If I take out private health insurance will I still be able to use the NHS?

We are looking at taking out a comprehensive medical insurance plan and wanted to know whether we would be expected to rely solely on our private health plan or whether we can still use the NHS if we wish to.

Question asked by Alex Murray
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Answered by Tom Conner

What does private medical insurance cover?

Private health insurance and the services provided by the NHS are designed to work in tandem. Private medical insurance is designed to provide cover for treatment of acute conditions, the NHS will still be required for accident and emergency and the treatment of chronic conditions.

Medical insurance provides cover for inpatient treatment and depending on the level of cover you opt for outpatient treatment could to be covered. It is designed to bypass NHS waiting lists so you are able to receive treatment when you need it most, other benefits can include a choice of consultant and hospital for you treatment.

NHS and private cover working together…

Where private medical insurance falls short the NHS picks up, if you have a basic health insurance plan which only covers inpatient treatment the NHS will be available for outpatient tests, scans and consultations. Other areas where your health insurance will not cover you and the NHS will pick up is for treatment of long term chronic conditions such as diabetes, where the treatment is ongoing. The NHS is also best positioned to deal with emergencies and thus generally speaking no emergency cover is provided on a private health plan.

When considering private health insurance it is important to review the terms and conditions of the insurers, they do often differ in the level of cover provided and the options available on the policies. Should you require any guidance please do not hesitate to give us a call, we are here to help.

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This information does not constitute financial or other professional advice. You should consult your professional adviser or contact us directly on 02084327333 should you require financial advice. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.
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