Once the preserve of the very wealthy, NHS cuts are leading more and more people to consider private health cover.
In the UK, we are fortunate to have a health service that is free at the point of delivery. However, regardless of your politics, we all recognise that when you are unwell, you want to be seen and treated quickly and for all its strengths, the NHS cannot always guarantee that. For many people, therefore, the benefits of private health care outweigh the costs of the premiums.
If you are employed, you may be offered private health care as part of your package, either as an optional benefit towards which you pay, or you may automatically be included in a group scheme. This will be charged as a P11D taxable benefit in kind. The plan may have the option to include your partner and children.
Like everything else if you are self-employed, if you want private health care you have to organise it yourself and pay for it. Whilst on the face of it, it seems very expensive, if your business cannot run without you, you need to minimise the time waiting to get treatment and get back in the saddle as soon as possible.
All policies tend to have an excess, and most have exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Pregnancy and births are almost always excluded. As with all life cover, the premium is dependent on your age at the outset of the policy and your general health. Unlike most term insurance cover, the premium is not set for the term of the plan and will most likely rise each year as you age.
You may decide that rather than paying monthly or annual premiums you would prefer to set aside funds to pay for private treatment should you need it. Many people using this strategy have their illness assessed and diagnosed privately but have follow-up treatment in the NHS. Bear in mind that for the more serious illnesses, for example sudden accidents or heart failure, you will always be treated by the NHS.
Prices vary widely in this sector and it is well worth using a comparison site to shop around if you are considering private health care.
Read about the how the new rules on withdrawing money from your personal pension affect you,
Stamp duty is being abolished in Scotland and is going to be replaced by a new land transaction tax. Find out what you need to know about this change.
Journeys on the Underground and Beyond is a new collection of poetry and images from Alex Fan Moniz
© Copyright LGBT Finance Limited, 10 Melville St. Edinburgh, EH3 7NS