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A Complex Aspect of Private Medical Insurance Explained

Private medical insurance or PMI provides access to private healthcare facilities and offers significant advantages in terms of time (faster treatment), quality of care, convenience and comfort. However, you would be wrong to assume that you would be covered for everything if you have private medical insurance. Here is a look at the finer details of private medical insurance that you should keep in mind when you are buying a policy. 

  • Private medical insurance covers the cost of private medical treatment for acute conditions. However, the insurance company may not provide cover for longer-term conditions (also known as chronic conditions). Though the specifics depend on your policy, but most private medical insurance only cover short-term (acute conditions) illness or injury.
  • In addition, some appointments and treatments are not covered. The best way to find this by simply calling your insurance company to check if they will cover the costs of the specialists or the treatment, if any.
  • You get what you pay for. The more cover you want, the higher your premium will be. Additionally, premium costs are rising as the premium tends to increase in line with your age and medical inflation. As such, it makes sense to go for policies at the early age as they are able to offer cost savings.
  • Your private hospital team may not have the same level of expertise that NHS teams may have at hand if things go wrong. Also, they may not be able to treat all illnesses at the same location. What you get, on the other hand, are faster treatment and quality care besides convenience.
  • There is a possibility that you might develop a condition that is not covered, as it may be stated in the terms and conditions of the policy under the exclusions. It is important to check the small print before taking out a policy.

As an individual, it can be quite difficult to know which PMI policy suits your requirements and budget. Insurance company advisers can only explain their own company’s policies and cannot advice you on how their own plans compare with those offered by other insurers. Since so many insurers are offering PMI, it makes sense to contact an independent health insurance adviser. The adviser can help you understand the differences between the policies and find the right one for yourself. You can also use comparison websites to find policies that meet your requirements and fit your budget. However, please remember to read the fine print before you decide on a plan as no two polices are the same.