wait for NHS treatment.
  • You would prefer to stick to private hospitals where possible.
  • You want to be covered for drugs and treatment you can’t get on the NHS, like specialist surgery for sports-related injuries (depending on the policy conditions).

You don’t have to take out private medical insurance. But if you don’t want to use the NHS, you might find it hard to pay for private treatment without insurance, especially for serious conditions.

We can help advise you on different types of options available for both personal and business policies.

Please note, for these insurance products, terms and conditions apply. This information is a summary only. You will receive a full policy document upon application. This policy will set out the terms, conditions and limitations of cover provided under the plan.

Get the peace of mind you want.

Like all insurance, the cover you get from private medical insurance depends on the policy you buy.

Basic private medical insurance usually picks up the costs of most in-patient treatments (tests and surgery) and day-care surgery.

Policies can be extended to provide out-patient treatments (such as specialists and consultants)

Some policies pay you a small fixed amount for each night, should you have to spend it in an NHS hospital.

You don’t need private medical insurance if:

  • You’re happy to rely on the NHS for your care
  • You already have medical insurance through your employee benefits package
  • You can pay for individual treatments – if you have sufficient savings it might be more cost effective to pay for any treatment you might need privately than to pay regular insurance premiums.
  • Significantly reduce the waiting time, when compared to the NHS.
  • Specialist referrals. You can ask your GP to refer you to an expert or specialist working privately to get a second opinion or specialist treatment.
  • Get the scans you want. If the NHS delays a scan, or won’t let you have one, you can use your cover to pay for it.
  • Choose your surgeon and hospital. You can (in theory) choose a surgeon and hospital to suit your time and place – which isn’t possible on the NHS.
  • Get a private room. You can use it to get a private room, rather than staying in an open ward which might be mixed-sex.
  • Specialist drugs and treatments might be available. Some specialist drugs and treatments aren’t available on the NHS because they’re too expensive or not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in England and Wales (NICE) or the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).
  • Physiotherapy. You get quicker access to physiotherapy sessions if you have insurance than you would through NHS treatment.
  • It’s expensive – and the price will go up. A typical family premium (two adults in their 40s and two children under 10) can vary from £700 to £1,800 per year. Premiums will rise every year, and with age – so by the time you’re older, and more likely to need hospital treatment, you might not be able to afford it.
  • Chronic illnesses aren’t usually covered. Most policies don’t cover chronic illnesses which are incurable, such as diabetes and some cancers.
  • There might not be any local treatment options. If you choose a policy with an approved list of consultants and hospitals this might not include the expert consultant you want to see or a convenient location for treatment.
  • Use savings for all or part of your medical costs – around one in five private patients do this. Hip and knee replacements cost an average of £10,000 each, while MRI scans cost from £500*. You can shop around for scan prices – your GP can help you do this. *Source – The Money Advice Service
  • Just pay for a private consultation if you want an expert or second opinion. Then, if necessary, your consultant will refer you back into the NHS for treatment.

If you fall ill or have an accident and can’t work, you might find it hard to keep up mortgage payments or handle the bills – especially if you don’t have enough savings or sick pay from your employer.

Your priority should be insurance that keeps you out of financial difficulty such as income protection.

For more information or to discuss your Private Medical Insurance needs
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