Money4dentists’ Richard T Lishman asks: Why invest in private medical insurance?
Illness and disease can happen to anyone at any time, and when it does your critical illness cover and income protection will only subsidise you during your time off work, not help you medically. As such, it is always worth considering private medical insurance (PMI).
Health insurance is there to ensure that if you need medical treatment you’ll be covered for private care, whether that’s the bill in its entirety or a portion of it. It can help to minimise waiting times for treatment, ensure a faster diagnosis and generally grants the policyholder more flexibility and choice in terms of the preferred facility and appointment time. Together, these benefits ensure a prompter turnaround, helping in turn to minimise any discomfort, pain or anxiety that you would feel if you were unwell and facilitate your journey to recovery.
As with other insurances, the cover available very much depends on the level of care that you’re insured for. A basic policy would typically pay out for most inpatient treatments such as tests and surgery, day-care surgery, exclusive drugs and medication, scans and overnight stays in hospital. More extensive plans usually include outpatient treatments and appointments with specialists and consultants.
Take note, however, that there are limitations to what PMI will cover, so you’ll need to take great care when choosing a policy to ensure that the terms meet your individual needs and preferences. The list invariably includes pre-existing conditions, chronic or long-term illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, HIV/AIDs, epilepsy and hypertension, and self-afflicted conditions like dangerous sports or drug and alcohol abuse.
Non-essential cosmetic treatments, gender reassignment surgery, fertility treatment and organ transplants are excluded too, as are GP services, accident and emergency admission, NHS prescriptions and normal pregnancies.
As such, you should always take care when choosing PMI, especially if you intend to personalise your policy or bolt-on extras such as home nursing, health screening, recuperative care and so on. If you need help deciding which cover would be best for you, an independent financial adviser (IFA) with dental specific experience can help you to choose your PMI based on your individual circumstances.
Health insurance is the only way to maximum your chances of shorter waiting times, better facilities and faster diagnosis to get you fighting fit in no time, so if you value your health it might be worth adding PMI to your list of insurances.
For more information call 0845 345 5060 or 0754DENTIST.