Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Do you have personal medical insurance ? Or PMI tricks of the trade

If you're insured via a company scheme you still need to keep reading this post - you never know when you might leave, get made redundant, stop being eligible, set up your own business and you might need the cover I'm about to talk about too !

So do you have PMI - 'Private Medical Insurance - in place ?

If you're not in a medical insurance scheme through work you really need to think about whether you need this kind of cover. Broadly medical insurance pays for all eligible secondary care - so usually no GP related services but (depending on the plan benefits you have) all secondary care that is required afterwards - seeing a consultant, having diagnostic tests, any in-patient and day case treatment you might need and then follow ups and therapy afterwards.

Does that sound like something you might be interested in ? If so here are some additional factors or 'tricks of the trade' (from a 22 year veteran of the medical insurance industry) for you to consider :

Waiting lists - for people who need treatment in hospital waiting on an NHS waiting list can be both inconvenient and painful and with PMI there are no waits, you just book your consultation and treatment (once the insurer authorises it) with the consultant. Some insurers ask you to visit a particular doctor but many allow the choice of any consultant which means you and your GP find you the right clinician for your exact health requirements.

Specialist attention - within the private healthcare system you will never see a junior doctor. You will always receive the best attention of the senior doctor. This specialist attention is a vital point and many nurses and support staff in private hospitals enjoy the reassurance of knowing that their doctor colleagues are experienced and at the very top of their game as obviously do the patients.  The ratio of nurses to their patients in private clinics is also high so this doesn't hurt either !

Cleanliness - private hospitals have a deserved reputation for excellent cleanliness. In particular infection rates for hospital acquired infections (which all treatment providers are required to report) are considerably lower in the private sector. The insurer : BUPA reported recently that over 65% of people note hospital clean-ness as a factor when purchasing the cover. In short private hospitals can afford a much more intensive and effective infection surveillance program

Ease of access and worklife balance - the above factors mean that for certain people not having private medical isn't isn't an option. If you need to juggle a busy work and home life one simply cannot afford to be unable to access medical treatment quickly and conveniently.

If your job has any kind of level of responsibility then most couldn't simply wait on an NHS list to see a consultant and not be able to work. More so, taking off time during work for many at all career levels is difficult - with PMI you plan which doctor you see and when.

Flexibility and affordability of cover - modern medical insurance plans offer an enormous range of plan options and I can almost always find some cover for people that ticks most of the boxes we've discussed above. PMI is actually an awful lot more affordable than most people think, especially given the actual costs of private treatment when you look into it.

So there lots of things to think about and I'm passionate about this, the number of clients who come up to me after getting sick and wanting the cover but of course by that stage the conditions they need to be covered for will possibly be excluded by underwriting - NOW is the time to act and not after you have a live medical problem.

Generally, however old you are the cover is probably going to be less than you might think for a plan that is at least halfway decent and it is vital that you speak to an independent broker like myself to find out which cover and which insurer might suit you.

Over the last six years of running my own private medical insurance advisory practice I have advised hundreds of personal clients including many high net worth individuals but I recognise that regardless of income or age everybody needs to take control of their health and finances and my role is to facilitate that for you.

For more information contact :

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant
Part of Premier Choice Group
T. 07792 075748
E. philknight@pch.uk.com
@localventure2 on Twitter Or

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