You are here: Home - Insurance - News -

Do you need private healthcare?

0
Written by:
22/09/2017
If the headlines are to be believed, the NHS is in near-constant crisis. People worried about waiting times and cancelled operations may be tempted to go private, but is health insurance worth it?

How much does it cost?

This will depend primarily on your age and state of health. The average cost is £1,349 per year, according to Active Quote, but it can be far cheaper if you are willing to limit your cover. For example, some plans only cover treatment while you are in hospital, some only cover specific conditions. You can pay a higher excess to keep costs low. At each point, you need to decide what is most important to you and tailor your insurance package accordingly.

What does it do?

Almost all treatment is covered on the NHS. That means that the only time you really need private health care is when you want access to a drug that the NHS doesn’t cover (as is the case with some life-prolonging cancer drugs).

However, private healthcare can help you jump the queue. This may be important for non-essential operations on the NHS that may be bumped. It may also be important for early intervention in progressive diseases such as cancer.

You also get to choose your surgeon and your hospital. You may also be able to secure a private room for your recovery.

What can’t it do?

While there are private options for each of these areas, private health insurance won’t cover you for the following:

  • Emergency care
  • Organ transplants
  • Injuries from dangerous sports
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Long-term conditions such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS

Consider paying individually

It is possible to book and pay for diagnostic tests yourself. It is estimated that around 20% of patients do this. A simple MRI scan costs around £200 in London. A hip replacement would generally cost around £10,000. Prices vary and so it is worth shopping around. Doing it this way means you don’t have to jump through any hoops with the insurance company, which may often have their own preferred hospitals or providers.

Look at what is provided through your employer

Employers will often receive bulk discounts on private healthcare, so it will probably be cheaper doing it through your employer. You should note, however, that it will be taxed as a benefit in kind, so is not completely ‘free’.

Review your policy frequently

Insurers have a nasty habit of hiking their prices stealthily year-on-year. Review your policy regularly to make sure you are not paying over the odds.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
petrol prices rise
Major supermarkets cut petrol prices as pound strengthens

The pound’s recent comeback against the dollar has allowed the major supermarkets to cut pump prices, offsetting some of the...

Close