Private health insurance is it worth it.

(43 Posts)
Sitdowncupoftea Wed 11-Nov-20 14:56:42

Obviously all policies are different however I'm wondering if anyone on here has private heath insurance and they think its worth it.

OP’s posts: |
emmathedilemma Wed 11-Nov-20 15:05:54

In the context of having had an ongoing gynae issue that was seriously starting to affect my day to day life, there was over a 12 week wait for an initial NHS consultation and then they had another 26 week wait for investigation procedure (this was before covid hit). Used my private medical cover (it's through work) and got seen, scanned, investigation procedure and treatment all done in 3 months and that had Christmas/New Year in the middle when everything stopped for 2 weeks. So in terms of getting my life back and problems resolved when I'd still be on the NHS waiting list now, it was worth every penny!
You do need to read the T&Cs carefully, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns. Like any insurance you only realise its worth when you need to use it!

Aquamarine1029 Wed 11-Nov-20 15:10:59

My husband gets our policy through his work and it is totally worth it, and due to the company's contribution it is very affordable for us.

UnconvincingUsername Wed 11-Nov-20 15:14:58

DH has private health insurance which covers him and the DC. It doesn’t cover me and I don’t really think it’s worth paying the extra to include me. At no point have I thought: ‘oh, if I only I could go private’ about any health issue.

DH has used it for various tests etc. But mostly that’s because he’s a bloody hypochondriac and he didn’t need the tests anyway. There’s never anything wrong. 😂

AgnesNaismith Wed 11-Nov-20 15:17:57

Yes it has been worth it for us. I had an ongoing gynae issue too...the GP refused to refer me and after a year I demanded she refer. After seeing a private consultant I was booked in for an op to have a tumour removed from my womb two weeks later. It was benign thank goodness.

Dh had to have an op this year...wouldn’t have been done on the NHS.

JaneyAir Wed 11-Nov-20 15:31:09

Without a shadow of a doubt, YES.

I've had it for over 35 years as part of a company plan and now in semi retirement I've taken it out for myself.

Over the years I've used it for 2 gynae ops, neither of which were urgent, but more quality of life issues.

The big bonus is they treat you as a customer. You can choose who you see, when you see them, at days and times that suit you (many work evenings), and if you need an op you can usually get it faster.

My partner was diagnosed with cancer a year or so back and he was able to choose one of the best surgeons in the UK, had the op quickly, at an excellent private hospital, and is now having regular scans through a top cancer specialist, far in excess of anything provided by the NHS.

IMO it's worth every penny and isn't that expensive. Shop around.

BeeyatchPlease Wed 11-Nov-20 15:41:33

DH and I have it through work, I've not used it yet but DH has been seen for a couple of issues. NHS waiting times were ridiculous but he was assessed and had an operation within a fortnight, very well looked after.


JaneyAir Wed 11-Nov-20 15:47:23

The thing is OP the NHS is okay for most life-death issues but for other stuff the waiting list is huge. (eg can be 18 months in some areas.)

Now, with Covid, there is a backlog and it's going to be worse.

For me, the best thing is being able to choose your consultant which doesn't mean someone in your home town/ region.

My DP went to London for his operation as , even privately, the dr on the doorstep was not experienced enough, even though in theory he was 'okay'.

We spent a long time reading consultants' track records and finding who was experienced and specialised in that condition.

DP was in and out of hospital much quicker than if he'd gone through the NHS even allowing for their 'urgent' pathway.

lostandfound55 Wed 11-Nov-20 17:08:38

I have also been looking at this recently and wish I had taken it out when I thought about it last year as I am having health issues now that could have been covered.

HopefulMama2020 Wed 11-Nov-20 17:16:49

I get private cover as a benefit at work. It covers myself, dh and 1 dc - I've used it a couple of times for physio which would have a v long nhs waiting list. I've also used it a few times for dc for things like allergies which again have a long nhs waiting list.

However, if it wasn't a work benefit there is no way I could afford it as its very expensive. £170 a month for the 3 of us (who are all youngish with no real health problems at the moment).

Sophoa Thu 12-Nov-20 10:44:10

100% yes, especially for cancer treatment. It's a different world. The fact that you have a nicer room to sit in is irrelevant. It's the fact that you can choose your specialist based on their experience and expertise, you can be seen where they are and travel to see them if you want to. It's only them that you see, not one of their team so there's excellent continuity of care. Everything is dealt with quickly, no waiting around for results, you get them within days, not weeks and most importantly, often, access to drugs which are standard of care or cutting edge which the NHS won't cover.

JaneyAir Thu 12-Nov-20 13:48:41

@HopefulMama2020 £170 for 2 adults and one child is quite expensive. It's also unlikely you need cover for a child (if ever paying for it yourself.) For younger people, a monthly rate of around £40-50 each is an average.

Unless it was a serious illness, it would probably be cheaper to pay for single consultations for a child than have them on a policy.

I agree with @Sophoa. The difference in cancer treatment is huge.
DP can have a CT scan on days it suits him and his dr, he has a blood test on the same day, and the results are sent over to his oncologist who looks at them and sees him usually a couple of hours later, all on the same day.

In the NHS it's likely these would be 3 separate appts with weeks in between and a delay in treatment if it was needed.

Likewise he got the results of his operation within 6 days (telling him if he needed chemo or not etc) whereas NHS wait was 6 weeks.

He has also thank God been able to continue with all tests during the past 9 months when NHS services were closed or had huge delays.

The thing with insurance is you are best to start it while you are young and fit because when you are older and have more risk factors, it's more expensive. I'd prioritise it over holidays and fun stuff to be honest, having seen the contrast in treatment.

Sitdowncupoftea Thu 12-Nov-20 14:15:06

What happens if you have an existing illness though.
How does it work sorry to sound thick but basically waiting lists are horrendous NHS is just not treating people where I live.
I have an NHS doctor so I'm assuming I will still go to GP and insurance would happen if I needed referral?
What happens with A&E
I so far have been on NHS 7 month for an op. I'm wanting private insurance to finally get treatment for whats wrong now.

OP’s posts: |
JaneyAir Thu 12-Nov-20 14:42:13

You need to get the timeline right @Sitdowncupoftea.

Private cover doesn't take the place of a GP for everyday stuff. And all private insurance cover needs a GP referral to access private appts.

Private insurance rarely covers you for an existing condition which is being treated already by your GP because they don't like people taking out cover to treat something they already have and is long term. If something is now on your medical records that is an existing condition and will not usually be covered.

There is usually a 2-year exclusion on existing conditions- after 2 years if no ongoing treatment, they might agree to cover you for that condition. You can still be insured but it will cover only any NEW conditions.

A&E- private cover is not for emergencies. It won't cover things like heart attacks and strokes- it's for planned operations or diagnosis of conditions that need treatment.

lazymum99 Thu 12-Nov-20 18:17:25

However, if you enter hospital via A&E and need admitting and/or an operation you can switch to private at that stage on your insurance.

Spudina Thu 12-Nov-20 18:24:25

If you have a pre-existing condition you can pay to see a specialist for that but not have insurance as such. I’m waiting on a urology referral but I know my hospital is not currently doing any elective surgery (due to Covid) I’ve found a private centre in my city. I can have an appointment for about £180. Different procedures and their prices are listed. For example a cystoscope is £1800.

JaneyAir Thu 12-Nov-20 20:15:17

However, if you enter hospital via A&E and need admitting and/or an operation you can switch to private at that stage on your insurance.
Hmmm...not sure about this one @lazymum99 !!!

Some policies have a clause whereby if you choose NHS treatment over the private option (ie it's going to be quicker) they will pay you £x a day as compensation.

Never heard of being able to use private facilities for A&E admissions.

JaneyAir Thu 12-Nov-20 20:17:13

@Sitdowncupoftea You do have the option of paying for a consultation yourself- most are from £200-£300 - and then the consultant may choose to fast track you to their NHS list.

slalomsuki Thu 12-Nov-20 20:21:23

Yes. DH has it through work and I needed an operation this time last year. Non urgent but painful. NHS was 18 months wait at the time and would now have been longer, private health was 2 weeks so I got it in before Christmas last year and recovered well. So glad I did as I have been pain free now for a while and glad I did it.

lazymum99 Thu 12-Nov-20 21:19:15


*However, if you enter hospital via A&E and need admitting and/or an operation you can switch to private at that stage on your insurance*.
Hmmm...not sure about this one @lazymum99 !!!

Some policies have a clause whereby if you choose NHS treatment over the private option (ie it's going to be quicker) they will pay you £x a day as compensation.

Never heard of being able to use private facilities for A&E admissions.

Done this twice with a relative. First it was a broken hip and then a pacemaker needed to be fitted. Both were admitted through A&E, went onto an NHS ward and then switched.

lazymum99 Thu 12-Nov-20 21:21:11

Also a consultant will never fast track you onto an NHS list. It is unethical and you cannnot jump the queue. I speak from personal experience.

tortoiseshell1985 Thu 12-Nov-20 21:28:19

I have it through work and 100 per cent yes
Shorter or no wait times
You actually see the consultant
Your consultations aren't rushed
And a private room too in hospital
Until you have used it you don't appreciate how fantastic it is

JaneyAir Thu 12-Nov-20 21:52:52

@lazymum99 That's not entirely true- your own experience is limited to you. I've known of people seeing a consultant privately then being transferred to their NHS list and when they are treated depends on the severity of the problem; the consultant decides their order of work, no one else.

ShivD Thu 12-Nov-20 22:08:32

We have it through my husbands works as a benefit for the whole family (7 of us!) and for the issues we’ve used it for over the years it’s been brilliant.

I recently took my daughter for an appointment for an issue that could have taken 6 months for initial referral via NHS. We were seen within 2 week, arrived at 16:45 for a 17:00 appointment, we had tests and saw a consultant and on the way home abut 17:15.

I like being able to choose the consultant I want to see, where I want to see them and the lack of waiting at appointments.

tortoiseshell1985 Thu 12-Nov-20 23:50:13

My consultant saw me at rooms he doesn't normally use for consults because it was convenient for me.
Billing was sorted between insurers and hospital I just got an invoice for the excess which was 200 quid
Well worth it
Food wise in hospital you had the menu but if you fancied something else they would sort it food fresh and nicely presented so it was tempting
Privacy and dignity at all times, own room with little en suite bathroom

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