Beat Nhs Waiting Times With Private Medical Insurance

Beat Nhs Waiting Times With Private Medical Insurance

It’s true that some NHS waiting times are improving – in fact recent figures show that they are the lowest they have ever been. However, the waiting times do still exist. Current waiting times mean that the average waiting time for treatment for patients admitted to hospital is 8.6 weeks, while patients who don’t need to be admitted waited an average of 4.6 weeks. The NHS target is for patients to start treatment within 18 weeks of being referred from a GP.

In addition, due to demand, NHS patients must have their treatment when an appointment becomes available, whether it’s convenient or not. With private health cover, you’ll have the flexibility to choose a treatment time which fits in with your life.

Flexible private health insurance doesn’t replace the NHS but it complements it, meaning that if there is a long waiting list for your particular procedure, you may well get it faster privately.

Private health insurance will offer:

Fast access to medical services, including those unavailable on the NHS
Private hospital facilities
Quick treatment for conditions covered by the policy

There are some conditions that won’t be covered by private health insurance. These include:

Pre-existing conditions:

When you are getting medical insurance quotes, check with providers how they define pre-existing conditions as it does vary. Some won’t cover any illness or condition, including related conditions, which you’ve been treated for before. Others will have a moratorium policy, where you must have not been treated for an illness or condition for a specified period such as five years.

Chronic conditions

Most private medical insurance policies don’t include chronic illnesses like asthma, diabetes, hypertension and similar conditions that need ongoing care on a long-term basis. The majority also don’t cover what are known as “catastrophic” illnesses such as cancer and HIV.  However, some policies do provide a contribution, for example, to the financial cost of private cancer care following a medical procedure.

In many cases the benefit will be enough to cover the cost of a course of private chemotherapy or radiotherapy. However, the benefit provided is unlikely to cover the cost of the latest, most expensive cancer therapies.

Cosmetic surgery

Most policies exclude cosmetic surgery procedures such as breast enlargement, organ transplants and sex changes.

Experimental treatments and drugs

Most policies will exclude treatments or drugs that are still considered experimental.

It is essential that you fully understand what any health insurance policy does and doesn’t cover before you sign up to it. Take professional advice if necessary.

Patient Choice offers cost-effective private health insurance for individuals and businesses in the UK. For more information visit the Patient Choice website.

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