What is Health Insurance?

Thomas Winfield

Thomas Winfield

Managing Director (DipSP AssocRICS). Thomas is a Director of Winfields Chartered Surveyors & Valuers. Thomas is a practicing surveyor dealing with all professional surveying work. Thomas is a RICS Register Valuer and specialises in Valuation.

What is a Health Insurance?

Health insurance allows you to have private healthcare in the UK. This includes private GP appointments to private cancer treatment. Health insurance is sometimes called medical or private healthcare, but they are all the same. 

 

What are the Benefits of Health Insurance?

Having health insurance will enable you to have faster access to private health care, you’ll be able to have specialist treatment, and it gives you the option of privacy. 

 

How does health insurance work? 

You will pay a monthly premium when you pay for your health plan. If you visit your GP and they refer you to a specialist for treatment, you can claim on your insurance. From then, you can choose who you would like to treat and which hospital you’d like to be treated at.  

This is the standard order of how health insurance works:

  1. Choose your medical insurance plan – Choosing the insurer and agree on the premium to pay. (The lower the premium, the higher your excess is)
  2. Pay for your premium – Pay your agreed premium rate for your health insurance plan. This is usually paid as a monthly direct debit.
  3. See a GP when unwell – You can visit a private GP or NHS GP. If you’re referred for specialist treatment, they will refer you.
  4. Contact your insurance to make a claim – Once you’ve contacted your insurance, they can find a consultant for you. They will ask for some information on the medical issue and will assess your claim. Once this is approved, you can receive your treatment.
  5. Receiving private healthcare bills and paying excess – When you have received the treatment, the hospital will invoice your insurer. In some cases, you may have to pay your excess. For example, if the treatment costs £1,000 and your excess is £250, you will pay £250, and the insurance company will produce the remainder of £750.

 

What can affect the cost of health insurance in the UK?

Every individual will have a different premium which is calculated by a variety of factors; some of these include: 

  • Age 
  • Current health
  • What you choose as your excess 

 

What does and doesn’t health insurance cover?

Health insurance helps cover private medical treatments and procedures. Health insurance won’t always cover the long-term conditions you had before buying your plan. Below is a list of what it does and doesn’t cover:

What is covered:

  • Private hospital stays
  • Private specialist consultations 
  • Cancer treatment 
  • Acute short-term conditions 
  • Diagnostic treatment
  • Mental health support
  • Menopause support
  • Oral surgery 

What is not covered

  • Long-term conditions 
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Any treatments received outside of the UK
  • Organ transplants
  • Any unregistered treatments
  • Any learning and behavioural treatment 
  • Pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions

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