If you have given any thought to private medical insurance, you may already be aware of some of the benefits and are ready to set about searching for quotes. The following may be some of the factors you are likely to want to take into consideration:

  • the overall benefits of your own private health care insurance are likely to include such elements as faster, more flexible and more convenient access to diagnosis and treatment when you need it;
  • you are also likely to be looking for high standards of care whilst you are in hospital, with a private room and unrestricted visiting hours;
  • you may also wish to check whether the health plan in which you are interested also offers a round-the-clock help line, with 24-hour access to a telephone consultation with a general practitioner;
  • it is important to bear in mind that there are many, many different types, levels and options of private medical insurance available;
  • when seeking your health insurance quote, therefore, you may also need to keep this broad range in mind whilst deciding on the overall level of cover which is likely to best suit your needs and your pocket;
  • at one end of the scale, for example, might be a more basic, low-cost plan that provides everything you might need in the event of hospitalisation, but which provides little, if any, cover for outpatient care, consultation or diagnosis;
  • at the other end of the scale may be the more inclusive, comprehensive type of cover that covers everything from outpatient to inpatient care and may even include such alternative practices as osteopathy and chiropractics, or psychiatric care;
  • if you are a frequent traveller, you may also want to give some thought to whether cover should be extended on an international basis, so that you may be treated under the same terms and conditions wherever in the world you happen to be (in that case, you might note that many plans vary according to whether or not travel to the United States is involved – because of the relatively high cost of medical care in that country);
  • when seeking quotes, you may also want to keep in mind the generous discounts frequently available if you include more than one individual in the same health care plan;
  • thus, a family health plan is likely to be cheaper per individual covered than an individual health plan, whilst a group (or even a whole company) plan is likely to cheaper still;
  • as with many other types of insurance, you may wish to take into account the typically quite significant reduction in premiums that may achieved by taking on a relatively higher voluntary excess – the general rule of thumb being, of course, that the higher the excess, the lower the premiums;
  • in choosing your health insurance provider you may also find a preference for those offering telephone support and guidance in selecting the right health care plan for you (and, if appropriate, your family).

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