What is private health cover?

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June 1, 2022
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Private health cover refers to when someone is covered for private health treatments through a private medical insurance policy. Private health cover can range from basic plans that cover more minor diagnostics and treatments to fully comprehensive health insurance policies that offer a wider range of coverage. The type of cover you have will depend on your requirements, the type of policy you purchase and the provider you choose. Learn whether private health cover would be beneficial to you with our help. We can also provide guidance on how to approach purchasing your policy.  

What does private health cover offer?

Many health insurance providers will allow policyholders to tailor their policy around their own medical and financial wants and needs, however, the main intention of private medical insurance is to cover the diagnosis and treatment of acute medical conditions. However, the main intention of private health cover the diagnosis and treatment of acute medical conditions. Chronic and pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded, and your medical history will be considered before you’re offered a policy. We advise that anyone interested in private health cover compares their options to understand the type of coverage they could have should they purchase a policy.

Who is private health cover for?

Private health cover is for anyone who can see the benefits of purchasing coverage for private health treatments. There are various policies available to different types of policyholders, such as families, businesses and individuals. The type of policy you purchase will determine the finer details, such as what you’re covered for, who’s covered, and the treatments you have access to. You may also have the option to customise your policy, reducing or including additional coverage options and tailoring the private health cover around your own and other policyholders' needs.

  1. Private health cover for individuals - Purchasing a policy for yourself may be the most straightforward option as you only need to consider your personal medical needs and history. Your cover will only allow the named policyholder to receive the diagnostics and treatments outlined in the policy, and you’ll be responsible for paying for the cover yourself.
  2. Private health cover for families & couples - Whether you’re newlyweds or a large family, you may be able to cover all of your family members under a single policy. Everyone will be entitled to the same exclusions, benefits, treatments and other services outlined in the policy.
  3. Private health cover for SMEs - Small businesses may be able to cover their workforce under a single policy. Your policy may allow some flexibility over adding and removing employees as your business grows. The policy is provided by the employer as an employee benefit policy and the benefits of the plan will apply to every employee who agrees to join the scheme.
  1. Private health cover for corporations - Large corporations may offer private health cover across their organisation as an employee benefit. As these policies cover a wide range of individuals, there may be a more favorable underwriting available

What are the benefits of private health cover?

Private health cover may be beneficial to individuals, families and businesses for various reasons. It depends on your personal circumstances and your wants and needs for your private health coverage. Some of the most popular benefits that you may experience include:

  1. Access to a wide range of drugs and treatments available through the provider.
  2. Choice over your consultants and medical facilities within the terms of your chosen plan
  3. Prompt access to diagnostics and treatments
  4. Flexibility over when, where and how you’re treated
  5. Access private facilities when you receive treatments
  6. Choice between various hospitals that suit you
  7. Benefitting from members' rewards schemes and discounts
  8. Attracting and retaining employees by offering cover as a benefit
  9. Encourages healthier lifestyle choices and habits
  10. Access digital resources and help articles

How much does private health cover cost?

Being covered for private health services through a health insurance policy will require you to purchase a plan. The cost, or premium you pay depends on various factors, some of which you may have control over and others that you cannot influence. You may wish to tailor a policy rather than opting for a more generic level of cover, and the decisions you make may all impact the price you pay. Some of the contributing factors to how much you’ll pay include:

  1. The age of all named policyholders
  2. How much voluntary excess you agree to
  3. The level of cover you choose, such as basic or comprehensive
  4. Lifestyle habits, such as smoking
  5. Whether you opt for a NHS 6-week option
  6. How many, and which hospitals you have access to
  7. Where you’re located
  8. Whether you’re covered for outpatient treatments
  9. Extra coverage options, such as dental, physiotherapy and mental health
  10. The provider you purchase your policy from
  11. Age, medical inflation and claims

What to consider when purchasing private health cover

Understanding the market, your options and how to approach private health cover may help you to make a more informed decision. Your goal should be to purchase a policy that covers you for all the diagnostics and treatments you need while being as competitively priced as possible. We advise you to take the following steps when researching policies:

  1. Speak to a qualified, independent health insurance broker. They will aim to offer unbiased advice on your options and help you understand what policies are available to you.
  2. Compare health insurance across all UK providers. This will help you to make a decision on the best policy for you by directly comparing the benefits, exclusions and price.
  3. Make a list of important benefits. As you research private health cover, note down anything that you want to explore. This may help you communicate this with your broker and find the right policy for you.
  4. Consider various policy options. You may find that a family policy is a better option than personal cover, or vice versa. Do you have a business that could cover the cost, or would your employer be open to discussing this benefit?
  5. Research member benefits. Different providers offer unique sets of benefits and rewards for holding a policy with them. You may be more or less inclined to choose one over the other when comparing your options.

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Speak to an independent health insurance broker

We offer independent advice to individuals and businesses looking to purchase health insurance. Whether you have a specific question or you’re ready to explore your policy options, we aim to advise you and help you find the most suitable policy at a competitive premium. We offer a fair and personal analysis of the market, which means we can compare policies across all of the major UK health insurance providers. Contact us using the button below, and a member of our team will be in touch.

Speak to an independent health insurance broker

Contact Equity Health

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