Once upon a time, it was something that was only available to a select few. Now, while it can’t be described as mainstream, private medical care is definitely something that is more accessible than ever before.
However, while it might be accessible, it’s still an additional expense. Particularly in the current economic climate, this can be something that is difficult for the typical household to budget for.
This is the reason today’s article has been put together. We will now cycle through some of the key considerations you need to bear in mind before you opt to go down the private medical route.
How are you currently coping?
Some people have a long-term desire to receive private medical care – mainly because it “sounds good”. First and foremost, there’s no doubt that it is beneficial to have, but whether or not you are going to benefit immensely depends on your current situation.
For example, if you are based in the UK, are you are in the privileged position of receiving care from the NHS. This means that you are covered for a lot of conditions – although the time you are seen can vary depending on resources.
Ultimately, if you are happy to sometimes wait for your care, one could argue that you won’t fully appreciate the main benefit that private healthcare has. Sure, you might be referred to a private doctor (who will have similar qualifications and covered by something like Incision Indemnity), but this would be the only noticeable benefit.
Who are you looking to cover?
Next on the list is a question about who you are looking to cover. While private medical care often grabs the headlines for cost reasons, it is worth mentioning that if you take it out as a family or as a couple there can be savings. In other words, you’re not paying the “individual rate” twice.
However, there’s another consideration if you are looking for children to be covered by your policy. This is because that public services, such as the NHS, tend to prioritize their healthcare towards children anyway. In other words, you’re not necessarily going to be at the back of the queue if your child needs medical attention.
What are your expectations?
Finally, it’s all about your expectations. As we have already alluded to, private health care does have something of a reputation associated with it – but it’s not necessarily the tool that some people think it is.
Again, let’s refer to the NHS example. If you fall ill, you will visit your GP. A common misconception with the private route is that this stage is skipped – and you will immediately visit a private doctor.
In reality, you need a referral. In other words, you will still need to visit your NHS doctor, who will then write you a referral to see a private specialist. This is something that often disappoints people, who were hoping for a more streamlined process. Of course, this isn’t the only element of private health care, and opting against it for this reason alone would be foolish.