Drewberry™ provide pensions, investment and insurance advice for Money to the Masses readers throughout the UK.

Inpatient vs Outpatient PMI Cover

What is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment?

Inpatient and outpatient treatment are the two key components of medical treatment. It’s very important to understand the difference between them when choosing a Health Insurance plan, as not every policy offers what’s generally referred to as ‘full PMI‘ or comprehensive health insurance, where both inpatient and outpatient treatment are covered.

  • Inpatient cover – usually offered as standard by Medical Insurance, this covers the cost of providing treatment when a person is admitted in to hospital for a surgical operation.
  • Outpatient cover – the most basic PMI plans don’t offer outpatient cover, which begins from an initial investigation after a GP referral and might involve blood tests and diagnostic scans etc.

For minor surgical procedures, you might be covered on a day patient basis, where you need a hospital room but are discharged the same day of the procedure without spending the night in that bed.

Compare Top 10 UK
 Health
Insurers
 
Takes approx. 60 seconds
Level of Cover
Excess
Date of Birth
Loading your options...
Thank you for using our Quote Tool
If you need some help, just call us!
T: 02074425880
Our in-house Experts are here to provide FREE impartial advice!
Our Experts can answer all your questions
Our Experts can send you more appropriate options based on your personal circumstances

Very important if you are either Self-Employed or a Company Director.

Our online quote tool is good but our Experts are better

Oue Experts have access to far more insurers and can often find a better deal offline.

Saves you time, let our Experts do what they are best at
 

What is inpatient treatment?

Inpatient treatment involves being admitted in to hospital for a surgical operation and requires a stay of at least one night.

Alternatively, minor operations can be provided on a day patient basis, where you have a hospital room but are discharged later the same day.

The cost of inpatient treatment is made up of factors including:

  • catering, the hospital room itself and related amenities (‘hotel costs’)
  • initial blood tests and other checks to ensure you’re fit and well for the procedure
  • fees for the medical and hospital staff (e.g. surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, porters)
  • fees for the medical care itself (e.g. the operation, drugs required during the operation etc.).
 

What is outpatient treatment?

Outpatient treatment begins from an initial investigation following a referral from your GP and can be for a consultation involving blood tests, x-rays, MRI scans and so on.

Outpatient treatment may lead to a diagnosis of a condition that requires further treatment, such as medication, or a referral for further outpatient appointments, such as physiotherapy or chiropody.

However, often the initial diagnosis is that the patient requires surgical intervention, which will be inpatient treatment.

Need Help? Start Live Chat with our Experts  

Neil
Pensions Advice

Robert
Income Protection
Should I get outpatient PMI cover?

Do I need Medical Insurance with outpatient cover?

Get expert Medical Insurance advice from Nadeem

You don’t have to get outpatient cover as part of your Health Insurance. Choosing a more basic PMI (inpatient-only) policy will allow you to get cheaper premiums in most cases. However, you’ll be sacrificing your level of cover.

Nadeem Farid
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

If you don’t opt for outpatient cover, then you’ll have to wait for the NHS for diagnostic tests before being referred for private inpatient treatment if necessary.

Inpatient-only PMI is a basic Medical Insurance that doesn't offer the same benefits as comprehensive PMI

If, however, the results of the diagnostic tests you’ve waited for on the NHS require more outpatient treatment – e.g. physiotherapy – you’ll again be subject to NHS waiting lists.

Also, while a comprehensive PMI policy will cover you for follow-up outpatient appointments after you spend time as an inpatient for an operation, this isn’t the case for inpatient-only Medical Insurance.

For any postoperative care on an inpatient-only policy, you’ll either have to use the NHS or self-fund a visit to your private provider.

 

Are there other ways to reduce the cost of PMI?

There are options for finding cheaper Medical Insurance other than opting for inpatient-only cover.

You can play around with some of the benefits on offer and increase your excess, for example.

How to make PMI more affordable

There’s also a six-week NHS waiting period offered by some providers, where you’re eligible to be treated under your medical insurance only if the wait on the NHS for the treatment you require exceeds six weeks.

Providers have introduced an array of choices to reduce the cost of PMI, such as limiting hospitals choices and consultant networks, offering no-claims discounts, guided medical pathways, offer a variety of excesses on your policy and introducing modular healthcare plans.

Get Medical Insurance help and advice today

Looking for expert Private Health Insurance advice?

To make sure you’re getting the Medical Insurance cover you’re looking for, why not give our experts a call on 02084327333? We’ll be able to talk through the huge variety of options available for you and help you make an informed decision.

With a vast array of choice in terms of providers of private medical treatment, choosing the right provider and plan that suits your needs is becoming more and more difficult.

This has only intensified thanks to competition between providers and the growing policy options they’re offering as a result. With our expertise at Drewberry we can help you by identifying what are the most important needs for you and tailoring a plan that best fits in with your needs, helping you make the right choice.

Nadeem Farid
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

Compare Top 10 UK
 Health
Insurers
 
Takes approx. 60 seconds
Level of Cover
Excess
Date of Birth
Loading your options...
Thank you for using our Quote Tool
If you need some help, just call us!
T: 02074425880
Our in-house Experts are here to provide FREE impartial advice!
Our Experts can answer all your questions
Our Experts can send you more appropriate options based on your personal circumstances

Very important if you are either Self-Employed or a Company Director.

Our online quote tool is good but our Experts are better

Oue Experts have access to far more insurers and can often find a better deal offline.

Saves you time, let our Experts do what they are best at

Frequently Asked Private Medical Insurance Questions

 
I have been looking to take out private medical insurance and in doing my research I keep coming across...
 
I have had my renewal premium letter from my current health insurer and the premium has gone up from...
 
I am new to being self employed and am looking to replace a number of employee benefits I received through...
 
I have existing health cover and am look to find a cheaper alternative, I have claimed on the policy...
REVIEWS
EXCELLENT
4.93 / 5 Average
652 Reviews
Verified Buyer
Overall Rating
The whole process was a pleasure. Drewberry we're easy to deal with, polite, knowledgeable and helpful
Verified Buyer
Overall Rating
Very good, clear service would recommend to friends and family
Anon
Overall Rating
Sam Carr provided an efficient and professional service.
Verified Buyer
Overall Rating
Sam Carr provided a professional but enthusiastic service and helped make the whole process very straight forward. Goodness knows I have been through enough application forms recently. My insurance product was never going to be easy to find and I had been rejected on a number of other occasions through others ironically due to well managed common health conditions. I identified Drewberry in a last and disappointing trawl on th web to find someone that actually wanted to take on a difficult case like me. Some brokers wouldn't even consider me. When we applied for my first choice product Sam wasn't at all deterred by the long wait for my GP report or the final rejection that came back from the insurer, sadly I have become used to it. Within a day he had lined up the second choice and to my surprise he had hit the nail on the head and introduced me to the correct insurer and terms for my needs whilst nogotiating an excellent premium. I am extremely satisfied with what Sam has achieved for me and I would have no hesitation in recommending either him or Drewberry to friends, family and and business contacts. In the future, Drewberry will be my first point of contact. Many thanks!
Kym
Overall Rating
Tailored to my need and the staff gave very good service