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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.