Which private medical insurance plan is the best one for you?
With all the choices available regarding private health insurance, it can be confusing to choose your best plan. A brief explanation of different products is provided below; be sure to read the individual policy for specific cover information.
With a packaged policy, you cannot choose what covers or benefits to include or exclude. Packaged products reduce costs for insurers. It also makes it easier for customers to purchase. Insurers use statistics to decide the best covers for the average customer, which may or may not be best for a particular person. Every package is different; policies may include related health and other insurances, in addition to private medical costs. Some policies provide limits on amounts that will be paid, while others have no restrictions.
Choice of cover
These are flexible plans that let decide what you need, adjusting the level of cover accordingly. What is appropriate for a single man might be different from the needs of a family. Also, each customer has different financial needs, and the package can be created accordingly. With these plans, there is typically, a standard cover that every policy will have, such as in-patient and day-patient treatment. Some policies offer full cover without limits, which others will place payment limits.
Limited cover policies, also referred to as "budget" policies, can meet the needs of anyone who does not want full cover, whatever the reason. Each insurer offers different covers, inclusions/exclusions, and how much the customer will pay for treatments.
Private medical insurance policies typically have an excess, which is the amount of the claim you must pay. To reduce costs, you can ask your insurer if your premiums can be reduced by increasing the excess. Another option is a Shared Responsibility cover, where you will pay a percentage of any treatment costs. This will typically be between 25% and 75%. The higher percentage you pay, the lower your premium. There is usually a limit on how much you will be required to pay each year.
In addition to these standard policies, there are
many specialized plans available, such as cover for
the elderly or children, special cover plans for
specific diseases, or plans for those living in the
Channel Isles. Insurers also provide plans for
self-employed individuals and small businesses.
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