Obtaining Health Insurance Quotes for Individuals

Looking to find health insurance quotes for individuals can be difficult. Many policies are geared towards protecting couples or adults, not for single persons looking for individual cover. However, private medical insurance is still an option for the individual, it just requires a little more attention to detail and research.

 

Before taking out any policy, whether for an individual or a larger family unit, there are several questions to address. First and foremost, the financial implications are not to be underestimated. Identifying realistically whether or not the insurance can be fitted into the existing budget is the first point of notice. Private medical costs are generally on the rise. The aging population is stretching the expenses of the NHS, as people reach increasingly older ages and therefore have more of the associated medical issues. The private sector is not immune from the effect of this overall trend. Everyone has their own unique financial circumstances, and for many people private health care is well worth the expense. For those in a position where they have less disposable income after their rent and other bills, it might not be the ideal solution.

 

With private medical cover, customers receive a number of elements which some people think are attractive. First of these is the fact that in the majority of cases, being a private patient dramatically reduces the waiting list for procedures. On the NHS, targets are set that there will be a maximum waiting time of 12 weeks between consultation and treatment. Some people feel that this is too long, and would rather seek treatment themselves. This is where private cover is very effective. In addition, many people choose to pursue private health care over concerns regarding infection and cleanliness in NHS hospitals. Reports of MRSA and other complications are often in the news, and some people believe that private treatment centres will be cleaner and therefore safer. With private insurance, there is also the chance to receive treatments which are not available on the NHS, including medications, and there is more likelihood that the same consultant or doctor will be seen throughout the process, adding confidence and continuity.

 

Some individuals find that they have private health care cover through their workplace. This is not always comprehensive, but can sometimes be augmented with additional contributions for a cost effective coverage. Alternatively, using online comparison services can help to find the right level of cover at the right price.

Benefits of Finding Health Insurance Online

The popularity of the internet is meaning that more and more people are able to shop around for the best possible service and price, and looking for health insurance online is no different. For the savvy customer, using the internet to compare packages is an easy way to read lots of data in one go, removing the need to contact different insurers separately and answer the same kind of questions more than once. The advantages go a long way towards explaining why online shopping and online comparison shopping for services like health insurance have become such an accepted part of the purchasing experience.

Cost is a significant factor. In this time of economic uncertainty, people want to feel confident that they have not spent too much money or been otherwise ‘duped’ into spending more than they had originally intended. When speaking to a sales advisor working for one particular insurer, they are only able to provide information about their levels of policy, the protection offered by their company and the prices they can quote. Online shopping offers the opportunity to compare many different providers in one go, making it easy to find the one with the right price as well as the right level of cover.

It is also incredibly convenient. Whilst an insurer’s office will be happy to talk to a potential customer, their office hours will be fixed and often overlap with the times of day when that potential customer is at their own workplace, making it difficult to find time to call and discuss the options. Also, as stated, having the same conversations with representatives of a number of different companies can be extremely tedious and frustrating. The internet is available at all times of day and is as flexible as required, allowing customers to research in their own time and to make sure they fully understand the different options before looking any further.

The internet also removes the pressure. Although health insurance and protection is not perhaps as highly pressured as other fields, salespeople still have targets to meet and guidelines to follow. For many people, the experience of speaking to a pushy salesperson can be incredibly off-putting and more than a little stressful. Only speaking to one or two advisors when the decision has been made using information from the internet and the policy quote received already removes this hurdle too, making it easier for everyone.

Different Health Care Plans

When people are looking for alternatives to NHS treatment, the range of available health care plans can be a little overwhelming. From private medical insurance to employee benefits, there are a number of options each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the terminology used will help to make the decision making process much easier.

Exclusions are an important part of every kind of healthcare insurance. Whether looking for fully comprehensive care or simply to be protected in the event of a serious accident, all policies have some kind of exclusion clause. In general, there are broad similarities in the things which are excluded from protection by health insurance. Firstly, most insurance packages will not cover pre-existing medical conditions, nor will they pay for chronic or long term treatments. Chronic conditions are usually defined as including diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and HIV or AIDs. Long term treatments that may not be included within the insurance include kidney dialysis and chemotherapy. Insurance will also be very unlikely to cover issues relating to substance abuse, non-essential procedures with cosmetic benefits nor for normal pregnancy – although if there are health complications, insurance will probably come into play and support the mother through the issues arising from her pregnancy or birthing. The majority of insurance packages cover for inpatient testing and surgeries, plus day surgery treatments. Coverage for outpatient treatment, such as scans, specialist consultations, chemotherapy and physiotherapy, can vary quite widely between the different policies.

Most private medical insurers have a range of packages with differing levels of cover. Generally there are three levels, much as with vehicle insurance: a fully comprehensive package protecting the majority of potential issues, a standard mid-level policy and a budget option. Some companies offer specialist packages which are more tailored for the customer’s exact needs: for instance, some companies are designed for a particular age group, or for individuals affected by a specified disease. Other policies are built that will cover a patient for a treatment if they have been waiting more than 6 weeks to be seen on the NHS, acting as a ‘back up’ to the conventional NHS approach. Modular policy plans are also becoming more popular, and these are where the relevant protection aspects are added to the basic structure to create insurance cover which is designed to be exactly what the customer requires. These start from the basic package which covers patients for in-patient surgeries, then adds onto that the level of outpatient or additional support which is desired.

Health Insurance UK Compare The Options

For people looking for advice on health insurance UK compare the different options available to make the best decision. Understanding the market in which health insurance is offered will also be useful, enabling customers to choose wisely and understand what is and isn’t covered by their insurance package.

Many people choose to have a private health insurance policy so that they are not reliant on the NHS, whether because they feel that it would be quicker to receive medical care from a private practice, because they are concerned about superbugs and other infections, or simply because they would like to be treated in private rooms rather than NHS wards. Private medical insurance can be a great help to people who for one reason or another do not want to rely on the National Health Service, but it is not designed to cover every single medical eventuality. There are a number of exclusions and other factors which can alter the package of insurance that an individual takes out.

Private medical insurance packages tend to come as one of two forms: either comprehensive protection, or moratorium cover. Comprehensive protection is also known as fully underwritten insurance, and are the kinds of health insurance which require full disclosure of all known medical history and existing conditions before the cover will be accepted by the insurer. Discussing the medical background and other illnesses will allow a personalised policy to be created, which will have clear explanations of what will and won’t be covered dependent on the information given. Moratorium cover is one which imposes a blanket exclusion on any pre-existing medical conditions stretching back for a stated number of years. A moratorium policy is usually to be found cheaper than fully underwritten care, but a health issue which materialises and is deemed to have arisen during the moratorium period will not be protected in the insurance.

Costs vary depending on personal circumstances: for example, a smoker’s insurance premium will be higher than a non-smoker would pay with the same background. Age, location, level of protection required and health background can all be factors in determining the cost of the policy. Moreover, premiums are likely to change as time progresses, with increasing age tending to lead to increased likelihood of illness. Additional features can usually be added to policies to cover what is needed. For example, mental health issues and their treatment are not usually covered in standard insurance packages but can often be negotiated with the insurer. Likewise, coverage for injuries sustained during extreme sports will not be standard but can be added on request.

Choosing a Health Plan

For most people, their awareness of any health plan is simply that the National Health Service is there when required. However, an increasing number of people are choosing to take control of their health situation and are looking into private health insurance to protect themselves and their families.

Private medical insurance is available to add to what is commonly available via the NHS. Some people have access to health insurance through their employer, who may have an arrangement for staff, whilst others decide to take out policies themselves to take advantage of a number of benefits. A health insurance policy will pay towards medical bills when a person is treated privately. Sometimes it pays the full fee, other times the patient is to pay a proportion of the total as agreed when they took out the insurance policy. People are entitled to use private medical care even without having insurance, but the costs tend to be prohibitive.

As with all kinds of insurance, there are given exclusions as well as factors which will be taken into account when the policy price is being calculated. When looking to choose the best health plan, it is important to not only compare the monetary figure being quoted but also to look at the levels of treatment being offered and any additional features which are desired. For instance, the basic policies of health insurance tend to cover people for in-patient treatment and day surgeries, but not for out-patient consultations or continued therapies. Some customers deem it enough to be looked after for inpatient care, whilst others would prefer to have insurance that covers them for their on-going needs as well.

Typically, a health insurer will not offer a policy to someone with a pre-existing or ongoing medical condition, including diabetes, epilepsy, HIV and AIDs related complications or hypertension. In these instances, potential customers would be advised to seek cover elsewhere, perhaps looking for a specialist insurer with experience of these kinds of patients. Standard insurance will also not cover for normal pregnancy and labour, nor for organ transplants or cosmetic procedures. Policies can usually be altered to cover people with mental health problems or with sports injuries, but these are typically discussed individually rather than forming part of a standard insurance package.

Health insurance can be a great comfort to those who do not wish to be treated on the NHS for fear of infection, who would like reduced waiting times for procedures or who are looking for surgeries or medications not available for free on the NHS. Looking into all the available options will help to determine whether it is right for an individual.

What’s Included In Health and Dental Insurance

For people considering taking out a policy of health and dental insurance, it is important to ensure that the full details are understood. Knowing the policy’s coverage and limitations will be crucially important in the event of a claim, as it could be devastating to need medical support and find that unfortunately an exclusion in the insurance document will prevent the company from helping.

A standard private medical insurance policy covers most of the majority of people’s healthcare needs. The insurance will cover an individual for any treatments which are deemed to be essential. This includes surgeries, consultations including outpatient treatments, nursing requirements and hospital stays. Health insurance can be compared to vehicular insurance in that there are several tiers of policy, ranging from the basic to the comprehensive. Additional care can be extended to people who have fully comprehensive insurance, which can allow for complementary therapies and even to include personal accident cover.

Just as with other insurance types, there are also a number of exclusions. These usually cover any pre-existing conditions or health problems, as well as any chronic illnesses. In the context of health insurance, a chronic condition is likely to be defined as those related to HIV and AIDs, epilepsy, diabetes and hypertension as well as their related complaints. The normal costs incurred with pregnancy and childbirth are also not usually covered, though people who experience complications then become eligible to make claims on their health insurance for support. Cosmetic surgery or treatments required because of dangerous sporting activities will also likely be excluded.

Some policies also exclude mental health conditions from their coverage, but this is more usually something that can be discussed in each particular case and allowed for if required. Likewise, coverage for extreme sports can usually be added to the policy for an additional fee.

Private insurance does not always replace the NHS treatments available. Accident and emergency visits will still be taking place in the NHS facility, but ongoing treatment required could be handed over to the private healthcare team. It is not always the case that private patients receive quicker attention than others, though in many areas it remains true that having private cover can speed up the process. Nor will a private patient have totally unlimited choice about where they will be seen, but they are likely to be offered to choose from a list of hospitals or specialists.

Got medical insurance covered, should I further protect myself with a PSA test?

Many people protect their future health with medical insurance and are also keen to take every opportunity they can to detect diseases. Some men are choosing to have a PSA test to check for prostate cancer.

The PSA test is a blood test which measures the chemicals in your blood, looking for a particular protein which your prostate gland produces. In some cases, when there is a high level of this protein in the blood, it is an indication of prostate cancer. Those going for PSA tests should be aware of the facts before becoming stresses by the test. In many cases, high levels of PSA are not an indication of cancer and it is infact caused by an easily treated condition. It is also important to note that 20 per cent of men with prostate cancer have normal results from a PSA test, so you could think you are clear when you have already developed the disease.

If you’re unsure of what to make of the test, try to think about it like this. Don’t view the PSA test as a test for prostate cancer. Instead, view it as a test of the health of your prostate. More than 60 per cent of men with high PSA levels are not afflicted with cancer. Therefore, those with high levels of PSA need to undergo a further check to be sure. A biopsy would give a true indication as to the health of your prostate.

If you are one of the unlucky ones, it is important that you know the facts on prostate cancer. It may surprise you to hear that half of men in their 50s have a small amount of cancer cells in their prostate, with 80 per cent of men in their 80s having a small area of cancer cells in their prostate. According to medical insurance experts, the treatment side effects can actually be worse than the cancer itself. It is believed that in some cases, it is more beneficial for no action to be taken, making people debate whether going for a PSA test is even worth it.

Experts believe that when you are given a positive result from a PSA test, you and your family suffer from stress and you may have treatment that you don’t really need. On the other hand, the PSA test may give you the all clear when you actually have cancer. 

Tips On How To Compare Medical Insurance

There are a few tips you need to have in mind when planning to compare medical insurance. It goes without saying that medical cover is very important and you really have to identify the right service provider to cater for your needs. The secret is to come up with a selection process aimed at getting a reliable insurance firm.

Referrals can be of great help during the initial stages of the search. In fact, you should look for as many referrals as possible as they can save you plenty of time and effort. All you need is to talk to a couple of people who have medical cover and ask if they can recommend a reliable firm. You can also go through referral sites and read blog posts on reviews.

Find out what the costs are before making a choice. This means that you should look at a number of policies and compare the rates by different providers. Always try to work within the limits if your budget and look for a company that will offer good cover at an affordable rate.

You should also take up the challenge to learn a few things about medical insurance cover and the laws governing it. This is a very important part of the process and it will equip you with the knowledge to understand the industry and the logistics involved. Learning some of the insurance terms and procedures for stating a claim are some basics you should have at your fingertips.

Ensure the firm you are about to choose is legitimate and has a valid license to offer such services. The best way to do this is by going through license records just to be on the safe side. Well, such records can be easily obtained and you will probably need just a couple of minutes if they are available online. You will be missing out on the opportunity to benefit from professional services by overlooking this task.

The firms experience in the industry is also a predictor of service quality. Look for a company that has been in the business for quite some time and has specialized in medical insurance. This raises the chances that you will get professional service and advice from highly competent and well trained personnel with expertise in the field. This is why it is advisable to choose a well-established firm.

Before making your choice, it is advisable to arrange a meeting with the representatives of a few potential firms. Get to know the service providers much better and assess whether they are able to meet your expectations. The tip is to prepare well and be ready with a list of questions that will guide you through.

The firm's track record also speaks for itself. Talk to the previous or existing clients of a service provider you would like to hire and get their opinions. With such information, you are better placed to choose wisely. As long as you have carried out proper research and compare medical insurance services carefully, there is nothing to be worried about.

E-cigarettes and quitting smoking: The benefits on your health and your private health insurance.

Many Britons are turning to electronic cigarettes to cut down and eventually quit their smoking habit. Needless to say, those who succeed will be rewarded by vast improvements in their health, a longer lifespan and a reduction in private health insurance premiums.

Over the years, the nation has seen a wide variety of quit smoking products on the market, from the obvious nicotine chewing gums and patches to more niche products such as mouth sprays which make the taste of smoke unbearable. In more recent years, electronic cigarettes – also known as E-cigarettes or E-cigs – have offered a realistic alternative to smoking which has aided many smokers to quit.

Electronic cigarettes are currently available in supermarkets, newsagents and online. It has been announced this week that as of 2016, electronic cigarettes will become a fully regulated and licensed quit smoking aid, similar to a medicine. Electronic cigarettes are operated by a battery and require the user to charge it up on a regular basis. In three years time, we will see doctors prescribing electronic cigarettes to their patients in an attempt to help them to quit. Smokers who quit will find that their health improves by the day and they will have access to lower private health insurance rates.

Some may wonder just how safe electronic cigarettes are; afterall, you are still inhaling vapours into your lungs. The NHS has described electronic cigarettes as “the lesser of two evils”. Therefore, it should be used as an alternative whilst you wean yourself down to smoking nothing; it is not to be used as a lifelong replacement.

The key reason why electronic cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes is their lack of tobacco. Tobacco is one of the most harmful elements of a cigarette, so in smoking an electronic cigarette, you are completely avoiding this carcinogenic substance. However, electronic cigarettes do contain nicotine which is highly addictive. Smokers get the nicotine hit that they need from a cigarette, without inhaling the toxic tobacco. Electronic cigarettes are not completely free from toxins. A study by a US company discovered that electronic cigarettes do contain cancer causing chemicals, however, they are 0.01% of that found within cigarettes.

Some people find motivation to quit smoking for their health. Others concentrate on the financial benefit. For those who are motivated by the money that can be saved through quitting smoking, it is important to remember that you will also see savings in your private health insurance premium. Non smokers are viewed as lower risk than smokers, so once you have been a non smoker for twelve months, your private health insurance costs will significantly drop. 

Many people choose not to take out private medical insurance, especially when the UK has one of the best free healthcare systems, but private healthcare can help you skip long waiting lists, and receive faster consultations than those receiving free healthcare. It is up to you to decide which is right, if any. Yet with complicated covers and even more complicated things to consider before taking any out – how do you know which is the best health insurance for you?

Average plans tend to cover a range of circumstances, but generally include any care you may receive in hospital, consultations and surgery. Any incurable diseases will not be covered as well as pregnancy and cosmetic surgery. If you go for a more varied plan, other treatments such as personal accident cover can be included. Bear in mind that private care doesn’t cover accident and emergency situations, and often you can end up being treated in a NHS hospital, albeit in a private unit, although occasions can occur where rooms are full and treatment will take place on a NHS ward. Health insurance is designed to cover short term, curable illnesses, which should be taken into consideration when taking out any plan.

With serious illnesses you may not get a better treatment than would receive on the NHS, nor would any treatment be received faster. It is vital to remember this when taking out any health insurance. There are some simple questions you should be asking about any type of cover you are considering. What are the exclusions? What does the policy cover? What cover is right for me? Is there an excess? What’s the best health insurance for me? Is there any no claims bonus included? Last, but not least what type of plan?

What about the cost? The price depends on varying factors, such as whether you are a smoker, age, weight, state of health and the level of cover you have chosen, cheaper healthcare packages won’t cover as much, therefore the cheapest package isn’t necessarily the best. When you factor in that policies tend to raise in prices each year (due to rising medical costs) it seems private care should be something you only consider if you have your finances in order.

PMI policies are complex and something not to be taken lightly. If the best health insurance is chosen it can ensure you receive the best care for your money, and piece of mind.