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Private Health Insurance

Private Health Insurance is a policy that covers the costs of private healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment. People pay a monthly subscription that covers all or some of the cost of the treatment they receive. Some people pay more than others for exactly the same cover which is why we at ismybillfair.com are working to build a Priceometer that will compare the cost of your Policy with people like you. We plan on having this available for you very soon.

In the meantime, we have partnered with Industry leading price comparison site uSwitch to show you the very best Health Insurance deals available in the market today.

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In the UK we have a huge and often fantastic health care system in the NHS. Health insurance or Private Medical Insurance (PMI) is intended to work alongside all that the NHS offers. If you choose to take out one of these policies, then you can still to use the NHS if you choose.

What is Private Medical Insurance?

Private Medical Insurance is quite simply designed to pay the cost of medical treatment, delivered by private healthcare businesses, for acute conditions which start after you take out the policy.

Typically, you will be covered for the cost of the following:

  • The cost of hospital admission if required.
  • The tests that may be run in order to diagnose what is wrong. Including the likes of MRI and CT scans.
  • The cost of any surgery that you need to undergo.
  • The costs of appointments with a consultant.
  • Hospital accommodation and nursing care.
  • Any drugs you need, including cancer drugs - some polices allow you access to drugs that are not available for free on the NHS.

What is Private Medical Insurance?

Some policies, but not all, may also include:

  • Outpatient consultations that you need.
  • Treatment for mental health issues.
  • Complimentary or alternative therapies.
  • Physiotherapy or chiropody.

PMI can be bought with several different levels of cover to meet the needs and the budgets of different customers. These different levels usually allow you to choose the following;

  • Which types of treatment you are going to be covered for as well as how much cover you will have for each of those treatments.
  • Which hospitals you would like your treatment to be provided in.
  • The size of the excess contribution you are willing to make to any treatment cost

Why should I have Private Medical Insurance?

The argument for having PMI to complement the services of the NHS is simple because its all about time and quality.

Time - If you have PMI you should expect the healthcare treatment to be available to you where and when you want it. That’s not always the case with the NHS because you don’t get to choose how quickly you receive treatment or whether it is at a convenient time for you. In many cases you will be able to access a consultant more quickly via PMI.

Quality – With PMI you can expect to receive direct care by a consultant within a comfortable, clean and private en-suite room. This room will likely have other amenities unavailable in NHS hospitals like satellite TV and will be within a high-quality private clinic or hospital. The treatment that you get may also be more advanced than is available under the NHS or more enhanced than the NHS offers e.g. Access to some cancer drugs that are not available on the NHS.

Drugs not available on NHS

As we said before, the way to think of it is that PMI can complement the services you are entitled to from the NHS by providing cover for quick access to private treatment as well as access to cancer drugs and services not always available on the NHS

What isn’t covered by PMI?

We said at the start that PMI is for acute conditions which start after you take out the policy, but you may ask “what does that actually mean”? Well, an Acute Condition is a disease, illness or injury that is likely to respond quickly to the treatment that aims to return you to the state of health you were in immediately before it happened or which leads to your full recovery.

It is different from a Chronic Condition which is a disease, illness or injury that has one or more of the following characteristics: requires long-term monitoring, control or relief of ongoing symptoms, requires long-term rehabilitation, continues indefinitely, can’t yet be cured or is likely to come back. PMI is unlikely to cover you for any Chronic Conditions.

As for the start of the condition, you will normally not be covered for any illnesses you are currently suffering from, or have already had at the point that you take out the policy. However, you may be able to get cover for some pre-existing medical conditions by paying more for your deal, or if you meet certain criteria so always ask the question if it is something that is worrying you.

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