First, Yet Crucial Steps
Taking the step to buy private health insurance is one that should not be taken lightly. You should ensure that you take the time to do your research thoroughly in order to be sure that you are getting the best and most appropriate cover for you and your family.
Before you start looking, it would be wise to gather together a list of any current medical conditions that you or anyone else that you intend to have on your plan may have. A good family medical history may also be useful to you. Look closely then at the list you have made and use it to identify where your medical priorities lie. What are the likely treatments that you may need in a worst-case scenario?
Make it the right choice
Once you have worked that out, you should also do some research into what those types of treatments can cost. Many private health insurance policies are sold as a maximum figure for cover, which means that it will be useful for you to have an idea of the potential costs involved in your health care before making a choice.
You will then want to have a think about additional services and benefits that you may wish to be covered for. Do you want to have the choice to see a specialist and have diagnostic tests covered by your plan? If so, you will want to make sure that your plan covers these types of treatments and not just basic treatments for your illness. Additionally, is it important to you to be able to choose the hospital that you attend or are you happy to attend a hospital chosen for you by your insurance company?
Once you have addressed these questions it is time to start looking. Make a shortlist of potential companies that meet the requirements you have set out above and read the terms and conditions carefully. At this point you will have two main considerations and they are cost and what isn’t covered. Cost is an obvious concern, as the premiums must be affordable and it is important that you bear in mind that what isn’t covered is just as important as what is covered.
If your main concerns are outpatient procedures and aids, private health insurance may not be the right option, as often these types of expenses are not covered. If you are looking for help with common health expenses like physiotherapy, dental treatments, opticians or complementary therapies, it is possible that a healthcare cash plan is more suited to your needs.
These types of plan are not health insurance but can complement cover or stand alone without private medical insurance. They are intended to help with costs that are not normally covered by the NHS or private plans and can help alleviate the pressures that unexpected treatment requirements can put on a personal or family budget.
Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you follow the steps and feel 100% sure about your decision and are fully informed about the plan you take out. A nasty surprise such as inadequate coverage is the last thing you need when you are ill and can be easily avoided by taking time making the decision in the first place.