One of our Directors has first-hand experience of dealing with the major Insurers and so here are a few tips which may assist you. And the Association of British Insurers produces a short guide called "Are You Buying Private Medical Insurance?" which will help you. You'll find this guide top right on the page under "Related Documents".
You need to remember...
- Policies sold by British companies can differ considerably from those sold by international companies. And policies sold by different companies also vary considerably.
- If your employer has bought private medical insurance for you, as part of your employment contract, they will have decided what is covered, what is not, levels of cover and so on. So it is very important that you understand your policy limitations. There will be some.
- PMI primarily covers acute conditions which start after you take out your policy. An acute condition is a disease, illness or injury which is likely to respond quickly to treatment which aims to return you to the same state of health you were in before the disease, illness or injury started or which will lead to your full recovery.
- Tell your Insurer about every stage of your treatment. Your Doctor, Hospital and/or Diagnostic Centre will require a pre-authorisation code, which your Insurer will give you, before treating you.
- It is very important to understand the difference between dealing directly with an Insurer, independent adviser or agent. One of our Directors found it best to buy PMI through an independent adviser and not direct from the Insurer or agent for an Insurer.
- Your UK policy is unlikely to cover you for seeing your GP, normal pregnancy, injuries from what the insurance industry calls hazardous pursuits and most importantly pre-existing conditions.
- Your premiums will increase as you get older. On average, it is three times more expensive to get insured aged 70 as it is aged 35.
- You can reduce your premiums. You can lower the level of benefits, you can limit the hospitals you can be treated at, you can pay the first part of any claim or in any year and you can co-pay. There are many other ways and a good independent adviser will be able to assist you.