The UK may be blessed to have a National Health Service, but every day seems to bring new press reports about how the NHS is underfunded, understaffed and struggling to meet waiting time deadlines.
To improve your chances of receiving the medical care you want, and when you want it, health insurance may provide a complementary solution.
If you are interested in arranging such cover, what are some of the important things to look for when comparing health insurance quotes?
Spoilt for choice
one of the first things to strike you might be the sheer number of potential insurers and the even greater number of health care plans on offer;
this may be all to the consumer’s advantage but might make the task of comparing competing products more than a little bewildering;
therefore, you might want to enlist the help of specialist brokers in this field of insurance;
a number of them have an extensive range of working relationships with all the leading health insurers and are able to use this expertise to help make the necessary comparisons on your behalf;
some may even offer to match any other quote you have received elsewhere for comparable health insurance;
What is covered
it is important to know from the outset – and essential to making any meaningful comparison – to know just what each policy offers;
policies are likely to vary, for instance, on the range of conditions treated and the facilities enjoyed whether you are an outpatient, day patient or inpatient – the general principle, of course, is that the more you pay, the greater the level of benefits;
with something as valuable as your health, it is unlikely to be a question of the cheapest cover, but the cover that represents the best value for money;
nevertheless, the Citizens Advice Bureau recommends that you make sure you are always going to be able to afford the premiums – having to cancel the cover when you are likely to need it the most may be the last thing you want to happen;
in order to manage the cost of premiums, you might want to compare the effective of accepting a higher level of excess or by agreeing to share a certain proportion of the costs of any health care;
you might also want to retain the option of continuing to use NHS facilities, provided the treatment you need is delivered within a certain number of weeks;
restricting the number of hospitals at which you may be treated may also help to reduce the cost of premiums charged by most providers;
Pre-existing medical conditions
however you compare health insurance quotes and whichever provider you finally choose, you are going to be asked a number of questions about your current state of health – these are “material facts” which any insurer has the right to know;
whether a medical questionnaire asks the specific question or not, it is vitally important that you disclose any condition from which you might be suffering or have suffered in the recent past – failure to do so may lead to the insurer subsequently rejecting any claim you make.
The comparison of health insurance quotes may be complicated by the sheer number of insurance providers and different levels of cover. With the help of a provider also offering the facility for such comparisons, however, your job may be made considerably easier – and a lot more successful.