What is Private Healthcare?

30th May 2019

When you work for yourself your time is, quite literally, money – which makes the prospect of an illness or injury much more concerning. No one wants to worry about their bills when they are sick, we just want to get better! This is why it’s important to have Private Healthcare in place.


What is Private Healthcare?


Most UK residents are entitled to free healthcare through the NHS. However, due to the long waiting times, you may not be getting back on your feet as soon as you’d hoped. With Private Healthcare you have access to private clinics and facilities at short notice, as well as access to medication or treatments that aren’t available on the NHS.


What does Private Healthcare cover?


Like most insurance, the cover you receive depends on the Private Healthcare policy you choose to buy. A basic policy usually covers most in-patient treatments and day-care surgery. However, other policies may extend to cover out-patient treatments such as specialists and consultants.


Benefits of Private Healthcare


Reduced waiting times – According to recent NHS data, 1 in 10 people wait longer than 18 weeks for non emergency treatment. A key benefit of Private Healthcare is the ability to receive treatment as soon as you need it – you can sometimes request a date. A problem that many of our clients face on the NHS is also that planned treatments get trumped by emergency cases – rightly so but, this nonetheless pushes your opportunity to get better further away. This is can be prevented with Private Healthcare.


Freedom of choice – Typically, with NHS treatment, you are assigned a specific hospital and appointment time. However, Private Healthcare provides you with the luxury of choice. With some policies, you can choose a specific specialist, hospital and appointment time that suits you and your busy schedule.


Access to more – It can often take time and money for new treatments and medication to be approved and incorporated into NHS facilities. However, the private clinics and facilities available with Private Healthcare are fast to adopt these new services – giving you access to more opportunities to get well.


Your own private room – When visiting an NHS hospital for treatment, if you require a bed, it’s likely that you will be placed into a shared room with other patients. By having Private Healthcare, you may benefit from a private room with added amenities such as an en-suite or parking facilities.


Why is it important for Contractors to have Private Healthcare in place?


When you are employed, your employer may have provided you with certain benefits such as ‘sick pay.’ Now that you work for yourself you no longer get the same benefits, meaning that  if you are unable to work due to an illness, you won’t be earning. Having Private Healthcare in place will help you get back on your feet faster than using NHS services. For the same reasons, it might be worth investigating an Income Protection policy too, as this will help to cover the majority of your income for the duration of your illness. With these policies combined you can focus on your health, confident that you can meet your mortgage payments, bills and lifestyle costs while taking the time needed to get better.


How much does Private Healthcare cost?


The cost of the policy depends on a few factors including:

  • Your age – the older you are, the more it may cost
  • Your medical history – have you had any critical or on-going illnesses?*
  • Your family’s history – has anyone in your family suffered from heart disease, cancer or a stroke?
  • Your lifestyle – if you’re a smoker or overweight, the policy could be more expensive


*It is important to note that you will have to declare pre-existing medical conditions to your adviser. If not, you may not be able to claim.


Other types of insurance worth considering as a Contractor


There are several other insurance products you can use to protect yourself and ensure financial security if you fall ill, injured or pass away.


Income Protection: As mentioned previously, Income Protection is a policy which pays you a regular salary if you’re unable to work and earn due to illness or injury.


Relevant Life Insurance: A tax efficient way to pay for life insurance that ensures your family receive a full payout in the event of your death.


Critical Illness Cover: Pays out a lump sum if you are unable to return to work due to a critical illness.


If you’re looking to set up Private Healthcare, get in touch with one of our Contractor protection specialists.


All content is accurate at the time of publication

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