Although the National Health Service (NHS) does a fantastic job given the tight resources available, it can sometimes struggle to provide fast care to those who need it.
With potentially long NHS waiting lists, many families can find their lives put on hold when a loved one is injured or falls ill. That’s why it can make sense to consider Family Health Insurance.
With a large range of plans on offer, there should be something to fit with every family’s requirements and budget.
Family Health Insurance is designed primarily to ensure that you and your loved ones can access fast and efficient medical treatment if diagnosed with an acute health problem.
There are 3 types of treatments that can potentially be covered by a Family Medical Insurance plan:
This means that if anything serious happens that requires a hospital bed or an overnight hospital stay you can rest assured that the necessary healthcare is there when you need it.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, is typically offered as an optional extra for an added premium. However, many families add it to their Health Insurance plan to ensure fast diagnosis of health problems. You can either opt for a level of outpatient cover with a financial limit of between £500 and £1,500 per year or opt to cover outpatient treatment in full.
One of the biggest benefits to having Private Health Insurance is the fact that you get access to cutting-edge cancer treatment, including drugs and procedures that aren’t routinely available on the NHS because of cost.
Other cancer benefits on certain policies include:
Private Health Insurance can provide valuable protection for you and your loved ones in more ways than you might think. The most notable benefit is, first of all, the reduced waiting time for treatments.
If you only need a minor procedure, this wait time may not be much of an issue to you.
However, if you or a member of your family are suffering from a debilitating health problem that is affecting quality of life – or, worse, preventing you from working and supporting your family – it is important that you are put on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
With a plan covering you and your loved ones, you don’t have to worry about waiting times.
Once you have been referred for your treatment, you can begin making plans right away and your treatment can be performed in a matter of days as opposed to weeks or months.
As well as covering the cost of your treatments, Family Private Medical Insurance has a range of additional benefits that can improve the quality of your family’s healthcare experience.
Most Family Health Insurance plans provide around-the-clock visiting hours and parent accommodation, so you can stay close by when your children require treatment.
In an NHS hospital, accommodation isn’t always available to parents who want to stay with their children. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if you have private medical cover.
In private hospitals, parents with children receiving treatment are provided private rooms where they can stay close to their children while still being able to get much needed rest.
Some plans also provide the option of including routine dental and optical cover to your policy for an additional premium.
While children can receive free cover from the NHS, adults and older children can benefit from inclusive dental and optical cover, helping them keep up with vital checkups.
Having a Health Insurance for your family allows you to arrange your medical appointments around your schedule rather than the other way around.
You can arrange the time of your treatments, the hospital you receive them in, and sometimes can even pick out your own specialist.
A range of different factors will affect the cost of your policy which are linked to your personal circumstances as well as the policy options you choose.
The cost of Private Health Insurance isn’t going to be the same for everyone because each family is different and will have different needs.
The first and one of the most significant factors is age. Unfortunately with age we tend to get more aches and pains and inevitably require more treatment. The older you are the greater the chance of you claiming on the policy and the more expensive your premiums.
The price of treatments in private hospitals across the UK isn’t always the same. In certain places like London, private treatments tend to cost more than in some other areas around the country.
Because of these differences in price, your living situation will impact the cost of your policy. If your local hospital list contains hospitals that are more expensive than others then you can expect to pay more in premiums.
Healthy or unhealthy lifestyle choices you make will influence how your Family Medical Insurance policy is priced.
If there are people covered by the policy who smoke or have an excessively high BMI, you can expect your premiums to be increased to account for their increased risk of claiming on the policy.
It is understandable that parents want the best healthcare for their children, partner and themselves.
However, not everyone is able to afford the best Health Insurance policies, so it can be really useful to understand which areas of cover impact the premium the most and tailor your cover to ensure it is within budget.
One of the biggest factors that will effect the cost of your policy is the level of outpatient cover. You can opt to place a limit on your level of outpatient treatment – either a monetary limit or a limit on the number of consultations / sessions – that are covered or it can be covered in full.
Limiting outpatient cover will reduce how comprehensive your policy is and might mean your policy falls short of covering all your outpatient consultations and diagnostic tests, leaving you to either fund the shortfall privately or revert back to the NHS.
It is possible to add an excess to your family plan – excesses tend to range from £100-£1,000+.
The larger the excess the more it will reduce your premiums. For example, premiums could be reduced by around 10% if you add an excess of £200.
With a 6 Week Wait option added to your policy, you agree to have your medical treatments on the NHS if the waiting list for that inpatient treatment on the NHS is below 6 weeks. Otherwise you would go private straight away.
The 6 week NHS wait doesn’t impact your ability to receive outpatient treatment if you’ve added outpatient care to your policy. This means all diagnostic tests / scans etc. will be taken care of privately as soon as possible; the 6 week NHS wait only kicks in once it becomes apparent you need inpatient care requiring the use of a hospital bed.
Another option to help you achieve affordable Family Health Insurance cover is to choose a reduced or local hospital list. A reduced hospital list usually means limiting your hospital list to private wards of NHS hospitals or exclusively local hospitals.
When comparing Family Health Insurance plans it is important that you look beyond the cost of a policy. This is because each provider offers something different that may or may not align with your family’s needs.
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.
Based in Tunbridge Wells, AXA PPP Healthcare has helped people to access healthcare services since 1940.
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.
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+, which includes mental health cover as standard.
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.
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.
We are here to offer impartial and, most importantly, fee-free Health Insurance advice.
If you want to talk through your options to make sure you are looking at the most suitable cover then don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333.
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry
Martyn Coates from Drewberry provided an excellent service with prompt handling of any question that we asked him. I would highly recommend Drewberry for anyone wanting Insurance.