Health Insurance For Doctors

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15-02-2020

What is Doctors Health Insurance?

As a doctor or other medical professional, you know firsthand the strain the NHS is facing from an older, sicker population, staffing shortages and a funding squeeze.

That’s why so many of our Private Medical Insurance clients are doctors, surgeons and nurses.  All of them wanting to ensure they can get the treatment they need for eligible, acute conditions exactly when they need it rather than having to wait for the NHS.

Private Health Insurance will offer doctors access to:

  • Private healthcare when you need it most, bypassing NHS waiting lists
  • Peace of mind — you know that there are no waiting lists and you’ll get the highest standards of care
  • A choice over where and when your treatment will take place, and the specialist who treats you.

What Does Private Medical Insurance Cover?

Health Insurance is designed to cover acute conditions, i.e. those that can be treated and you are able to recover from. Due to NHS funding pressures or long waiting lists opting for private healthcare can often mean faster, superior care for such acute conditions.

Inpatient and Day-Patient Cover

Most plans cover inpatient and day-patient treatment in full as standard.

Inpatient cover involves all treatment that requires the use of a hospital bed overnight. It generally involves a surgical procedure.

For more minor procedures, you may be seen on a day-patient basis, where a bed is required for initial recovery but you’re able to be released the same day without spending a night in hospital.

Outpatient Cover

The best Private Health Insurance plans will also cover outpatient treatment, at least in part. It’s here Health Insurance can really come into its own by speeding up your diagnostic treatment and care.

Outpatient treatment also covers care such as physiotherapy, which can have a long waiting list on the NHS.

Whether or not you have outpatient cover on the policy will be a major factor in how much Doctors Health Insurance costs. There are three ‘tiers’ of outpatient cover:

  • No outpatient cover
  • Limited outpatient cover, which is capped at a set monetary amount each year such as £1,000
  • Full outpatient cover, where all eligible outpatient treatment is paid in full.

Receiving Treatment Without Outpatient Cover

If you choose to have a policy with no outpatient cover that only covers inpatient procedures, you’ll need to wait for NHS diagnostic tests and scans before being admitted for private inpatient care.

Private Health Insurance No Outpatient Process

Receiving Treatment With Outpatient Cover

Adding outpatient cover to your policy means that your treatment can be taken care of privately following a referral from your NHS GP.

This includes all diagnostic tests and scans leading up to your private treatment.

Private Medical Insurance Outpatient Process

Additional Health Insurance Options for Doctors

In addition to deciding whether you need outpatient cover as well as inpatient cover there are other options to consider adding to the policy.

Physiotherapy and Alternative Therapies

Not all Health Insurance providers automatically offer therapies such as physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment and osteopathy as standard. Some will require you to add additional therapies cover if you want to benefit from such treatments.

This said, some insurers may cover certain therapies under outpatient cover and will cover the cost for a fixed number of sessions if you add outpatient treatment to your policy.

Certain insurers even have special ‘fast-track’ treatment options for musculoskeletal problems requiring physiotherapy, where you can skip your GP and self-refer for private treatment.

Overseas Cover

As a doctor, you may be thinking of taking a sabbatical and working overseas.

For this, you could need some form of International Medical Insurance, which will extend your cover beyond the UK to provide protection overseas.

Some UK policies have the option to be covered overseas for an additional premium, but if you’re going to be living or working abroad for any length of time you’ll likely need a specialist International Health Insurance policy. This could even be a condition of your working visa, so it pays to check before you travel.

Psychiatric Cover

Psychiatric cover is another optional add-on to Health Insurance policies.

While the NHS is under strain in many areas, arguably one of the biggest areas of underfunding is in our mental health services.

Doctors often complain that mental health has taken a ‘back seat’ to physical health when it comes to NHS time and funding, with waiting lists for talking therapies, for example, being months or even years long.

Adding psychiatric cover to your policy will allow you to be seen privately if you develop a mental health condition, offering access to psychiatrists, psychologists and even private inpatient treatment should you ever need it.

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Do Doctors Need Health Insurance?

We all love the NHS. It’s a fantastic institution — to be able to offer healthcare free at the point of use to all, regardless of ability to pay, is a major source of national pride.

However, and NHS workers will have experienced this firsthand, the health service has come under unprecedented strain in the past decade. The population has grown, aged and become increasingly unhealthy.

On top of this, while the NHS has quite rightly previously enjoyed generous annual budgetary uplifts, over the past 10 years NHS budgets have barely grown above inflation under a program of austerity.

As demand has increased and budgets have been squeezed, NHS waiting lists have lengthened. This is where Health Insurance can step in and take some of the burden off the NHS by providing treatment for eligible acute conditions much faster than the NHS can currently provide.

The Cost of Health Insurance for Doctors

The cost of a Medical Insurance policy will not be the same for everyone. Premiums will change depending on your personal circumstances as well as the options you choose when taking out your policy.

Factors which will impact the cost of Health Insurance include:

  • Age
    Many medical problems become more likely as we age, so the older we are the higher the cost of Health Insurance will be to compensate
  • Address
    Your address impacts the cost of Private Health Insurance because you’ll likely want to be treated in local hospitals, which have different pricing structures depending on where they are in the country. The best Central London hospitals, for instance, tend to cost the most.
  • Health and Medical History
    Your current state of health and medical history will give your insurer an idea of what to expect in terms of your future health. If you aren’t in top health when you take out your policy or have a history of serious health problems, your policy will likely cost more.
  • Smoker status
    It’s common knowledge that smoking has detrimental affects on your health, which means that regular smokers will pay more for Health Insurance.

Example Costs

To provide you with estimate costs we’ve researched all the major providers in the UK market and assumed the following to obtain pricing:

  • All the individuals are in good health
  • They’re non-smokers
  • They’re looking for a mid-range policy with a mid-range hospital list
  • They’re willing to pay a £100 excess
  • They’ll be underwritten on a moratorium basis
  • They don’t want any additional extras on their policy
  • They’re based in the same postcode as our Brighton office.

With these assumptions we have calculated pricing of a Mid-Range Health Insurance policy for different age groups as well as for individuals, couples and families.

Cost of Health Insurance for Single Individuals

25 Year Old
50 Year Old
£63 per month
£113 per month

Cost of Private Health Insurance for Couples

30 Year Old Couple
£125 per month

Cost of Private Medical Insurance for Families

Family with 35 Year Old Parents
13 and 11 year old children
£200 per month

While the above prices give a rough idea as to the cost of a doctors Health Insurance policy, it’s also worth mentioning that certain providers will offer doctors and other medical professionals discounts on their policy up of to 15% year-on-year. As independent advisers we’ve got access to all such insurers, so if you’re interested in this please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Common Doctor Health Insurance Questions...

  • Can I still use the NHS if I have Doctors Health Insurance?

    Yes, of course. Even with a Doctors Health Insurance policy some aspects of your treatment (e.g. emergency care, ‘standard’ maternity treatment and management of chronic conditions) will continue to be dealt with by the NHS, anyway.

    Private Health Insurance isn’t designed to replace the NHS entirely. Instead, it’s designed to supplement and complement it, stepping in to provide care for treatable, acute conditions.

    You’ll likely keep your NHS GP, as they’ll be the ones making onward referrals for private treatment (although these days many insurers have an app where you can see a remote GP via your smartphone if you wish).

  • How can I reduce my Health Insurance premiums?

    If you’re concerned about the cost of Private Health Insurance, these policies are modular in nature and can be adjusted in many ways to lower the cost of cover to suit your budget.

    • Excess
      This is an amount that you agree to pay to cover some of the cost of your treatment upfront. Just like with car insurance, increasing the excess you’re willing to pay will decrease your premiums. Excesses start at £0 and run all the way up to £5,000 depending on the insurer.
    • NHS 6 week wait
      This option will make it so that you will only be able to claim for treatment on your policy if the NHS waiting list for the same inpatient treatment is longer than 6 weeks. This will considerably reduce your premiums and help you protect your no claims bonus. Note that this only applies to inpatient treatment — if you’ve added outpatient cover to the policy, you’ll receive private outpatient diagnostic care straight away.
    • Hospital list
      Many insurers offer you a choice of hospital lists to choose from, ranging from limited to Central London. The most comprehensive hospital lists, covering the top private facilities around the UK, will add to your premiums while limited hospital lists that maybe cover only local private hospitals and private wings in NHS hospitals can help you reduce your premiums.
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Compare Best UK Health Insurance Companies

We have written comprehensive reviews of the best UK health insurance providers. The below table gives an overview of the level of cover provided and the additional options that are available.

aviva

Aviva

Aviva is the largest insurer in the UK. Aviva’s PMI offering is their Healthier Solutions product, which you can tailor to your own budget.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium / Continued Personal Medical Exclusions
  • Excess
    £100 / £200 / £500 / £1,000 / £3,000 / £5,000 per year
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    £0 / Reduced (limited to £500 or £1,000) / Full outpatient cover
axa ppp healthcare

AXA PPP Healthcare

Based in Tunbridge Wells, AXA PPP Healthcare has helped people to access healthcare services since 1940.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium
  • Excess
    £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000* / £2,500* / £5,000*
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / radio/chemotherapy** / Optional mental health cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Standard or Full
bupa

Bupa

Established over 60 years ago, Bupa is a UK household name. Bupa Health Insurance has two tiers of over: Comprehensive (full inpatient and outpatient care) and Treatment & Care (inpatient-only). Both options include mental health cover as standard.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium
  • Excess
    £0-£500
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / radio/chemotherapy / Mental health cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £750 / £1,000
the exeter

The Exeter

Founded in 1927, Exeter Family Friendly is a mutual Friendly Society with over 60,000 members. The Exeter’s Health Insurance policy is known as The Exeter Health+.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Fixed moratorium / Rolling moratorium / Continued personal medical exclusions
  • Excess
    £0 / £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000 / £3,000 / £5,000
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £1,000
vitality

Vitality

Vitality (formerly PruHealth) launched in October 2004 as a joint venture between Prudential and South African health insurance provider Discovery. Vitality has an innovative approach to health insurance in their Vitality plan, rewarding you with points and reduced premiums for healthy living.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium / Continued personal medical exclusions
  • Excess
    £0 / £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000 once a year or once per claim
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £750 / £1,000 / £1,250 / £1,500
*Not available with standard outpatient option **For those who have had cancer before taking out the plan or who removed the cover for cheaper PMI, AXA's NHS Cancer Support will see the patient treated for cancer on the NHS but with any drugs not routinely available on the NHS paid for by AXA

Get Doctors Health Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

For many doctors and surgeons private medical insurance provides them with peace of mind knowing they are able to receive private healthcare treatment quickly for acute medical conditions whilst having the NHS on standby for emergencies and chronic conditions.

Why Speak to Us…

We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are independent and impartial
    Drewberry isn’t tied to any insurance company, so we can provide completely impartial advice to make sure you get the most appropriate policy based solely on your needs.
  • We’ve got bargaining power on our side
    This allows us to negotiate better premiums for you than you going direct yourself.
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
    You will speak to a named expert with a direct telephone and email. No more automated machines and no more being sent from pillar to post – you’ll have someone to speak to who knows you.
  • Benefit from our 5-star service
    We pride ourselves on providing a 5-star service, as can be seen from our 2836 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5.
  • Gain the protection of regulated advice
    You are protected. Where we provide a regulated advice service we are responsible for the policy we set-up for you. Doing it yourself or going direct to an insurer won’t provide this protection, so you won’t benefit from these securities.
  • Claims support when you need it the most
    You have support should you need to make a claim. The most important thing when it comes to insurance is that claims are paid and quickly. We are here to support you during the claims process and make sure it’s as smooth and stress free as possible.

If it is all getting a little confusing and you want to talk you through your options to make sure you find the most suitable cover please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Pop us a call on 02074425880 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Employee Benefits

I had a great experience with Drewberry, they have a lot of knowledge and expertise with life insurance and income protection and were able to advise me and arrange suitable products. Highly recommend.

Lachlan Mellings
12/08/2020
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