Tips for Health

Top options for extra medical care

By on April 25, 2013 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Medical care can be a pretty controversial topic in the UK these days. What with the country’s strained finances, care scandals and long waiting periods for appointments, tests and treatments, most people have something to say about it. Regardless of what your opinions are, though, it’s worth shaking off any preconceptions you have and taking a practical look at the various options for extra medical care.

extra medical careBy extra medical care, I mean services provided outside the NHS. For many of us, private healthcare often feels like an unnecessary and excessive expense.

But, there are plenty of situations when the additional support of private health companies can definitely come in handy – if only for peace of mind – and when the cost of harnessing it could be lower than you expect.

How to save money on private medical care

Private health insurance is something of a luxury, but there are ways to turn it into a more feasible expense. The first place to start is by checking whether your place of work has any deals to offer you; these days, more and more companies throw private health insurance into their employment packages, so it’s definitely worth looking into!

Meanwhile, some sectors give you the opportunity to take advantage of decent deals. For instance, anyone who either currently works in or who has worked in the civil service can join members clubs that offer a host of great savings.

You can find out more about theseĀ here, but typically they’re very varied, offering things like savings on family outings, car cover and much more, alongside services such as private health insurance. Of course, deals will change over time, so I can’t tell you exactly how much you can save or what extras could be thrown in, but examples include getting around two-thirds off private road ambulance services, or receiving the first two months of your health cover free of charge.

If you don’t want to go down the path of budgeting for private health insurance, you can always consider paying for the odd service out of your own pocket as and when you need to. For example, when I get a running injury I tend to head straight to my local physiotherapist for advice, because this means I can sidestep long NHS waiting periods. Since I only need to do this very occasionally, I don’t mind the additional one-off expense.

Types of cover

OK, let’s take a quick look at the types of cover available. The good thing about getting private insurance through something like a members club is that it often means you’ll have the freedom to personalise your plan, which means that it’s more flexible both in terms of fitting in with your budget and the type of services you need.

Usually, you’ll have to at least purchase ‘essential cover’, which includes fairly standard services like consultations, as well as things like surgery and special scans, such as MRI and PET scans. On top of that, you can choose from a range of extras.

These include things like heart and cancer cover, which provides full financial protection for the care you’ll need to tackle these kinds of conditions. Another interesting option is expert diagnostics, which means that you’ll be able to skip all those long queues associated with the NHS and have fast access to specialists and investigative tests to get the bottom of any health problems you’re having.

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