Understanding Health Insurance as a First Time Policy Holder

Published on: June 28, 2024
Couple meeting a health advisor

Private health insurance is becoming more widely regarded as an essential for those from all walks of life, as the amount of people looking into the benefits it provides continues to rise.

The number of people seeking specialist advice through Clarity Health Insurance has risen by 50% in the last three years, and those taking out PMI policies through has increased by a fifth in the last few months alone, as greater numbers increasingly live in fear of NHS waiting times here in the UK.

There are many benefits to private medical insurance – it allows you to take charge of your health, offers flexibility in selecting care providers, helps avoid lengthy NHS wait times, and supports access to treatments not readily available through public healthcare.

For anyone taking their first steps towards investing in private health insurance, however, choosing which policy to go for – and trying to understand if it suits your individual needs – can feel daunting. To help you on your health insurance journey, we’ve looked at some of the most common questions we’re asked and gathered all the relevant information here in return.

What does private health insurance cover?

The kind of conditions covered by your private health insurance will depend on the level of cover you choose to take out. Just like the insurance policies you might take out for your car or your home, there will be different cover options available, ranging from the most basic to fully comprehensive levels of cover.

In general, most health insurance policies will cover you for treatment and consultations in private hospitals, access to digital GP services, and outpatient services including appointments, x-rays, scans and physiotherapy services too.

At its most basic, private health insurance is a way to help you get a diagnosis more quickly than is often achievable through mainstream health services. This gives you opportunity to access treatment more quickly either through your private healthcare provider, or through NHS services, which can be particularly helpful in situations where a health condition is considered to be critical or life-threatening.

At a more comprehensive level, private health insurance can also provide you with a payout to help cover the financial cost while you or a loved one is in hospital, as well as funding mental health services, complementary therapies such as acupuncture and homeopathy, dental expenses, and more.

What do I need to know before taking out a health insurance policy?

You’re going to want to establish a few key areas that are important to you and your individual situation before you take out a health insurance policy, so that you know what you’re looking for from the cover provided. These should include:

  • A realistic and affordable budget for your monthly premium.
  • Identifying the people in your household that stand to benefit the most.
  • Consideration of any pre-existing health conditions that could affect your premium.
  • What kind of treatments are non-negotiable to you and what kind of medical support would be ‘nice to have’.

Once you know exactly what you’re looking for, talk to a health insurance expert who can help you find a policy that ticks all the boxes, as well as making sure you have a fuller understanding of your cover.

Can private health insurance work for me?

As the demand for private healthcare increases, those providing it are working harder than ever to make it an accessible option, both financially and practically, for as many people as possible.

Navigating the diverse array of options available to you can be complex, but with the right guidance from an independent specialist adviser, you can make sure your best interests are covered with little to no additional cost to you involved.

With affordable monthly premiums in place at the outset, over time taking out private healthcare shields against exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, ensuring financial security and peace of mind in times of medical need. The key is to get the right protection in place as soon as you’re able, and to adjust your level of cover as you go on.

If you are looking for support when it comes to choosing the right private health insurance policy for you and your family, you can contact the Clarity Health Insurance team for more help and advice here or by calling 01242 350071.