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insurance

How to Insure your Hospital Cover

How to Insure your Hospital Cover?

There was a time in the early days of the NHS that it actually was easy to find a doctor and hospital that could give patients the type of care they needed, but those days are long gone.

If you can find a doctor or hospital to care for you, you are one of the lucky ones because so many healthcare providers in the UK have gone private and are no longer accepting NHS. However, the list of doctors and hospitals accepting private medical and hospital cover is growing longer by the day.

Need vs. Choice

One of the benefits of private hospital cover is that you are free to choose hospitals. With the NHS, it is a matter of need vs. choice. Although you may be able to be admitted to any hospital in the UK that accepts NHS as payment, you may have a very difficult time getting admitted unless it is an extreme emergency.

Any elective surgeries or non-emergency admissions may wait months and months. In other words, with private hospital cover you can choose which hospital you want to use and you can choose when you want to schedule your stay.

How to Insure your Hospital Cover

Diagnostic Cover

Most private hospital insurance policies do offer diagnostic services such as MRIs, CT or PET scans and other diagnostic visits but you may find that you need to choose your hospital when purchasing cover.

Even so, if you should need or want a diagnostic service from a medical facility other than the one chosen when your policy was written, you are usually free to use those hospitals along with a co-pay.

It is also possible to avoid a co-pay with private hospital insurance if you are willing to drive to another location to get your tests at one of their preferred providers who offer diagnostics not available to you locally.


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Core Cover on Hospital Insurance

All hospital insurance policies start with core benefits. Policyholders are able to choose from a number of optional covers, but most hospital insurance policies have a standard core policy.

This would include any of the typical costs you would associate with hospitalisation, whether it was in-patient care or for out-patient (day patient) services. Some core benefits will also include diagnostic tests if the insured is an in-patient and others will include the cost of specialists if you are in hospital.

NHS Cash Benefits

One of the things you may want to look for is something called NHS Hospital Cash Benefits. This is a type of cover that provides a cash payout for every day you spend in hospital that is covered by your NHS. For example, if you had a private hospital insurance cover which would have covered your in-patient stay but you used NHS, you would receive cash often up to £250 for each night you stayed in the hospital. Each insurance plan has a varying amount, although £250 is pretty standard. As well, plans have a maximum amount in any policy year and some even cover day-patient care but it will be less than covered for in-patient.

Bear in mind that the National Health System is currently overwhelmed financially as well as with other resources and benefits are decreasing by the day. With overcrowded NHS hospitals and fewer of them to choose from, it is becoming increasingly important to carry private hospital cover. Whether you opt for a core policy or one with optional benefits, it is in your best interest to shop around for a good deal and compare rates between several insurance companies.

You will most assuredly need hospital cover at some point and it is better to be safe than sorry. Shop a little now to save a lot later.


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