With the increasing medical costs, you will find yourself forced to pay a lot of money to maintain your health if you suffered from injury or became ill. So, the need to have a health insurance policy has become essential. It will not only protects you financially in case of accidents or emergencies, but it will also covers costs of preventative care, screenings, and vaccines which are important to protect you against later risks of becoming ill. But, a health insurance policy is suitable for who? What are the guaranteed benefits by this policy? Does it cover all health issues or you need to get an additional health cover? Which health insurance plan and which provider is better for you? All of these questions will be covered in details by this topic.
Who needs health insurance?
Some people may think that health insurance is only needed for seniors or people who are more expected to be sick. In fact, illnesses and injuries could happen as a result of everyday activities for all people even the young. So, health insurance is needed by everyone regardless age, gender, or health status. You should be covered by a health insurance policy otherwise you will always be at a financial risk in case of emergencies or unexpected injuries.
You may be more recommended to buy early when you are still young because the earlier you buy health insurance the lower the cost you would pay for the policy.
Benefits of health insurance
The National Health Service (NHS) in UK is one of the best all over the world. But, the increasing number of the population, the increase in life expectancy, and the carefulness of the community to stay healthy have put the NHS under too much strain. That’s the main point that encourages a lot of UK residents to have a health insurance policy that provide them with a lot of benefits and privileges including the following:
Having access to private hospitals
This is one of the best privileges of health insurance. You will have the right to choose private hospitals for your treatment in addition to having a private room for more rest and a speedy recovery. So, you will be visited by your family without being worried about disturbing neighboring patients.
Shorter waiting times
Because the NHS is always under too much strain, you may find a lot of patients waiting for their turn to receive treatment. Furthermore, some of planned operations could be cancelled two or three times because of emergencies. But, with health insurance, you will be treated once you are injured or feeling sick. You can also schedule an appointment on your specified date in order to not waste your time.
The availability of more choices
According to NHS, you are treated based on your area. So, you doesn’t have control over where you will be treated and who you will be treated by. But, health insurance enables you to choose between many hospitals regardless your location, and you will be able to choose your doctor as well.
Coverage of expensive drugs and treatments
Some treatments and drugs are not available by NHS either because they are expensive or because they are not approved by the NICE in England and Wales. But, these treatments and drugs will be covered when you ask for treatment using your health insurance policy.
How to get additional health cover
It’s important to have full knowledge about the terms of your regular health insurance policy, you should know what is covered and what is not covered, you should know how much deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments you will be responsible to pay. Otherwise, you may be recommended to apply for additional health cover or as it is called a supplemental insurance plan.
Supplemental insurance pays for expenses that are not covered by your regular health insurance such as deductibles and copayments, it may also provide you with a lump sum that could be used for different expenses in case of injury or illness such as medication or transportation costs that are related to your condition. There are different types of supplemental insurance you can apply for, the following are some of them.
Critical illness insurance
This type of supplemental insurance is used by people who are more exposed to serious illnesses such as cancer. These illnesses usually requires expensive treatment costs, most of these costs are not covered by your regular health insurance but they are covered by a critical illness insurance. It can cover deductibles, specialists, transportation, normal living expenses, childcare, and household assistance.
Medigap Medicare supplemental insurance
An original Medicare plan with a Medigap is a full coverage combination, that’s one of the most popular types of supplemental insurance. Medigap supplemental insurance is used to cover any medical costs that are not covered by your original health insurance in addition to covering deductibles and coinsurance costs. You may not find it essential to have Medigap in normal cases, but if you are hospitalized and needing more treatment services, you should consider Medigap plans.
Dental and vision insurance
This supplemental insurance plane is totally separate from regular health insurance. It covers dental and vision care that is not covered by your regular insurance. Some enterprises give their employees the option to have a supplemental dental and vision insurance but they pay a portion of monthly premiums.
Types of health insurance plans
There are four main types of health insurance plans. You may not know how to choose but a description of each type will be enough to make your decision.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
With PPO, you will have a large network of hospitals, doctors, health care facilities, and health care professionals to choose from. You can also ask for treatments from outside the network, but this will charge you additional cost. Unlike other types that require selecting a primary care provider, PPO doesn’t require that. You see specialists without having a referral from a primary care provider.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
HMO health insurance plans are the cheapest between all types. But, it provides you with a local network consisting of limited hospitals, doctors, and professionals. You will also be required to select a primary care provider from the list included in your network. He will be responsible for your treatment of providing a referral if you want to see a specialist.
Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
EPO plans could charge you a little bit more than HMO plans, but it enables you to see a specialist outside your local network in case of emergencies. But in normal situations, there is a list of hospitals and doctors who are covered by these plans and you may have the option of not selecting a primary care provider according to your policy. So you may be able to see a specialist from the network without getting a referral from your primary care provider.
Point Of Service plans (POS)
POS plans could be referred to as a combination between HMO and PPO. These plans are similar to HMO plans because they are cheap and you will be required to select a primary care provider from a limited list of doctors. Like PPO plans, POS plans enable you to see a specialist from outside the network if you accepted to share the costs and fill claims by yourself.
Top health insurance providers
At last and after you focus on a specific type of health insurance to apply for, it’s time to select your insurer. You will find a lot of options in the market, but it is more recommended to deal with insurance companies that are dominating the market in UK. They are trusted and recommended by their customers. The following are the top four health insurance companies in UK.
This insurance company exists in Bournemouth. It managed to get a big share of the market because its customers receive a lot of incentives when they keep active. Furthermore, its marketing strategy is based on who to persuade its customers by healthy living.
300 years of success managed to put Aviva on the top health insurance providers in UK, it covers all types of insurance and provide a wide range of policies including even income protection policies and diagnostics insurance. New customers receive a big incentive of 66% discount on their premiums if they spent the first year without claims.
It’s one of the largest health insurance companies in UK that is based in London. Furthermore its wide range of policies, Axa PPP provides additional services such as its massive online information resource and its 24-hour phone service for health support.
Bupa is a very large company that doesn’t only provide health insurance but it also runs care homes, hospitals, health centers, and dental services. These services enables the company to have a large share in the health insurance industry. Furthermore UK residents, foreigners come from different countries to receive treatment in Bupa hospitals and health centers.