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Can I Afford Private Health Insurance In the UK?

Oct 16, 2007
Private health insurance, long considered a luxury for those of more than modest means, has become more and more affordable over the years. UK medical insurers have devised a wide variety of health insurance policies that can help you cut your health care costs and take advantage of private medical care.

Private health insurance can make it possible for you to choose your own doctor or treatment centre, opt for treatments that are not covered under the NHS and avoid waiting for months when you need medical care that is not urgent. While none of these things are necessary for your medical health, they can make it far easier to deal with medical concerns if and when they arise.

There are many types of private health cover available to suit a wide range of needs. The key to making private medical insurance affordable is to compare costs of the various plans and choose the ones that are most necessary for your family or individual situation. You can choose from dozens of insurers offering many different packages, levels of cover and policy options to find the best mix to suit your medical needs and budget. Here are some suggestions for finding the best, most affordable private health insurance for your needs.

1. Set your priorities.
Before you even begin looking at the different types of cover available, decide why you want private health insurance. Which medical needs are a priority? A young couple planning a family might decide that maternity cover is vital. Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start looking at a package of cover that is specific to you without paying for cover you don't need.

2. Check out packages first.
Most insurers offer at least one health cover package, and many offer a variety of them in different price ranges. The most savvy are starting to package their insurance according to family need one package that includes the insurance they recommend for a young family, one that addresses the needs commonly faced by an individual in their twenties, etc. Go over each package to see if your priorities are included and that the package isn't overloaded with cover that you'll never use.

3. Look at the cost of non-packaged cover.
Take your list of priorities and check out the insurers that offer a menu of options. Go through and add up all the options that you want covered and get a total cost. Compare that against the most suitable package to see which will cost you less.

4. Consider specialised insurance.
More and more companies are offering specialised private medical insurance that's aimed at specific groups. The most common of these are medical policies that cover the procedures most commonly faced by people over 50. There are also policies specifically for athletes or those involved in sports who are prone to particular types of injuries, policies specifically designed for families with young children and policies that cover young adults whose medical needs are typically fewer.

5. Consider cost saving measures.
There are many ways to cut costs on private health insurance. You may choose a higher excess which requires you to contribute a fixed amount towards the overall cost of a claim in return for a lower premium. Or you could choose a policy with more limitations ones that specify the hospital's or clinics that you can use are common. The more limits you are willing to accept, the less expensive your premium will be.
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For further information please visit http://www.privatehealthservice.co.uk
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