Private Medical Insurance: What You Need to Know

Lazenbys Private Medical Insurance

Why Would You Need Private Medical Insurance?

The NHS is available to everyone in the UK, but many people choose to take out private medical insurance too.

With growing waiting lists, private health care gives patients peace of mind that diagnosis and treatment will be speedy when they need non-emergency care.

How Does Private Medical Insurance Work?

Private medical insurance works like other insurance policies. Each month you pay a premium and when you need private medical treatment you’re able to claim the cost of some or all of that treatment.

There are several different private healthcare insurance providers in the UK, including AXA, WPA, Bupa and the Exeter. Many of the providers are not-for-profit companies that can reinvest the money they make or provide rebates to their members.

Is Private Medical Insurance Tax Deductible?

If you’re a director and your limited company takes out medical insurance, it can claim tax relief on that expense but it would be a taxable benefit for you.

You can also get group private medical cover for a business and offer it as an employee benefit. However, when you offer private medical insurance as a benefit to your employees there are tax implications. It gets treated as a ‘benefit in kind’ so employees need to pay tax on any premiums reported on their P11D.

What Happens with Pre-Existing Conditions?

Private healthcare insurance providers offer two types of cover – moratorium and full underwriting.

With moratorium cover, there’s a time limit on whether the policy covers pre-existing conditions. For example, the insurance provider will usually need you to be free from symptoms or not have needed treatment for a set number of years before the policy covers that condition.

While with full underwriting cover pre-existing conditions are usually excluded altogether. As a result, you have to provide a detailed medical history with your application.

You’ll need to decide which type of coverage is most suitable for you based on your health and medical history. 

How to Buy Private Medical Insurance

To take out private medical insurance, you can do your own research and comparison of policies and then go directly to an insurance provider.

The other option is to visit a broker who provides a needs-based assessment of the most suitable policy and provider. Brokers who cover the whole of the market are not tied to a specific provider and so offer a wide range of policies from different providers.

If you would like to speak to us about private medical insurance please email [email protected].

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