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What is Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance is also frequently known as private medical insurance. It has been designed so that the costs of private medical treatment for short term injuries or illnesses are covered. The reason that most people buy these policies is so that treatment will be promptly available should they get ill or are injured.

The benefits of private health insurance are firstly that you can choose when the treatment that you want or need will be taking place. You can choose the hospital at which it takes place, and you can even choose the specialist that treats you. When you go to the hospital you are not stuck in a ward with other people. Rather, you will get the privacy of an en-suite room in most instances.

Private health insurance is not designed to replace all of the services which are offered by the National Health Service. What it does do is to take the services which might involve the longest waiting time and reduces them significantly. It also makes the time surrounding the treatment more comfortable due to the room in which you can stay. You will quite often be treated by the same doctors you would be on the NHS, through private health insurance, so the actual quality of the treatment is no different.

Something to be aware of is that some of the treatments and the illnesses that you may want to be covered are not actually covered by private health insurance. These exclusions will be common to most of the schemes. The Association of British Insurance has highlighted this issue in a guide called “Are you buying Private Medical Insurance?” which is sent to you when you request an application form for a policy. This form of insurance is outlined in here, and the areas in which you may be covered and may not be covered will be highlighted.

On applying for private health insurance, you will need to advise the Insurers of your full medical history. The insurance company may also write to your doctor to get more information on you. You must give the insurance company all of the information asked for. If you do not do this you may find that when you come to make a claim it is questioned. For the avoidance of doubt, should you not be sure if you should mention something, you really should do so.

A pre-existing condition is unlikely to be covered, and this will last either for a set period of time, or it will last indefinitely. Should that condition come back or there is a related illness or injury to it which occurs, then you may not be covered. If you are not sure about what to put on the form, ask an advisor.

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