How health insurance works in the UK is similar to how health insurance works in other countries, like the US and the Philippines. Residents and non-residents in the UK can access health insurance through the public or private sector.
How Health Insurance Works in the UK?
There are pros and cons in the public healthcare system and private health insurance in the UK. But many residents opt for National Health System, which is the UK’s free healthcare system. It is also publicly funded.
Because NHS is residence-based, all UK residents can access the service free of charge.
If you relocate to the UK, you can access free healthcare through the NHS. Unfortunately, the waiting list is long. Furthermore, the options are limited.
Despite the long list, the NHS is still the most affordable and the safest compared to other rich nations.
When you relocate to the UK and become a UK resident, you can receive NHS care. But you can always pay for private health insurance. You can also use them both.
The Underfunding Issues
The free healthcare system in the UK is one of the best in the world. However, it has faced serious challenges because of underfunding.
Still, patients are getting a higher standard of care. If you are relocating to the UK permanently, you can access all services of NHS, thereby, significantly reducing health care costs.
On the other hand, if you get private health insurance, you can easily access specialists. You are also entitled to receive treatment from better facilities. Furthermore, the waiting times are greatly reduced.
Public Health Insurance in the UK
It covers everything. That is, you can use it to pay for your medical needs, from doctor’s appointments to emergency surgery. However, if you need dental and eye care treatments, you may need to pay a certain fee.
If you’re a non-resident in the UK, you can still get healthcare. However, you need to meet a certain requirement. That is, you did not travel to the UK to receive free treatment.
How Private Health Insurance Works in the UK?
Private health insurance is also known as private medical insurance (PMI). It pays for any private medical treatment, surgery, and tests. The coverage is designed for acute conditions. It means that they are curable.
There is a premium you need to pay monthly, just like the private health insurance in other countries. While your policy is active, your insurance will pay for your treatment.
Private health insurance in the UK is designed to work along with services provided by the NHS. For instance, if you have a GP appointment, it will be through the NHS. However, if you have private health insurance, you can get treatment sooner.
With private health insurance, you can choose where to get treatment, opt for a private room, and other treatment types.
What Private Health Insurance Covers?
It can cover treatment for inpatient, outpatient, and day patients.
If you have comprehensive health insurance, the premium is higher. However, it can cover more types of treatment.
Depending on the health insurance, the coverage will include physiotherapy, psychiatric treatment, optical appointments, dental treatment, and treatment for certain diseases. It also covers medical treatment at home.
Unfortunately, most private health insurance won’t cover chronic illnesses, electric treatment, and emergency treatment. It may not cover drug abuse treatment and treatment abroad.
It also doesn’t necessarily cover care and treatment during pregnancy.
Some insurers don’t cover certain medical conditions that you already have, like diabetes.
Before you sign an agreement with the health insurer, make sure to read what coverage you can get from such a policy.
The Cost of Health Insurance in the UK
It depends on the coverage you wish to obtain. Other factors will play, such as your age, medical history, family history, and lifestyle.
Knowing how health insurance works in the UK is important before relocating. Generally, private health insurance works similarly to health insurance in other countries.