Private Health & Medical Insurance - What are your options?

Private Health & Medical Insurance – What are your options?

There are several different types of private health insurance and it can be rather confusing when trying to select the right one for your circumstances.  

Here’s a beginner’s guide to private health insurance.

Accident and sickness insurance

These are private health insurance policies that are offered on an annual basis.  

These plans offer a lump sum benefit pay-out should you have an accident resulting in:

  • death of the life assured
  • loss of a limb or limbs
  • irreversible loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • permanent and total disability

Weekly payments will be offered in the event of temporary total or partial disability caused by an accident or through illness.

Sickness benefit is usually paid after a short deferred period, generally seven days, and continues for a maximum of 52 weeks. The benefits paid out from an accident and sickness insurance plan are not taxable, and any lump sum pay-outs are tax free.

Private health insurance plans

Private health insurance policies are designed to cover the cost of private medical treatment both as in out-patient and in-patient. Cover includes fees for consultants, surgeons and anaesthetists, as well as private ambulance and hospital room charges.

There are different types of private medical insurance policies. Some policies will provide you with a cash pay-out should you decide to use the NHS rather than private care. The cost of these policies is based upon the age of the proposer, the hospital band required and the number of family members to be included under the policy. Hospital bands are worked out depending upon the area you live in and what facilities they have available.

Some insurers offer reduced premiums for certain policy exclusions, for example, no out-patient cover. You can also reduce the cost further by electing to pay an excess on the policy.

Premiums are reviewed annually. What you will pay increases as you get older or make claims on the policy. Many private medical insurance providers do not require medical evidence from new applicants but be warned; they will not pay-out if you do not declare an existing medical condition and subsequently try to claim for it.

Benefits from private medical insurance policies are not generally taxable.

Critical illness policies

A critical illness plan will pay out should you develop a pre-determined illness or disease during the life of the policy.

Policy terms and conditions do vary considerably and it is very important that you understand exactly what you are covered for when you take out the policy. Most critical illness policies will pay out a lump sum upon definitive diagnosis by a specialist of a particular specified medical condition; heart attack, multiple sclerosis, cancer, kidney failure, stroke etc.  

There are different types of critical illness policy available. They can be stand-alone plans or add-ons to whole of life policies, endowment or term assurance plans.

The lump sum benefits paid out by a critical illness insurance policy are not taxable.

In conclusion

There are many different options when it comes to choosing private health insurance or medical insurance plans. To find out more about the best option for you and your family and to receive a free, no obligation quote, contact us today.