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Busting the private healthcare myths

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There are some persistent myths about private healthcare. We dispel some of the most common.

1) There are age limits on cover
Private healthcare may become more expensive as you age, but most insurers have no upper age limit on starting a new policy. Equally, it is possible for parents to arrange independent cover for their children.

2) Pre-existing conditions, including cancer, won’t be covered
Again, it may be more expensive, but private healthcare plans can be tailored for different needs. Most leading insurers will cover a pre-existing condition if it is being successfully treated and is considered to be under control. Cancer cover can be tailored, covering just diagnosis, just surgery or advanced cancer drugs.

3) If I switch providers, my cover will change
Most insurers use a system known as Continued Personal Medical Exclusion, which allows individuals to continue their cover status for pre-existing conditions.

4) I can only use specific doctors and hospitals
It depends on the type of cover. Usually you can save money by only using certain hospitals or doctors, as specified by the insurer, but most offer the flexibility to introduce a broader range of options.

5) It is only for the very wealthy
From varying the excess to limiting the number of hospitals or cover, there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of private healthcare to a manageable level. It is important to shop around and make sure the level of cover is right for you.

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