While everyone wishes to remain healthy, they forget to think about what the consequences would be when they fall ill. The unexpected injuries or illnesses may result in an unexpected amount of expenditure at an unexpected time. Therefore, it is best to consider private medical insurance before finding yourself in such circumstances.
If you are a native of the UK, then you would most probably rely on the services of the NHS. However, due to long waiting times, your disease may worsen. This is why there are private medical covers that help an individual to be treated in time with better qualities of services. If you are not sure or aware of what private medical cover is, read this article.
Private Medical Insurance
Private medical insurance is an insurance policy that helps an individual to secure their expenses of private healthcare. Different kinds of such insurances are available in order to make it easier for them.
Like other insurances, this kind of insurance functions in the following manner:
- The provider of the individual will pay either partially or fully for the costs of their private medical treatment.
- The individual has to pay premiums monthly or annually as agreed.
Types of Private Medical Cover
Medical covers are offered at various levels by private companies according to their costs:
- Basic: This kind of insurance covers the payments of tests and surgeries while a person is an inpatient at the hospital.
- Medium: At this level, both inpatient support and outpatient care are covered.
- Comprehensive: This kind of treatment includes the above-mentioned costs as well as other additional surrounding treatments such as the ones concerning consultants and specialists.
Some companies also provide medical insurance policies according to the age of an individual. These are for individuals over 50, over 65, and over 70 years of age.
The Pros of Private Medical Insurance
Private medical insurance comes with many benefits. Some of these are mentioned below:
1. Faster Diagnosis and Quicker Treatment
One of the drawbacks of being treated by the National Healthcare Service (NHS) is the waiting time for getting treated posterior diagnosis or referral. And, even though the wait time has been decreased to a maximum of 18 weeks, it is not worth it in front of private healthcare. When it comes to private hospitals, you will not only be diagnosed faster but also treated quicker. This means that you will not have to wait for longer periods. Furthermore, the extent to which your disease may worsen while waiting will not happen anymore.
2. Personalised Care
Whenever one visits the NHS, chances are that the doctor and/or the nurse who sees them are different. Since they have not checked the patient earlier, they do not have knowledge about them. Moreover, it may also get uncomfortable consulting different doctors every time. Fortunately, this is not the case in private hospitals. You can choose your consultant every time you visit the centre and get the kind of care you want.
3. Support 24×7
Although the NHS staffs are doing excellent work, it is obvious that the private hospitals are more flexible with the support that they give to their patients. For example, they are available round the clock for customer support and are available 24×7 with aftercare plans.
4. Extraordinary Facilities
Private hospitals mean private facilities – one can have their own room, private nurse, and other personal services. In order to make it more affordable, there are rooms in hospitals that offer double-sharing, triple-sharing, etc. Generally, there are not more than 4 patients in a room. Since these services make the patients more relaxed and comfortable, they are more likely to recover faster as compared to NHS.
5. Pioneering Healthcare
In comparison with NHS, private healthcare means better treatment procedures due to better technology. The private hospitals have access to the best and the latest medication. This means that one can get quicker and more effective treatment. This further leads to faster recovery.
Cons of Private Medical Insurance
Similar to a coin, private medical insurance has two sides. Now that you are aware of one of them, let us find out what this other side is.
1. Limited Beds
Since private hospitals have limited size, they have a limited number of rooms and therefore, beds. Since everything is personalised, a few number of rooms means a few patients. In fact, most private hospitals accommodate a maximum of 4 patients in a room.
2. Limited Network
Unlike NHS, that has many people associated with it, private hospitals have a limited network. In addition to this, the forms of insurance available are also limited. Every insurer accepts certain hospitals. Therefore, when you choose a hospital, you must ensure if the insurer accepts that particular hospital or not.
3. Costs of Treatment
If your cost of treatment is not covered completely, then you may have to spend a lot of money on the treatment. When we compare these costs to public hospitals, there is a huge difference.
Public hospitals treat everyone equally regardless of power and money. However, private healthcare facilities do not do the same. They prioritise their patients on the basis of the ones who have enough money to pay and the ones who do not.
While private healthcare facilities are more flexible and supportive as compared to national healthcare services, they may act partial based on the capability of the individual to pay for their expenses. It is, therefore, best to consider both the sides of private medical facilities while opting for private medical insurance. This will help you in deciding whether to go for it or not according to the factors that are likely to affect you.