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Difference Between Private Health Insurance And Health Cash Plans In the UK

Nov 7, 2007
Many people who would never consider private medical insurance happily pay for health cash plans to supplement the cost of various health treatments and services. While both are meant to help you pay for your health care needs, there are some important differences between the two.

Private medical insurance is meant to cover hospital and medical treatments that are not covered by the nhs, or to get around the limitations of nhs. If, for instance, your doctor has recommended surgery to alleviate knee pain, you might have to wait six months or more in the nhs queue. With private health insurance, you get to jump the queue by having the recommended surgery performed in a private hospital and paid for by your insurer.

Private health insurance does not generally cover routine medical appointments and daily medical needs, nor does it usually cover you for dental and optical treatments.

Health cash plans are meant to complement the nhs by providing cash to pay for the cost of routine and daily medical care. They are not meant to replace nhs services or be a substitute for private medical insurance, which cover the costs associated with illnesses. Instead, they are meant to encourage the kind of routine medical care and screenings that help you stay healthy and avoid incurring medical costs.

Health cash plans generally provide cash toward the cost of annual physical exams, routine eye screening, dental costs and prescription costs. Most health cash plans also cover complementary and alternative treatments, and often cover children for free if one or both parents are enrolled in the plan.

Private medical insurance makes payments to the hospital or health service provider after a bill is submitted. Usually, the bill for your care will be submitted first to the insurance company. Once the insurance company has paid its share of the cost, the hospital or provider will bill you for the remainder.

Health cash plans make payment directly to defray the cost of medical services that are not covered under nhs or private insurance. They vary in the amount that they pay and in precisely what is covered, but generally, they will pay you a specified amount of cash for each type of service covered. For instance, a health cash plan may pay you 24 pounds for each day that you are in the hospital, or toward the cost of each prescription, and 30 pounds toward the purchase of new prescription glasses.

Private medical insurance generally requires a physical examination, or a detailed medical history in order to qualify. The premiums will be based in part on your current physical health, and your cover may be limited by existing or previous medical conditions. Premiums generally increase with your age.

Health cash plans generally do not require a physical examination or assessment of your medical history. The premiums are standard and are not affected by your past medical problems. The premiums for health cash plans do not generally increase with your age, but remain the same as long as you keep making the premium payments.
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