Home > health > 4 Options for Paying for Private Healthcare
With more strain than ever on the NHS and waiting lists at their longest, it is no surprise that the private healthcare market is booming in the UK. Many people are deciding to get private healthcare to subsidise NHS treatment and allow them to get access to treatments much faster and with a wider range of choices compared to the NHS. However, unlike the NHS, which is funded through National Insurance contributions and is free at the point of access, private healthcare can get quite expensive. Because of this, if you are interested in getting private healthcare, one of the main things to consider is how you are going to cover the cost.
You might be wondering whether it is worth paying for private healthcare at all when you have access to the NHS. There is no requirement to use the private healthcare services in the UK, however, private medical treatment is becoming more popular, particularly for short-term or acute conditions that are curable. This is because unlike with the NHS where you are likely to face a long waiting list for non-urgent conditions, private healthcare allows you to get the treatment you need faster, choose from a wider range of specialists and healthcare professionals, and get treatment in more comfortable, luxurious surroundings. Along with this, private healthcare often offers a wider range of appointment times to choose from, and you may get access to certain treatments and medications that are not available on the NHS.
To find out more about what you can expect from private healthcare in the UK, visit the Circle Health Group website. Circle Health Group offers a range of private healthcare services for various conditions and is recognised by all the main healthcare insurers, such as AXA and Vitality.
The easiest and most popular way to get access to private healthcare in the UK is to take out a private health insurance policy. These policies work in a similar way to any other kind of insurance in that you will pay a monthly or annual premium to access cover and claim on your insurance policy should you need treatment. Whenever you receive private healthcare, simply inform your insurer by making a claim and they will pay the bill minus any excess you have chosen to pay. In the UK, private health insurance policies are typically designed to be used alongside NHS treatment. Therefore, they do not always include things such as emergency treatment, treatment for chronic conditions, or some outpatient treatments.
Another option to consider when it comes to paying for your private healthcare treatment is finance. Many hospitals and private healthcare providers offer flexible finance options where you can spread the cost of your treatment over several months. This may be a worthwhile option to consider if you are not interested in getting private healthcare insurance or are unable to get a policy that covers the treatment you need. Finance options are typically available per bill and can be used to make paying for your treatment easier if you want to get a private procedure done as a one-off. It may work out cheaper than getting health insurance in some cases, for example, if you don’t expect to use private healthcare again in the future and only need to finance a single treatment.
You will also always have the option to pay for your private healthcare treatment in full once you receive your bill. If you have the funds available and do not want to make monthly insurance or finance payments, then this might be an option for you to consider. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the cost of paying for private healthcare can add up a lot, and one bill alone is likely to be thousands of pounds especially if you are paying for a procedure such as surgery. Because of this, it’s worth weighing up all the options available to you if you are planning to pay in full. If you want to use private healthcare on a regular basis, then it might be worth considering getting private health insurance that you can use to cover your bills and ultimately save money over time.
In some cases, the NHS will refer you to a private specialist or healthcare provider and cover the cost of your treatment. However, this is an uncommon occurrence, so if you want private healthcare, do not rely on the possibility of being able to access it through the NHS. In most cases, patients who want to access private treatment will need to cover the cost of this themselves.
With increasing stress and strain on the NHS, more people in the UK are considering the options available to them when it comes to paying for faster private treatments.