What is Self Employed Health Insurance?
Self Employed Health Insurance offers individuals who work for themselves access to private healthcare.
The UK’s growing army of self-employed workers – both sole traders and company directors – rarely get any sick pay and so can’t afford to be off work for long periods waiting for treatment on the NHS.
Opting for Private Health Insurance can often get you treated and back to work faster than if you’d waited for the NHS.
What Does Health Insurance for Self Employed Cover?
There are a number of additional options but the foundations of private medical insurance are built on two types of cover:
- Inpatient Cover
Where you’re admitted to hospital and occupy a bed for at least one night, such as for surgery. This is covered in full on most health insurance plans.
- Outpatient Cover
Usually an additional option which covers diagnostic tests and any procedures which don’t require the use of a hospital bed, such as blood tests and x-rays.
These options generally define what types of treatments that you can claim for on your policy. A serious surgical procedure, for example, would normally be covered under inpatient treatment and so would automatically be covered by your policy.
An x-ray or blood test, on the other hand, would fall under outpatient care, so you would need to add outpatient cover to your policy in order for your insurer to cover the cost.
Medical conditions tend to either be defined as acute or chronic:
- Acute Conditions
Come on quickly, and are accompanied by distinct symptoms that require short-term care and get better once they are treated.
- Chronic Conditions
Slower to develop, may progress over time and tend to be managed by treatment rather than ever getting better.
Self Employed Health Insurance will typically cover most acute health conditions, providing they are not pre-existing. Chronic conditions are not usually covered, however – for these you’d need to use the NHS.
To read in more depth exactly what’s covered by PMI, check out our guide ‘What Does Private Health Insurance Cover’.
Key Private Health Insurance Policy Options
You will have a fair few decisions to make when comparing Self Employed Medical Insurance policies as it is important to make sure you are comparing apples with apples.
These key options will have a considerable impact on the cover of your policy and the cost.
- Outpatient cover
Outpatient care is an optional extra on Health Insurance policies that allows you to receive diagnostic treatment privately rather than on the NHS. Depending on your insurer, you will have the option to either cover all outpatient treatments in full or receive limited outpatient cover based on a monetary limit per year.
An Excess is an agreed upon amount that you are willing to contribute towards the cost of the treatments you claim for. Depending on the terms of your policy, this excess may need to be paid per claim or per year. Adding an excess to your policy can help you reduce your premiums.
- Hospital List
Some insurers will give you several options in terms of the list of hospitals where you’re able to receive your treatments. Choosing a more comprehensive list means that you will have more options as to where you can be treated, including access to the top UK hospitals in Central London. However, the more prestigious the hospitals you add to your policy, the more expensive your premiums will be.
- Cancer Cover
Most policies include cover for cancer treatments and therapies automatically, although some insurers offer an extended cancer cover option that covers more than just treatment, such as prostheses, wigs and scalp cooling to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy.
- NHS 6 Week Wait
When added to your policy, the NHS 6 Week Wait means you will only be able to claim for treatment on your insurance if the waiting list for NHS treatment provided is longer than 6 weeks. This can notably reduce the cost of your policy if you’re willing to wait 6 weeks for the treatment you need.