While the UK’s healthcare system has magnificently fought Covid-19 over the last year and a half, pressures on the NHS in other areas have grown. In July 2021, the BBC reported that there are 5.3 million people waiting for routine NHS operations and procedures in England.
Health secretary, Sajid Javid, has also revealed he was “shocked” when officials warned him that the backlog could reach 13 million patients.
Considering the continuing battle against Covid-19 and lengthening NHS waiting lists, many of our clients have shown an interest in private medical insurance (PMI).
With health at the top of the agenda for many people, it is very apparent that retirees are increasingly considering PMI as they want to ensure that they have the best chance of enjoying their retirement.
To help you understand whether health insurance could be right for you, we have asked Terry Upham to share his thoughts. Terry is a private medical insurance specialist and runs TAU Advisory, who provide PMI through the Western Provident Association (WPA).
Here, Terry has highlighted six common myths about health insurance and why what you might think could be misguided.
Common myths surrounding health insurance
Health insurance can seem quite daunting and difficult to understand for many people, due to all the medical jargon and terms and conditions that can surround some policies.
This can lead to many misconceptions about health insurance, what it can be used for, and the cost of it. We like to make health insurance easy to understand for everyone and so have decided to look at some of the common myths surrounding health insurance.
By us sharing the facts with you, you’ll be able to make a better-informed decision when looking at health insurance for you, your family, or your business.
1. Health insurance is expensive
At WPA, our insurance policies are tailor-made to suit any budget and to provide the best level of cover. We offer a wide range of policies ranging from simple cash plans to full private medical insurance.
Our individual and multi-family policies aren’t claims-rated like other insurance companies. Premiums are worked out on a community-rated basis, by age and postcode, and increases are worked out by age and medical inflation on renewal.
We won’t individually penalise a customer for claiming. This means the increases are moderated in a sustainable manner, ensuring that the policy remains affordable.
2. I’m young, fit, and healthy so I don’t need health insurance
Being young and healthy is the ideal time to look at medical insurance! A lot of people don’t think about insurance until they have a need to use it, by which point they may be looking at exclusions on a policy and being ineligible to put in the claim that they need the most.
Buying health insurance at a young age will be cheaper. It also acts as protection against illnesses or accidents that you may not expect that could result in the need to see a specialist or result in hospitalisation.
3. I need a full medical to take out health insurance
WPA do not require customers to undergo a full medical examination before taking out health insurance. There is a simple questionnaire that you can fill out when applying, or you can complete a declaration of health.
4. I smoke so I won’t get health insurance
Customers commonly think that, if they smoke, then there is no reason to look at health insurance as they won’t get insured.
This is untrue. Individuals who smoke have increased risks to their health but will still be eligible to take out health insurance. However, on individual policies they will be required to pay a slightly higher premium due to the risk that smoking brings. Corporate policies do not pay higher premiums for smokers.
5. If I have a pre-existing condition, I won’t get health insurance
It is always best to discuss pre-existing conditions with us. It will not necessarily mean that you will never have cover for the current condition, as there is an underwriting option that will allow you to be covered after a certain period of time if a condition is not ongoing.
WPA will not increase your premiums based on your health at the time of applying for insurance.
6. If I need private treatment, it’ll be cheaper to self-pay
Many people think that having private medical insurance isn’t worth the premium. Instead, they will self-pay if they wish to be seen privately for something when the NHS wait is too long.
Often the cost of one relatively minor procedure would pay for many years’ premiums. Below is a chart that we have produced to give examples of routine treatments and the costs incurred.
You can see that even relatively minor procedures represent many months’ premiums.
Find out more
When you are looking to buy health insurance it’s important that you fully understand:
The level of cover that you have chosen
How the underwriting works
The limitations of your policy.
Ensure that the policy that you buy fits in with your financial needs as well as your healthcare needs.
At WPA we offer free consultations and will happily explain everything in detail to you via telephone, e-mail, or a Zoom call. Hopefully we will soon be able to return to face-to-face appointments.