What options do I need to consider?
If going private is for you, then you’ll need to think about practicalities. The whole point of private health insurance is to give you maximum choice. This means making sure that any provider you go with has hospitals and consultants in locations convenient to you. After all, what’s the point in having to take a whole day off work to visit your nearest approved consultant 150 miles away?
You should also be able to choose the level of cover you need, whether that’s basic, mid-range or comprehensive. You may also be able to add on extras such as critical illness cover or dental cover. Some policies also offer preventative treatments to make sure that you stay fit and healthy – such as health screening, advice and even discounted gym memberships. It’s also worth considering whether to add other family members onto the policy, especially if they help and support you at work.
It’s worth noting that health insurance won’t usually cover chronic illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy or high blood pressure. You also won’t usually be covered for straightforward pregnancies or childbirth either. Your provider will have a list of exclusions so it’s definitely worth checking this before you sign on the dotted line to make sure you have the cover you need.
It’s also important to remember that private healthcare isn’t a guarantee of better treatment; it just means you’ll be treated quicker – most private consultants also work within the NHS.