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7th, April 2020

Private health plans

Health is precious, and this pushes the majority of people to go for private health plans by signing a private health insurance policy that let them avoid waiting times at hospitals and health care organizations. With private health insurance, you will receive treatment when required as fast as possible without bearing most of treatment costs. So, not to worry about your medical care, a private health insurance is recommended. But, how does it work? What is the best type for your needs? How much does it cost? And what are the top providers to consider in UK? All of this will be covered in this topic.

How does private health insurance work?

After choosing a private health insurance provider, you complete an application online, by phone, or in person. The insurer will rely on some factors to determine premiums which are monthly payments you make to the insurer for his medical coverage provided. These factors include the following:

Age: unlike young people, order people are likely to receive more medical treatment. So, they tend to pay higher premiums than young people.

Location: people who live in expensive cities like London tend to pay higher premiums than others who live in the country or less expensive cities.

Smoker status: smokers tend to pay higher premiums than nonsmokers because they are more expected to be ill.

Hospital lists: the more expensive the hospitals you enroll in your medical insurance policy for treatment the higher the premiums

 

After determining premium amounts and approving your application, you will be ready to pay premiums and claim for a coverage if any medical condition exists. But you should know that not all conditions are covered by the health insurance policy. Acute conditions such as hip pain is not permanent. So, they are covered. While chronic conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, and asthma are long-term conditions that are not covered by medical insurance. However, symptoms of these conditions are covered.

To make a claim, you contact your insurer and tell him about your condition and policy number. After approving your claim, you will receive an approval letter or code with a recommended specialist for treatment. You book an appointment and go for treatment with your claim approval letter. After treatment, the bill will be send to the insurer who pays his share of the costs.

Types of private health plans

There are 4 main types of private health plans, all of them are organized to 4 levels of benefits, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The bronze level covers 60% of medical costs, the silver covers 70%, the gold covers 80%, and the platinum level covers 90% of medical costs. The higher the level the more the cost of insurance. So, you will need to choose a coverage level after choosing one of the following private health plans.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)

HMO plan could be the cheapest option of all private health plans due to its low premiums. It also covers a broader range of medical services than other types. But, it is more restricted because you will have few choices for treatment, you may be required to choose a primary care physician who will be responsible for treating you if you make a claim. If you need a specialist, you will need to ask your pre-chosen primary care physician for a referral. If you get out your restricted network, you will not be covered.

 

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO)

EPO is another cheap option with low premiums. It looks like HMO plan but with less restrictions as you will not be required to ask your primary care physician for referrals to see a specialist in the case of emergency. But if you see an out-of-network treatment provider if the case is not an emergency, you will not be covered and you will bear the overall cost of treatment.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)

According to PPO, you will have a network of hospitals and doctors to see for treatment. So, you will not be asked to determine a primary care physician. But you will have an annual deductible to meet before you own the right of transferring your medical bills to your insurer. Some medical services will also have a copayment which means you will share a percentage of the costs of these medical services.

Point Of Service plan (POS)

A POS plan is a more flexible option, it combines between HMO and PPO. Like the HMO, you will be required to choose a primary care physician for treatment services that will not be subject to deductibles. Services that are provided by the primary care physician ore referred by him are covered at a higher level. But if you see an out-of-network provider, you will be subject to deductibles at a low level of coverage.

 

How much does private health insurance cost?

As we mentioned before, the cost of private health insurance (premiums) is dependent. It depends on your circumstances like your age, locations, and smoking status because these factors determines the degree to which you may need medical treatments. If you are still a young person who are not smoking or vaping and living in a cheaper postcode, you can pay only £20 or less as a monthly premium. But if you are an older person who are smoking and living in London, your monthly premium could exceed a £100.

 

Top providers of health insurance plans in UK

The health insurance industry in UK is dominated by 4 giant insurance companies. They are seizing up to 90% market share of the overall health insurance industry.

AXA

This is one of the largest companies in UK that provide medical insurance policies. It allows its policyholders to determine the time they need for treatment in the case of illness. Furthermore, there is a helpline that operates 24/7 and is ready to help you with any query regarding your health issues. It also provides tips about doing exercise and staying fit.

Bupa                       

Bupa is a very large UK health insurance company that owns a network of private clinics and hospitals. It covers a wide range of medical services from diagnostics to treatments. Furthermore, it offers home nursering and private ambulances. Health insurance policies of Bupa are tailored, that means you may not involve some services such as diagnosis in order to reduce the cost of insurance.

 

Vitality

Such as other health insurance companies, Vitality covers both diagnosing and treating. In addition to this, it helps customers to maintain their health better by offering discounts on active gym such as offering a 50% discount on a membership in virgin active gyms. It also tracks the health of their customers and rewards those who become healthier by offering discounts.

Aviva

This is the largest insurance company in UK, it is a global brand that service about 32 million customers around the world. It usually offers a free month for new customers, regular customers have also some benefits regarding changing options of the policy to reduce the premium cost plus the 25% off discount on gym memberships.

 

Once you decide the type of insurance, you will need to compare different policies that are offered by health insurance companies. You can compare these policies in more details by using this health insurance comparison site: activequote.com