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Is private health insurance worth it?

Nearly half-a-million people in the UK took out private health insurance in 2022. Long waiting lists and difficulty accessing care in the post-pandemic recovery is encouraging more people to pay for health cover.

Private health insurance can get you seen faster, but there are costs to consider. And, as with all insurance policies, there will also likely be limits, restrictions and things that you cannot claim for.

Below, we explain:

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Interest in private healthcare has been worried since the start of the Covid pandemic

What is private health insurance?

Whether you are worried about cancer, have a niggly knee or some other symptoms that are troubling you, then private healthcare insurance has an array of benefits, albeit coming at a cost.

In return for your premium, you’ll get swift access to private healthcare from assessments and diagnoses through to treatment and aftercare.

You will also often get to choose which specialist you see and may be able to attend a private hospital close to you.

Private health insurance doesn’t just support your physical health either. The best private health insurance companies are increasingly providing more support for mental health too.

What does private health insurance cover mean?

Exactly what is covered by private health insurance will vary between providers and the level of cover you choose.

However you can typically expect the following with comprehensive private health insurance:

  • Private consultations with specialist doctors, but it is unlikely to cover private GP consultations
  • In-patient treatment, including surgery
  • Out-patient services including scans, tests and x-rays
  • Physiotherapy for problems such as back pain or sporting injuries, generally limited to 12 sessions
  • Access
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