Private Health Insurance – Is It For Me ?

September 6, 2023

Whether or not you should get private medical insurance (PMI) depends on various factors, including your individual circumstances and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether private health insurance is right for you:

  1. Current Health Status: Consider your current health and medical needs – many private health companies will exclude any pre-existing conditions, so you may decide that it’s better to insure yourself while you are still healthy !
  2. Coverage Needs: Assess what types of medical services and treatments you require. PMI often covers services that may not be fully covered by public health insurance, such as dental, vision, or certain elective procedures. Most PMIs allow you to claim back the cost of dental and optical up to a ceiling that you can pre-determine.
  3. Financial Situation: Evaluate your financial situation and budget. Private health insurance can be expensive, so it’s important to ensure that you can afford the premiums and any potential out-of-pocket costs.
  4. Public Health System: Research the quality and availability of public healthcare services in your area. In some countries, the public healthcare system may be sufficient for basic medical needs, while in others, it may have long wait times or limited coverage.
  5. Employer Benefits: Most PMI companies will allow you to set up a group scheme with a minimum of 3 people.
  6. Family Considerations: If you have a family, consider their healthcare needs. Private insurance can offer family coverage, which may be beneficial if you have dependents.
  7. Personal Preferences: Some people prefer the peace of mind and convenience that private health insurance provides, such as the ability to choose healthcare providers and skip waiting lists.
  8. Legal Requirements: In some countries, having private health insurance may be mandatory, so be aware of any legal requirements in your area.
  9. Life Stage: Your life stage can also influence your decision. Young, healthy individuals may opt for less comprehensive coverage, while those approaching retirement may seek more extensive coverage.
  10. Pre-existing Conditions: If you have pre-existing medical conditions, check how private insurers handle them. Some may impose waiting periods or exclusions for certain conditions.
  11. Ask about annual Price Increases: many PMI companies annual charges are claims related, so once you make a claim, this will mean your annual price will rise automatically when you renew. You may wish to look at WPA which is not for profit and ensures that premiums rise in accordance with age.
  12. Ease of Access to Treatments: if you run your own business and become unwell, can you afford to be off until your knee can be fixed (long waiting lists) or worrying about a lump that has been found? Whilst you may get fast tracked for any cancer, if a biopsy is taken, it may take weeks for the results to come through which is stressful and certainly not something that is healthy for your body.

Before making a decision, it’s advisable to thoroughly research the available insurance options, compare plans, and consider seeking advice from a financial or insurance advisor. Additionally, read the terms and conditions of the policies carefully to understand what is covered and any limitations or exclusions.

When speaking to a salesperson, be aware that you are the only person who can judge your needs; your decision should align with your healthcare needs and financial capabilities.

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