Medical Insurance Guide
Private health insurance pays for your health care in the event of illness. This usually relates to what are termed ‘acute conditions’ and private health insurance companies will give you details of the illnesses that are covered when you take out a private health insurance plan with them. Many people opt for private health insurance to avoid waiting lists and to have a choice about the type of care they receive and where they receive it.
In addition to policies that provide for private health care, many health insurance providers also offer critical illness cover, income protection cover and health cash plans. Critical illness cover gives you a fixed lump sum if you develop a health condition or have an operation and are unable to work, whereas income protection cover pays out a regular monthly sum to enable you to continue paying your bills. Medical insurance companies usually specify which conditions are included in both these types of cover. Some health insurance providers also have health cash plans which refund the costs of regular treatments such as visits to the dentists or opticians.
Most private health insurance companies will want to know your medical history before you take out cover as well as other details as they usually base the cost on your age and general state of health. With some private health insurance plans you may also be asked to have a medical examination before you can be insured.
Once your policy is set up you will have to pay regular monthly amounts called premiums, but we will let you know how much these will be when you apply for a quote online.
We deal with so many private health insurance companies and each of these has a variety of health insurance policies, which start with low-cost basic cover and increase in price according to your needs. With so many private health insurance policies available you are sure to find the right one to suit you.
An excess is an amount that you have to pay towards any claim that is made under the policy. With some private health insurance plans the excess is compulsory, but others have a voluntary excess, which means that you choose whether or not to include it on the policy. By including a voluntary excess you will reduce your monthly premiums but will have to pay towards the cost of claims. Excess amounts also vary.
As private health insurance is intended to cover ‘acute conditions’, which are generally short-term and curable, most private health insurance companies do not cover long-term illness. Additionally, cover usually relates to illnesses that began after the policy was taken out rather than existing health problems. However, some companies will provide cover for cancer. In many instances this is an optional extra, but a few private health insurance policies do include this as standard.
Additionally, there are some circumstances that will not be covered by any health insurance providers, such as drug abuse or self-inflicted injuries. Medical insurance companies generally let you have full details of all the exclusions when you apply for a private health insurance plan.
Changing Insurance Providers
If you have existing private health insurance and want to switch to another provider, we can shop around to get you the cheapest quote in line with your requirements. It is worth noting, however, that the best time to switch is when your policy comes up for renewal as most policies are on an annual contract basis.
Initiative Schemes and NCD
It is possible to reduce the cost of your private health insurance, either by building up No Claims Discount on your policy, rewarded when you do not make a claim, or via one of the incentive schemes that many medical insurance companies operate. These come under various names according to the provider but their premise is that you are rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle.
Making a Claim
If you become ill and are referred for treatment by your GP, you will need to check with your private health insurance company to make sure that you are covered for that particular condition.
To find out more about the range of private health insurance plans that we offer through a selection of medical insurance companies, or to receive a free private health insurance quote, please let us have a few details by filling in our short online form.