The Value of Health Insurance
Aug 9, 2013
Being diagnosed with cancer was one of the bleakest points of my life. The recent Macmillan advert which portrays people almost collapsing after hearing those awful words ‘it’s cancer’ is spot on I can tell you!
Looking back, in addition of course to my amazing family, there are a couple of things I am thankful for. The first is that I had taken out critical illness cover (a future blog); the second was that I had private health insurance. I am convinced that my experience would have been very different had it not been for my health insurance cover.
One of the benefits of private health insurance is the speed of treatment, although having said that, treatment for cancer is pretty swift regardless of whether you are treated privately or through the NHS. I had access to a number of specialists so I could explore all the options and decide on the best course of action.
That investigation and my health insurance led me to the most amazing surgeon; one of the top Urologists in the UK. From the minute I walked into his office, I felt in safe hands.
Yes I know there are fantastic surgeons throughout the country who save lives daily but having access to one of the best; a surgeon who specialises in that particular procedure was I believe life changing.
For those who have never considered it or dismissed it as perhaps being too expensive, Health Insurance these days can be tailored to suit most needs and budgets, so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
It gives you access to speedy referrals and treatment as well as leading specialists and consultants; appointment times arranged to suit you; the use of private hospitals with ensuite rooms, private phones, TVs and good quality food; unrestricted visiting times and access to new drugs and treatments that may not be available on the NHS.
You can choose between a fully underwritten or a moratorium plan. Basically you need to provide full medical history for an underwritten plan and the insurer will decide what will or won’t be covered, or opt for a moratorium plan which is usually cheaper but won’t cover you for any conditions you have suffered over the last 5 years for a set period of time.
Once you have chosen the type of plan you want, you can select the level of cover you need based on your personal requirements and affordability. Typically your choices will be based on varying levels of:
• Outpatient treatment - which includes specialist visits, tests and treatment
• Day Patient Treatment - where you are admitted to hospital for the day
• Inpatient Treatment - where you are admitted to hospital for one or more nights
In addition to selecting your level of cover, varying the amount you are prepared to pay towards each claim (your excess) will affect the price you pay. Basically the higher the excess, the lower the premium.
As always the one point I would make is to shop around as prices and policies do vary.
For more information on your health insurance options, visit the site.
By Ashley Shepherd