Thinking about Private Healthcare? Here’s what you need to know

The latest figures[1] reveal that waiting times for planned hospital care in England have worsened, with waiting lists growing by 50% post-covid to 6.4million people by March 2022. The median wait time has also increased from 7.5 weeks to 12 weeks.

For many people, these statistics will make alarming reading. My recent conversations with members – individual and business members alike – have shown that many are either considering investing in private healthcare for the first time or extending cover to include their families and/or workforces.

The NHS remains a vital national institution and today’s private medical insurance (PMI) policies are designed to complement the NHS rather than replace it.  If you’re thinking about private healthcare, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’re asked:

What is the difference between NHS and private healthcare?

Private healthcare providers are independent from the NHS but they are still regulated, inspected and rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This enables you to check on the standard of care and provider rating.

What are the benefits of private healthcare?

Popular benefits include:

  • Faster access to diagnosis and treatment
  • Peace of mind
  • Convenience – treatment can usually be organised at time and place to suit you
  • Greater privacy

Can I mix my NHS and private treatment?

Yes. Seeing a specialist privately doesn’t affect your place on an NHS waiting list. If you’re thinking about having private treatment, you can have a private consultation and then make a decision to either wait for NHS treatment or go ahead and pay for private treatment. The NHS will continue to provide care free of charge, whatever your choice.

Medical professionals in both the NHS and private sector securely share information on your treatment to ensure safe, joined-up and co-ordinated patient care

How much does private healthcare cost?

The cost of your PMI premium will depend upon a number of factors – such as your age, location and your medical history.

Access to private healthcare comes at a cost but there are ways that you may be able to help reduce this. For example you could:

  • choose a policy that offers full inpatient treatment but with limited outpatient care
  • decide not to include certain ‘extras’ that may not be essential
  • opt for a voluntary excess on your policy, as with your car insurance – to reduce your premium. Depending on the provider and policy, this might operate on each claim, or might apply to your overall policy in each policy year
  • shop around to ensure your premium remains competitive especially if you have not done so for a number of years

As a result of the pandemic, many people have saved money and are now looking to invest this on their health and wellbeing.

How do I start the process?

As a CLA member whether you’re thinking of taking a policy for the first time or have an existing PMI policy, you’re entitled to a complimentary review of the market to find the right healthcare options for you, your family or employees. Speak to a member of the CLA Healthcare team today.

Call us on 01274 717361 or email:



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