The pandemic has impacted our daily lives in an unprecedented way and it has made many of us more aware of our own health and wellbeing. We have witnessed first-hand the vital role that the NHS and the hard-working staff within it have played in helping to treat, safeguard and support those affected by Covid.
However, as a result of the crisis some other areas of healthcare are suffering, with increased waiting times and delays in diagnosis and treatment. This is leading growing numbers of people and businesses to think about investing in private healthcare. Here are three reasons why now might be the right time:
- Peace of mind
If you become ill or are worried about your health, being able to speak to a GP or a specialist quickly can help to alleviate the worry. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people have put off seeing their doctor during the pandemic but early diagnosis and intervention is essential in effective treatment and recovery.
PMI is designed to help you access care more quickly than is normally available through the NHS, removing the worry of long waiting times. And many policies include helpful added value features such as virtual GPs, online resources and access to emotional support from specialists nurses. The NHS will still remain the primary source for delivering emergency treatment.
- Faster access to specialist care
The pandemic has resulted in increased waiting times for treatment on the NHS. Recent reports reveal that in England, less than half the expected number of operations have been carried out during the crisis, pushing the waiting list to a record-high of 4.6million. More than 300,000 of those have been waiting more than a year for treatment – compared to 1,600 before the pandemic began.
Cancer Research estimates that the disruption to the NHS caused by Covid has resulted in 40,000 fewer people starting cancer treatment across the UK in the last year. For conditions such as cancer, any delays in diagnosis and treatment can have a detrimental effect on the effectiveness of a patient’s treatment and long-term survival.
Private healthcare can provide significantly faster access to specialist treatment and care for non-emergency treatments than is normally available through the NHS.
- It probably costs less than you think
One of the main reasons people might be put off buying PMI is because they think it will be too expensive. But the reality is, the private healthcare market has changed considerably in recent years and policies have adapted to suit different budgets. It’s important to note that many policies are designed to complement the NHS rather than act simply as an alternative.
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
- take out a policy that will meet the cost of treatment but only if the NHS waiting list for your condition is more than six weeks.
As a result of the pandemic, many people have saved money and are now looking to spend it on their health and wellbeing.
Find out more
As a specialist healthcare adviser, we have access to offers and enhanced levels of cover that may not be available to individuals looking to buy private healthcare directly.
If you want to know more or are interested in Private Medical Insurance for yourself, your family or your employees, please get in touch.
 NHS confederation