Posted: Wednesday, 17 August 2022
More people are choosing to have health insurance, why?
Approximately 8 million people in the UK have active private health insurance policies, which is around 13% of the British population.*
Based on our experience here at Morehealth we believe this figure is set to increase. Since 2020 and the impact the global pandemic COVID-19 has had on our NHS, we have seen an increase in people taking out health insurance policies for the first time and across all ages of the population. People are starting to consider having private medical cover at a younger age. Despite the increase in living costs that we are all experiencing, we are also finding people are not willing to cancel their policies, instead they are asking for our help in ways to reduce their premiums.
Why do people choose to have private health insurance?
Private health insurance has never been seen as a replacement for the NHS. The NHS is a fantastic asset to our country and provides many services private healthcare cannot, such as accident and emergency and maternity services.
So why bother having private health insurance when you can get treatment for free on the NHS?
Faster access to treatment
Here at Morehealth we would never want to imagine not having the NHS and we value the services and hardworking staff it includes, especially during the unprecedented times lately. However, the pressures these services and staff are facing have unfortunately resulted in delays in accessing services and treatment on the NHS.
Waiting for a scan or appointment to diagnose a problem can be a worrying time for most people. Private health insurance allows individuals to bypass the delays within the NHS by providing fast access to a private consultant, diagnostic tests and in-patient treatment if required.
Based on the latest figures the number of people in England waiting to start hospital treatment has risen to a new record high.
Health officials have warned it could be four years before waiting times on the NHS return to pre-covid levels, meaning private health insurance is more valuable than ever.
It is not just faster access to diagnosis and treatment that makes health insurance policy attractive, it is the access to breakthrough treatments it provides. Often insurers will pay for experimental cancer drugs and treatments not available on the NHS.
Promoting a healthier lifestyle
Many health insurance policies come with additional perks and benefits such as discounted gym membership and equipment and rewards schemes for healthy living. Not only does having a health insurance policy encourage you to seek advice on a health issue quicker it also rewards you for taking a keen interest in your health, often reducing the amount you will pay for cover.
More affordable options are now available
Insurers have been introducing new plan options recently that can mean having private health insurance is not as costly as you may think. There are many entry level policies to choose from should you want to have cover but are on a budget. You can select surgery only policies if you just want cover for the major medical expenses and almost all insurers now have a ‘guided’ option. With the guided option you still have access to consultations and treatment, but the insurer offers a reduced panel of specialists and hospitals for you to choose from.
Our team of experts at Morehealth can talk you through the different options available to suit your budget. We often find that people are surprised by how reasonable the cost of private health insurance is.