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Affordable Health Insurance In The Uk - The Nhs And You!
By Duncan Roberts
In the UK - there is the NHS - the National Health Service.

The purpose of the NHS is to provide health care and all associated treatments and services to residents of the UK - regardless of whether or not you could actually pay for the treatment yourself.

All very well and noble - but as people live longer, reproduce more and the population both grows and hangs around longer than anticipated - the service starts to creak under the increasing numbers needing care.

This is where private care comes in.

Anyone who wants to can arrange private health cover for themselves and/or their family. It's created to cover any cost of having the treatment privately. Sort of like an insurance of actually getting the treatment quickly enough!

This relates to any acute illness, with the definition of an acute illness in the UK being something - an injury, sickness or illness that will respond well to treatment.

Having the cover in the UK is more to ensure you can get treated fast - very fast.

It's important to note however that certain treatments and illnesses wouldn't be covered. This is common amongst all the policies, regardless of the insurer and not something to worry over that much. Things such as conditions you had prior to taking out the insurance cover, the services of your local GP (covered by your National Insurance payments) or even a visit to the A&E department on a Saturday night. Let's face it, private health can't replace all aspects of the NHS and shouldn't be expected to!

There are three basic levels of cover:

Budget, Standard and Comprehensive.

The budget level would generally cover you for any inpatient treatment you need, the actual staying in the hospital itself in other words. Cost of the treatments, consultations, diagnosis tests etc would not be covered and you'd still need to pay these yourself. Budget level is probably best for those who can afford to pay for the treatments etc but wish to cover the costs of staying in a private hospital
where you normally get a room to yourself, TV and a degree of privacy and comfort not normally associated with NHS hospitals.

At the standard level, you'll probably find that the policy covers things such as operations, outpatient treatments, specialist consultations, diagnostics up to a probable (usual) limit of circa £500 - £2000. Also, if you need some specialist outpatient treatment, treatment that would be supplied by a qualified Osteopath or Acupuncturist for example, you'll normally find, depending on the insurance company that you'll be insured up to a specific amount.

Finally, the comprehensive level.

Basically - these level policies cover just about everything - inpatient cover, outpatient cover, scans, travel costs, dental - even expenses incurred during your stay in the hospital. Obviously this is the best level of policy and you should choose it if you can afford it.

There are also a new range of flexible cover modules starting to appear in insurers where you can select cover for specific modules of condition or illness! Worth looking into as you can insure against specifics you think are more likely to occur.

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