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Who Can Get Private Health Insurance in the UK?

Health insurance in the UK is available to people over the age of 18 and to those younger if they are included on a family policy. Most providers don't have upper age limits for existing customers, but some won't offer cover to new members beyond certain ages.
In a healthcare landscape dominated by the National Health Service (NHS), the idea of paying for private treatment might seem unfamiliar to many. However, as NHS waiting lists continue to grow longer, more individuals are exploring the option of private healthcare. Here's a comprehensive guide on how you can access private healthcare in the UK.

Understanding the Difference between Private Treatment and the NHS

When opting for private healthcare, individuals are presented with choices that are not typically available within the NHS. One significant advantage is the ability to choose the healthcare provider and consultant who will administer treatment. This freedom allows patients to select specialists based on reputation, expertise, and patient feedback, facilitating more informed decision-making.
Moreover, private healthcare offers quicker access to treatment compared to the NHS. Additionally, private hospitals may provide access to drugs and treatments not currently available within the NHS, further expanding the range of options available to patients.

How to Pay for Private Healthcare

1. Private Medical Insurance (PMI)

Private medical insurance (PMI) allows individuals to pay a monthly premium to access private treatment. Some employers offer PMI as part of their benefits package, covering the premium for employees. However, PMI typically excludes pre-existing medical conditions and may require disclosure of medical history during the application process.

2. Self-Pay

For those without PMI or seeking treatment not covered by insurance, self-paying for treatment is an option. Many private healthcare providers offer fixed-price packages for various treatments, providing clarity on costs upfront. Alternatively, individuals can explore pay-as-you-go options for more flexibility.

3. Personal Medical Loans

If immediate funds are not available for private treatment, individuals can consider taking out personal medical loans. Several private hospitals offer financing options, allowing patients to spread the cost of treatment over time. However, it's essential to assess loan terms and total costs before proceeding.

Accessing Private Treatment without Health Insurance

Individuals can pursue private treatment even without health insurance through the following steps:
  1. Consultation: Seek advice from an NHS GP or private GP for a referral to a specialist.
  2. Outpatient Appointment: Attend an outpatient appointment with the chosen consultant to discuss treatment options.
  3. Cost Assessment: Obtain a fixed price quote from the hospital for the required treatment, including all associated costs.
  4. Hospital Choice: Explore options for treatment in both private and NHS hospitals, considering factors such as convenience and cost.
  5. Surgery and Follow-Up: Once treatment arrangements are confirmed, proceed with the surgery, ensuring compliance with payment terms. Attend post-surgery follow-up appointments as necessary.
  6. Additional Costs: Budget for any post-operative care or rehabilitation services not included in the treatment package.

Private Hospitals in the UK

Several private healthcare providers operate across the UK, offering a range of treatments and services. Some prominent providers include:
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Spire Healthcare
  • Nuffield Health
  • Circle Health Group
  • Ramsay Health
Each provider offers unique services and facilities, catering to various medical needs and preferences.

Understanding Treatment Costs

The cost of private medical treatment varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the procedure, location, and provider. While prices can be higher in London, they reflect the quality of care and expertise offered. Individuals should research specific treatments and hospitals to obtain accurate cost estimates.

Exploring Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance policies vary in coverage and benefits, making it essential to choose a plan that aligns with individual needs and preferences. Consulting a health insurance broker can simplify the process by providing insights into available policies and helping select the most suitable option.

Benefits of Speaking to a Health Insurance Broker

Private health insurance policies vary in terms of the level of cover they provide and the benefits you can expect to receive. Some will provide cover for specific treatments, for example, cancer treatment, as standard, while others will only offer it as an optional extra. Your needs and lifestyle will influence which health insurance policy is right for you. Some insurance policies allow you to add your whole family to your policy, while others offer incentives for healthy living. You'll also need to consider your budget. A no claims discount or higher excess on your health insurance plan can help you reduce your premium. Still, it's also worth looking at private health insurance that doesn't base costs on your postcode or offers a scheme where individual claims don't increase your premiums.
A health insurance broker like WeCovr can help you consider what type of private health insurance you might need and which policy will work best for your circumstances. You, therefore, don't have to spend lots of time going through individual websites trying to work out what each insurer covers.
In conclusion, private healthcare offers an alternative to the NHS, providing faster access to treatment and greater control over healthcare choices. By understanding the options available and assessing individual needs, individuals can navigate the process of accessing private healthcare effectively.

Why get private health insurance?

Health insurance allows you get back on your feet quicker:

✅ Avoid long NHS waiting lists of many weeks and get treated faster with private medical insurance, which can be really important for a successful recovery
✅ Get early diagnosis so you can get the treatment you need right away done privately
✅ Business owners can save on their tax bill with private medical insurance
✅ You are free to choose your surgeon or hospital to suit your needs by place and time
✅ You often get a private room with better facilities for your treatment or surgery
✅ With private medical health insurance you gain access to advanced treatments not available on the NHS

Benefits offered by private health insurance

Private medical health insurance is an insurance policy that covers the costs of private healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment. You just pay an affordable monthly premium that covers all or some of the cost of treatment for acute conditions that develop after your health insurance policy has begun.

Our mission is to put you in touch with not only the best, but the most suitable private medical health insurance companies. With even more risk on the rise for personal health today, it makes more sense than ever to have private medical health insurance cover.

👍 Many people are very thankful that they had their private medical health insurance cover in place before running into some serious health issues. Private medical health insurance is as important as life insurance for protecting your family's finances.

Important Fact!

Why increasing numbers of individuals and families opt for PMI insurance

👉 We insure our cars, houses, bicycles and even bags! Yet our health is one the most precious things we have.

People buy life, critical illness and private medical health insurance for a variety of reasons – easily one of the most important insurance purchases an individual or family can make in their lifetime. PMI insurance is still seen as a luxury in the UK. Indeed, only around 11% of the population has private medical insurance. However, an increasing number of people are taking out private medical insurance due to a number of reasons:
  • Avoid NHS waiting lists and be treated more quickly
  • Faster diagnosis (comprehensive cover)
  • More access to latest cancer drugs and treatments, some of which may be unavailable on the NHS
  • Greater choice over where and when your treatment takes place
  • Have a private room should you need treatment in hospital
Our award-winning FCA-authorised insurance partner experts are ready to provide you with a FREE Consultation.

👍 Simply get your affordable private medical health insurance plan in place for the necessary peace of mind! Just tap or click the button below to book a FREE call now! 👇

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Any questions?

Do I need Private Medical Insurance if I have Life Insurance?

Life Insurance and Private Medical Insurance cover you for two different purposes, so you will need to assess your needs but may wish to consider holding the two policies. Private Medical Insurance covers you if you get sick or need treatment and want or need to go privately. Life Insurance covers you in the case of death, giving a payout to family/those left behind.

If you prefer to get straight into treatment in the private sector without the long waiting times with the NHS, or you just prefer the private sector anyway, without having to pay it all yourself, then you would need to have Private Medical Insurance to cover it. Sometimes treatments and drugs that are not covered by the NHS can be covered by Private Medical Insurance.

It's free to use WeCovr to find health insurance - we never charge you for quotes. Health or private medical insurance is an investment that can pay for itself the first time you might need medical treatment.

It depends on your personal choice and preferences. If you are prepared to limit yourself to NHS-covered treatments only and can or want to endure long waiting times to get into treatment, then yes, NHS might work for you. Your cover there is free. If you don't want to be exposed to long waiting times or if your treatment is not covered by the NHS, then you would benefit from Private Medical Insurance.

Private Medical Insurance is an important financial product that insurance companies take a lot of care and diligence so speaking to real human beings ensures that they understand your requirements fully so that you can get the right cover.

All of our partners are carefully vetted and authorised by the FCA, which means they are held to the highest standards that the FCA expects from them and treat all customers fairly!

Our insurance partners give us a few pounds when you take out a policy with one of their experts.


Who Are WeCovr?

WeCovr is an insurance specialist for people valuing their peace of mind and a great service.

👍 WeCovr will help you get your life insurance, critical illness insurance, private medical health insurance, over-50s funeral insurance and senior life insurance quote in no time thanks to our wonderful super-friendly expert partners ready to assist you every step of the way.

Just a quick and simple form and an easy conversation with our FCA-authorised life insurance, critical illness insurance and private medical insurance partner experts and your valuable insurance policy is in place for that needed peace of mind!