Opting to take out Private Medical Insurance is a smart life decision for anyone wanting access to high quality medical care outside of the public healthcare system. With waiting times in the NHS higher than ever, having the safeguard of being able to be seen quickly and in a first-rate facility has never been more important.
However, with so many options available, taking out such cover can seem a minefield. Many people themselves are also unsure of what exactly they ought to be covered for.
Here, we take a look at the key things to look out for when taking out Private Medical Insurance.
One of the most important aspects of Private Medical Insurance is understanding and having the right coverage. Different policies will cover different medical services so it is worth trying to pinpoint what your priorities are and what you want to be covered for. If you have a pre-existing condition, you will want a policy that covers you for this condition, for example. Similarly, if you are planning on starting a family, you might opt for a policy that covers you for maternity care. If you want maximum peace of mind, comprehensive cover could be your best option. Once you know what you want covered, you can then shop around for the best deals.
You’ll only be able to get Private Medical Insurance you can afford so it’s vital to know your budget in advance. The cost of your policy will be determined by a number of factors including your age, health status and the level of coverage you choose. Keep in mind the premium and any deductibles or copays associated with the policy.
- Insurer’s network
Ensuring your policy benefits from healthcare providers that are convenient for you is another important factor to consider. For example, if your policy doesn’t include any private hospitals in your area, it may be harder to seek the treatment you need. You’ll also want to make sure the providers have a good reputation for quality of care.
The extent of your coverage and the details of your policy can often determine what services you are entitled to use.
- Waiting periods
Some Private Medical Insurance policies entail a waiting period before coverage begins. Cover for a pre-existing medical condition may require a waiting period of a certain number of months before cover for the condition can begin. Being aware of any waiting periods prior to signing up is therefore crucial.
Not all policies are renewable. If you think you’ll want to renew your policy once it’s term ends, it’s worth making sure you can renew, otherwise you’ll have to go through the hassle of finding another policy that fits your requirements. Make sure you read the terms of the policy carefully to check for renewability.
- Additional benefits
Certain policies may offer benefits beyond private medical care. Some might include things such as wellness programmes or discounted gym memberships. While certainly not the most important aspect when it comes to private medical cover, these extra benefits could be the deciding factor between two similar policies.