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Private Medical Insurance: A Necessity or a Luxury?

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 12 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Private Medical Insurance National

Private Medical Insurance (PMI) is an individual decision. It is your personal choice of healthcare provision. It is however, about more than just having a private room with a tv and nurses at your beck and call. Private Medical Insurance can give you that extra peace of mind.

Being aware of the claims ratio – the percentage that is paid in premiums and then paid out in claims – may influence your decision about whether or not to seriously consider Private Medical Insurance. Informing yourself with this knowledge will help you work out whether or not a premium is worth paying.

To Buy Or Not To Buy?

When trying to figure out if the quoted Insurance premiums are worth paying, you may want to consider this:

  • Does the Private Medical Insurance policy provide protection for all your needs, but costs much more than you anticipated?
  • Is the policy’s profit margin low but there are far too many exclusions for your liking?
  • What are your risks? Do you lead a very active lifestyle?
  • Do you have sufficient savings?
  • Could you potentially cover the cost of illness or injury if you didn’t have Private Medical Insurance?
  • Will this offer you the peace of mind you are looking for?

Inform Yourself

If you feel a Private Medical Insurance policy is a personal necessity be sure to arm yourself with as much information as possible before you start paying the monthly premiums. Do you feel you are getting good advice and comprehensive value from your insurance provider? Ask as many questions as you feel inclined to.

You may also want to compare quotes before proceeding, as it never hurts to have options. Remember also to check details regarding pre-existing medical conditions and always carefully read the small print.

Private Medical Insurance allows you to purchase coverage for your specific personal needs. You decide which services you want to pay for. PMI also protects you wherever you work, rest or play. You are in control of where and when you receive treatment and by whom.

Private Medical treatment is categorised in a number of ways:

  • In-patient treatment.
  • Out-patient treatment.
  • Day-patient treatment.

This insurance will however not cover you for pre-existing conditions, chronic or long-term illness, GP services and accident and emergency admission. Some services are included in some policies – overseas treatment, out-patient diagnostic tests and out-patient specialist consultation and treatment.

Private Medical Insurance premiums will also usually rise, the older you get. This is because older people are more likely to require medical treatment. Your individual premiums, however, will not be influenced by the number of claims you may make.

Necessity or Luxury?

Don’t forget that the private doctor who is tending to your care is likely to be an NHSdoctor working privately to boost his/her salary. The level of care available will be the same in both domains, although the difference will be the cost to you and the variety of facilities and amenities on offer.

Your health issue is dealt with much faster privately, but if time is not a concern the free NHS service may appear a more attractive option. Your National Insurance contributions have paid for this service so you are entitled to use it.

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