If you’re thinking of getting private health cover, you might be wondering if it’s worth the outlay. After all, it’s not compulsory in the UK.
But millions of people in the UK have some form of private health insurance 1. Here are five solid reasons why you might want to consider it, too.
1. You don’t want to wait for healthcare
It's no secret that there can be long waiting lists for non-urgent NHS treatment. Waiting times vary, depending on the hospital and location, but for consultant-led treatments, it could be over four months until you're seen .
Private health insurance works hand in hand with NHS services – whether that’s referral to a specialist, getting the scans you need, or quick admission to a private hospital for treatment.
When it comes to seeing your GP, being in a long call queue before attempting to get an appointment might be a familiar story. Perhaps it's just a case of getting some advice and reassurance about a health issue.
If you want ready access to GP appointments, our Aviva Digital GP offers round-the-clock access to a GP, with same-day video consultations – and you can choose to keep the same GP for future appointments. You also get other time-saving benefits, like repeat NHS prescriptions.
Helplines for health and wellbeing issues can be included in private healthcare. With our cover, you can talk to an experienced stress counsellor whenever you need to, day or night. Knowing you can talk to someone at any time may offer some comfort.
2. You want private treatment and care
Being in comfortable surroundings when you’re not well is a priority for most. If you’re not keen on busy wards and shared bathrooms, and want the privacy of your own en-suite room, that kind of accommodation may be possible with private health insurance. And your family can benefit from these facilities, too, if you add them to your policy.
With Healthier Solutions, that means access to a number of high-quality hospitals, from major groups. This might be for anything from diagnostic tests and scans, to surgical procedures and post-treatment care. We can help you to choose a specialist, and your appointments will be at a time and place that's convenient for you.
3. Self-funding private care can be costly
If you’re considering getting private treatment as and when you need it, without having health insurance in place, you might be in for a shock. Treatments can cost thousands of pounds – a hip replacement can cost over £10,000, and a total knee replacement, £12,530 . That could make quite a dent in anyone’s savings. If you have private health insurance, eligible treatment would be paid for, giving you some peace of mind.
Few people have the type of buffer in place, in the form of savings or income, that could pay for private treatment as and when they need it.
4. You want treatments or medicines that aren’t available on the NHS
With cost considerations at play, the NHS can't always offer some advanced treatment options or medicines.
By working alongside the NHS, private health insurance can help fill any gaps by offering prompt access to these treatments, such as certain cancer drugs. Our cancer pledge means we’ll cover cancer treatment and aftercare recommended by your specialist as standard.
This gives you more choice and, potentially, greater access to more treatments.
5. You want to benefit from added extras
Health insurance can also offer extra tools and initiatives that support you to be healthier. This can certainly be a bonus if you're thinking of taking a policy out.
When it comes to health tracking tools, the added sweetener is that you may get money off future premiums, if your insurer can see that you're reaching your fitness goals.
MyHealthCounts is our online tool that helps you manage and improve your health. You register and answer a questionnaire, and your ‘Q score’ is calculated – showing how healthy you are compared to 100 people similar to you. Depending on your progress, you could get up to 15% discount on your premiums at policy renewal time.
With our Healthier Solutions policy, you also get up to 25% off gym membership at leading health and fitness clubs.
Taking advantage of insurers’ promotions and offers can certainly help reduce the cost of health insurance. Discounts for couples, or offers of free cover for children, may make it financially easier to get health cover for the whole family.
Do you need health insurance?
In the UK, we’re lucky to have an NHS, which is free at the point of delivery for most, and paid for by general taxation. So while there are clear benefits to being treated privately, health insurance isn’t mandatory, and you’ll still be able to get healthcare if you can’t afford to get private health insurance.
Bear in mind that, with our health insurance, you can remove options from your cover to help make premiums more affordable for you.