Though there is public health care in the UK, many people rely on auxiliary private medical treatment. It is not usually a question of quality, but the issue of long wait times for procedures. A heart bypass operation may be diagnosed for and completed in a couple of weeks with private treatment, but through the NHS this could take two or three months.
Many people go private for non-emergency specialist appointments and non-urgent treatment. Around a quarter of all operations are performed privately. London is not as affected by terrible wait times as the rest of the country, but many people still choose private insurance.
UK Health Insurance is bought by three groups of people: an individual, group health insurance for companies and family health insurance for families. If you are interested in private insurance, you should take out an insurance policy with a specialist health insurer. Many employers also provide private health insurance as a benefit.
The NHS will pay for treatment in a private setting if the hospital meets the cost and service criteria that NHS hospitals adhere to. Otherwise opting for a private hospital makes the patient liable for private hospital fees. Because the private sector often has higher costs, most people choose to be treated for free in an NHS hospital.
A large private insurance will provide a full range of services. You will find cover for sickness, doctors, specialists, pregnancy, children, care home, dentist, hospital, fitness… But always remember that to be refund of money, doctors or cure must be approved by your insurance. You should call them before you pay all fees (hospital and specialist are consultants subject of agreements) but usually your GP will remember to prescribe you a treatment/specialist accepted by your insurance.
Some plans can cost as low as £8 a month, but this offers only the basest coverage. In general, the more you spend, the better your coverage and most plans are between £30-£100 for a single person.
Premiums are charged for private health insurance plans are based on several factors.
Many different companies offer different plans. Investigate the terms and compare private insurance companies before signing up and request a quote.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to London is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in United Kingdom. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in United Kingdom: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in the United Kingdom, visit our partner APRIL International
There are a number of companies around the globe that provide coverage for international travelers and expatriates. Be sure to find a provider that has the experience and know-how to handle any situation you may encounter if/when the unexpected happens abroad.
One provider of international coverage you may want to consider is Health Insurance for Expatriates