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Are You Getting the Most From Your Private Medical Insurance?

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 138

Over £1.4 million is spent on private medical insurance each year with a considerable rise in self-funded policyholders, therefore it is important to ensure that we know our policies well in order to get the most from our private medical insurance.

Reports show that the most common claims are hernias and knee cartilage problems from men and disc problems and cataracts from women.

It seems that most policyholders would not hesitate seek the benefits of their private medical insurance for the problems which are typically more easily treatable yet many insurance policies cover more serious health issues such as cancer and heart disease.

Am I protected against serious illness?

A recent report shows that many people are unsure exactly what their private medical insurance covers them for and whether it would fully cover them for all stages of cancer (diagnosis to recovery).

With current statistics of early diagnosis of many cancers showing a 90% recovery rate, it is important to note that the majority of private medical insurance policies cover you for diagnosis tests and scans. However some policies may have an annual limit on these.

Certain policies will also cover costs of treatments that are not available on the NHS as of yet such as Avastin which has now been licensed as the very first targeted drug for ovarian cancer. Avastin will not be used on the NHS market until 2013 however numerous insurance providers' policies offer to cover costs of all licensed cancer medication.

Of course having private medical insurance is not going to prevent you from getting cancer however it could prove beneficial with offering an accelerated diagnostic and treatment procedure.

Knowing your insurance

It is highly important to ensure that you are well informed of exactly what your medical insurance policy covers you for as there are a number of different options on the market.

Arguably the most well-known is Private Medical Insurance (PMI) which will often cover consultations and a number of treatments allowing you to avoid NHS waiting lists. Insurance providers calculate premiums based on your health with age also playing a key factor. Therefore a potential drawback of this policy is that it could be a costly option to older consumers or those in a poorer health state.

Another option which is typically more widely chosen is Critical Illness Insurance; a policy which pays a lump-sum if you are diagnosed with certain life threatening illness such as multiple sclerosis, heart conditions, strokes and certain types of cancer. The illnesses covered with depend on the details of your individual policy.

Many policies will cover conditions which are debilitating but not necessarily fatal. This could prove especially beneficial if the illness means that you are no longer able to work as the tax-free payment could be used to pay off mortgages or take leave while they recover.

Critical Illness Insurance tends to be a more cost-effective option however it does not offer you the guaranteed private medical treatment of PMI.

Another potential option could be Income Protection policies which pays out a regular income to policyholders who cannot work due to poor health. Typically, the illnesses which this type of policy will pay out for do not have to be as severe as those of Critical Illness Insurance therefore one could potentially claim for depression, back problems and a range of other non-life threatening health issues as long as they have been signed off by a doctor.

Income Protection insurance could prove useful to those with dependants in order to ensure some financial security for the family in the event of ill health.

Which policy will work best for me?

Speaking to a private medical insurance advisor could provide you with additional information on types of policies, helping you to gauge which will best fit your circumstances.

John T Hughes writes for Private Medical Insurance UK, a site that aims to connect consumers to medical insurance advice they can trust.

Source: EzineArticles
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