Private Medical Insurance, need or want?


The NHS is one of the UK’s greatest institutions and it provides most UK residents with free healthcare at the point of need, but long waiting lists and the increasing need for specialist treatments has resulted in many people using their own resources to pay for private healthcare. Others have arranged their own Private Medical Insurance (PMI), which can supplement what’s available on the NHS.

If you don’t have PMI as part of an employee benefits package you might decide it’s worth paying extra to provide you with more choice over the care you receive.

Need versus want

You get free treatment on the NHS, so it’s very much a personal choice, but you only really need private medical insurance if you would prefer not to wait for NHS treatment, you’d rather not use the NHS, or you would prefer to receive treatment through a private hospital.

There are advantages to having PMI, such as:

  • Specialist referrals - You can ask your GP to refer you to a consultant working privately to get a second opinion or specialist treatment.
  • Get the scans you want or need - If the NHS delays a scan you could use your cover to pay for it.
  • Reduce waiting time - You can use your insurance to reduce the time you spend waiting for NHS treatment.
  • Specialist drugs and treatments- Some specialist drugs and treatments aren’t available on the NHS because of their expense, so you can use your cover to pay for it.   
  • Physiotherapy - You get quicker access to physiotherapy sessions if you have insurance than you would through NHS treatment.

Like all insurance, the cover you receive will depend upon the policy you buy. Basic private medical insurance usually picks up the costs of most in-patient treatments and day-care surgery. Some policies extend to out-patient treatments and might pay you a fixed amount for each night you spend in an NHS hospital.

At Armstrong Watson Financial Planning and Wealth Management we have partnered with a leading independent PMI broker in order to offer our clients access to the whole market and can guide you in making the right decisions, whether that’s for you, your family, or as an employer, part of a remuneration package you wish to offer to your employees. 

For further details please get in touch with David at our Skipton office on 01756 620049.

Email David