The NHS provides quality, free health insurance to most UK residents, and many people would agree that NHS hospitals can be just as good, if not better, than hospitals that are privately run. Even so, many people choose to purchase their own private health insurance in an effort to get the most value for their money, specifically individuals who are in need of specialist treatment. Below, we have outlined the key features that make private health insurance better than the insurance given by the NHS.
More Options With UK Health Insurance
Having more options is one of the factors that attracts many UK residents to private health insurance. Unlike NHS that limits where a patient can go to receive treatment, which physician they can see, and when they can be seen, private UK insurance allows patients to make their own decisions. Some of these options include:
- The freedom to choose the surgeon and hospital of their choice;
- If an individual wants a scan that NHS has denied, the individual can use their private insurance to cover the cost of the scans;
- Individuals who are unhappy with receiving treatment in an open ward can request and receive a private room.
Also, patients who are in need of specialized treatment or a second opinion can ask their GP for a referral to an expert or specialist in the related field. This freedom makes many individuals feel that they are more actively involved in the direction of their treatment.
Quicker Access to Medical Services
Another feature that makes UK health insurance superior to NHS is the reduced waiting times for treatment and physiotherapy sessions. If your wait time for NHS treatment is 6 weeks or longer, you can use your UK insurance to reduce your wait time. Patients with UK insurance will have access to physiotherapy sessions significantly quikcer than those who have NHS. The ability to minimize these wait times makes UK insurance far superior to NHS.
Specialist Drugs and Treatments
Individuals who have UK health insurance have access to certain specialist drugs and/or treatments that may not be available to those with NHS. NHS does not provide some of these drugs and treatments, because of high cost or a lack of approval by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in England and Wales (NICE) or the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). For this reason, UK health insurance is much better for people who are in need of specialty, expensive treatment.
The Bottom Line
Private UK health insurance provides policy holders with more options, freedom, and say when it comes to their treatment. Individuals who are in need of specialty treatment-sports enthusiasts, for example–can especially benefit from private insurance, since they are in need of specialty private treatments that are otherwise not offered by the NHS. Private health insurance is also more likely to save you money if you file multiple claims, making it a better value overall.