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What is Private Health insurance

It is likely that you have insurance in place for your home and your car. You may have even insured your pet. But have you insured yourself? A lot of people overlook the importance of private medical insurance. This is because we have the National Health Service (NHS) here in the UK. However, while the NHS gives us access to free medical services, there is no denying that it is under a lot of pressure at the moment.

You only need to turn on the news or take a look at stories online to read all about the lack of beds and the extremely long waiting times across the NHS. The best way to protect your health is to invest in private medical insurance. It may be a cliché but you only have one life, and so looking after number one is of huge importance. By investing in the right private medical insurance policy, you can expect a faster diagnosis, better facilities, private rooms, and decreased waiting times. This increases the chance of you getting the medical treatment that you need as quickly and as efficiently as possible. It also means that if you find yourself in a position whereby you need surgery, you can have the comfort of staying in a private room rather than sharing a room with a number of other strangers.

One thing a lot of people also overlook is the fact that private health insurance can give you exclusive access to specific treatments and drugs that are not necessarily available on the NHS. After all, the NHS provides only those drugs and treatments that they deem to be 100% necessary. This means that there are a lot of treatments that are not currently available on the NHS yet are covered by private medical insurance. Ultimately, with private medical insurance, you can have complete peace of mind that all of your medical needs are taken care of.

The Benefits

A HEALTHIER WORKFORCE IS A HAPPIER, MORE PRODUCTIVE ONE

Choosing employee benefits with care is of huge importance. If you are to retain your best talent, you need to ensure that you offer benefits that outshine the competition. There is no denying that corporate health insurance is at the top of the list. This is especially the case if you offer business health insurance that covers your employees family members as well. Plus, is not just about making your employees happy, as there are a number of different benefits that you will experience in the workplace if you decide to offer private medical insurance to your workforce. So, let's take a look at different benefits of private health insurance for employees in further detail…

Recruitment and retention - As touched upon, offering private medical insurance is one of the best ways to hold onto your best talent at your business. There is no denying that your employees are the most important asset to your business. How would you cope if you were to lose your greatest talent to the competition? This is something that a lot of business owners are experiencing because they are not in tune with what is important to their members of staff. Falling only behind the pension, health insurance is deemed the second most popular employee benefit. Therefore, not only can it help you when it comes to holding onto your top talent but it also plays a significant role in attracting the most promising candidates to your business. Private health insurance for small business owners can give your company a competitive edge while also ensuring that the work environment is a happy one whereby all of your employees feel valued.

Reduced number of absences - If there is one thing that hurts productivity at any business it is a high number of absences. By introducing health insurance, you are encouraging your employees to live a healthy lifestyle. There will be more likely to attend routine checkups and to get symptoms checked out as soon as possible, rather than leaving it to get worse and worse.

Enhanced productivity – The two company health insurance benefits that have been mentioned above come together to ensure that productivity levels are high at your business. Research indicates that healthy businesses are six days a year more productive per employee when compared with unhealthy businesses. There are many different ways that private medical insurance can help to make your workforce more productive. Of course, the most obvious way that this happens is because your workforce is going to be healthier, and when someone is healthy, they are able to work at a higher level. However, you also need to consider the fact that by introducing this type of insurance policy, you are making your employees feel valued. This, in turn, increases their loyalty to you and enhances the overall feeling in the workplace. When you have a happy and healthy workforce, you are going to have a productive workforce.

Improved engagement levels – Aside from this, research also indicates that three times as many healthy workers participate in workplace wellness programs when compared with unhealthy employees. Therefore, by offering private medical insurance, you can also expect to improve the engagement levels at your business.

How Much Does It Cost

To figure out how much your private health insurance would cost, you’d have to enter details such as your postcode, age and some simple lifestyle and health questions. To give you an idea of the average prices on the market today, we got quotes for a 30-year-old, female, non-smoker, living in the Essex area. The prices given to us ranged from £12.50 to £82.89 per month, with different options that will alter the price slightly. These quotes are significantly lower than the quotes you would receive for high cover options or for family cover. The average premium for private health insurance in the UK is £1349 per year but as stated above, that price can fluctuate depending on your specific needs and policies.

Options To Consider

One of the major factors that have an influence on how much you are going to pay for your insurance policy is the cover options that are available. As with any type of insurance, you must research the market thoroughly to determine the exact level of cover that you require. Once you have selected the standard of health insurance that you require, for example, low, mid, or high coverage, you will then be able to tailor your policy to suit your specific needs. This means adding on or removing different products that will alter your level of cover based on your requirements. Some of the different options that are available are as follows –

  • Comprehensive cover
  • Mental health cover
  • Therapies cover
  • Outpatient cover
  • Dental cover
  • Maternity cover

As you can see, you will be able to add different products based on your needs. One person may deem dental cover important to them, whereas another may not be interested in adding this to their policy. Therefore, it all depends on your individual wants. Of course, for every add-on to your policy, it will increase the overall cost. Therefore, you need to carefully consider what is important to you and what isn't. You could opt to provide employees with a standard cover and then they can add on extras if they wish.

It is also worth pointing out that they are waiting periods in place for certain insurance products. For example, if you are thinking about starting a family, it is important that you take out maternity cover before you start trying for a baby. The vast majority of medical insurance policies that are in place today will have a nine-month or 10-month waiting period when it comes to maternity care. This is to stop individuals from simply taking out an insurance policy once they have fallen pregnant. As soon as you are thinking about starting a family, you should look to add on maternity cover.

Another factor that you will really need to think about is the level of excess that you are going to set on your policy. For those who are unaware, excess refers to the sum of money that you will need to pay before the insurer pays out. Therefore, if you set your excess at £100, and you need to have a liver transplant. This means that you will need to pay a hundred pounds towards the treatment and then your insurance provider will cover the rest of the cost. It is important that you carefully consider what level you are going to set your excess at. The higher you set your excess, the lower your monthly premiums will become. However, while it can be tempting to increase the excess by a significant degree so that you only have a small amount to pay every month, is imperative that the excess is set at an amount that you will comfortably be able to afford if you do need to make a claim on your medical insurance policy. If you set the excess too high and you are unable to pay it, you are essentially rendering your medical insurance plan ineffective.

What am I covered for?

When you consider the wide range of medical insurance policies that are available today, you can pretty much cover yourself for virtually any sort of medical treatment. This is why it is so important to consider your wants and needs before you take out an insurance plan. There are policies that will cover you for inpatient treatment, outpatient, and day-patient treatment, and there are then those that will only cover you if you are in inpatient. There are policies that are available to cover cancer treatment, including radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as well as cancer diagnostic tests. Essentially, you can build a health insurance plan to suit your needs, which is why it is so important to align yourself with an experienced insurance company that will be able to provide you with an objective view and ensure that you are aware of all of the different options that are available to you.

It is just as important to find out what you are not covered for as it is to find out what you are covered for. With any policy, there are going to be different exclusions, and it is important to find out what these are. The most common exclusion is a pre-existing condition. This means that if you have had a specific health condition before you take out the medical insurance policy, then you may not be covered for any costs that are related to this condition specifically. This does not mean that you will be unable to find a policy that does not cover your current condition. This can still be attained, however, it is worth noting that you will be quoted a much higher insurance premium because you are deemed a greater risk or much more likely of needing treatments because you already have a condition.

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Corporate Health FAQ

What types of health insurance policies are available?

Generally speaking, there are three different types of policies that are available. These are as follows – budget, mid range, and comprehensive. Budget policies represent the cheapest form of private medical insurance. They will typically only cover day patient treatment and inpatient treatment with limits on the amount that you are able to claim. The vast majority of mid range health insurance policies will cover both day treatment and inpatient treatment, as well as a selection of outpatient treatments. Mid range policies are ideal for individuals that want the benefits of private healthcare at an affordable price. Finally, comprehensive healthcare policies are the most expensive but this is because they provide the greatest level of cover. You can expect full outpatient, day patient, and inpatient coverage. There are also a number of other benefits, for example, you could have complementary therapy and psychiatric cover included. It is important to mention that healthcare plans today are highly customisable and this means that you can easily create a plan to suit your needs.

What hospitals will I be able to use with my health insurance cover?

The hospitals that you are able to use will depend on your cover. Every medical plan will come with a list of approved hospitals, and hospitals that are featured on this list will depend on the insurer and your insurance premiums.

What factors will impact how much I pay for health insurance?

There are a number of different factors that will have an influence on how much you pay for your health insurance. Firstly, your age and your general health will have an impact on the premiums that you are quoted. For example, someone elderly can expect to pay a lot more than someone who is young. Moreover, smokers will generally be quoted a higher rate than non-smokers. Aside from this, the specifics of your policy will also play a role. For example, comprehensive cover is much more expensive than basic cover. You will also pay more if your excess is set at a very low rate. Also, the hospitals that are listed as approved in your insurance policy can also have an impact on how much you are going to pay.

How does health insurance work?

If you have private medical insurance in place, you can organise fast private treatment in just a few steps. These are as follows:

  • If you think that something is wrong with your health, visit your GP and inform them that you have private health insurance.
  • If treatment is required, the GP will refer you immediately to a private hospital and the leading specialist of your choosing.
  • You must make sure that your insurer is aware that you want to make a claim on your policy and you should get them to confirm that you are covered.
  • Once approval is provided, your GP will book an appointment with the specialist and this will be paid for by the insurance company.

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