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Healthcare Insurance: Why it can be a good investment

Healthcare Insurance: Why it can be a good investment
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Healthcare insurance can compliment your NHS care

In the UK, we are fortunate to have our health care provided free courtesy of the NHS, but there are a growing number of people taking out private health care insurance which can offer added support and convenience when required. While private health care shouldn’t be used as a total replacement of the NHS, it can be a worthwhile investment to compliment the care you already receive and add extra piece of mind.

What does healthcare insurance cover?

Health insurance varies greatly among providers and usually covers the cost of in patient treatments such as surgery and tests as well as follow up out-patient treatment. Other policies are just designed to give you cash back on specific treatments or if you have to spend a night in an NHS hospital. Health insurance can cut waiting times, give the choice of where you are treated and sometimes enable you to have a private room rather than a bed on a ward. However as each policy is so different, it is important to note that if you are considering taking out health insurance, you get the right deal for you. You should take into consideration if you can afford the monthly premiums as these may increase as you get older or if you develop certain medical conditions. Check if there is an excess to be paid in the event of a claim and that you can afford it. Is there is a waiting period for when you can claim and is there is a limit on the amount you can claim?

What is included in the policy?

You should thoroughly look into what is actually covered in the policy and read the small print. Some policies mean you have to pay for certain treatment up front and then reclaim the money after, if that is the case, can you afford to make the initial payment? Very few policies (if any) cover any treatment or injury that occurred before you took out cover, so if you’re sold a policy that claims to, really check out what is covered. Most policies are intended to cover short term or curable illness or injury, but some can also cover diagnostic treatment, physiotherapy, chemo and radiotherapy.

Healthcare Insurance: Why it can be a good investment

Things not covered by healthcare insurance

Most health insurance will not cover fertility treatment, healthcare for pregnancy, treatment for HIV or psychiatric conditions. Any chronic or long term illness that can not be cured will most likely not be covered, neither is cosmetic surgery or any form of experimental treatments. When you are taking out a policy, you should tell your provider about anything that might affect your cover. Failure to disclose any information such as pre existing medical conditions or that you are a smoker, might make your policy invalid and your insurer may refuse to pay out in the even of a claim. Even if the form you complete when taking out the cover does not specifically ask, you are still required to inform them. Keep a copy of any correspondence safe should any discrepancies occur.

If you have a disability, you may find it difficult to take out certain kinds of health insurance. While the law states that it is illegal to discriminate against anyone with a disability, in some circumstances, insurers are allowed to take your disability into account when deciding whether they can offer you insurance inline with their terms and conditions. If you are in this situation and struggling to find a policy to suit you, an insurance broker or independent intermediary should be able to assist.

If circumstances change you must inform your healthcare insurance provider

If at any time, your health or circumstances change, you should inform your provider as soon as possible, disclosing all information. We often hear reports about insurance companies refusing to pay out on the smallest and seemingly irrelevant of reasons, so don’t fall into the trap of just assuming all is fine. Provide all possible information by recorded delivery and keep a copy of your correspondence.

Work place private healthcare insurance

Many work places are now offering private health insurance as part of their contract with you. If so,  check what is covered under that before committing to your own policy. It might be a total waste of money if the cover you have through your employers meets all your requirements. Some companies can also offer to cover your family as well, usually if you pay the additional premium. If your husband or wife is thinking about taking out health insurance yet you’re covered through work, it may be much more cost effective to add them to your policy rather than taking out a separate one of their own, so do your homework, get as many quotes as possible and check the cover you take is going to provide you with the biggest benefits.

 

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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