A two-tier health care system – the law of supply and demand
As the NHS continues to try and meet its duty of care to the public, the pandemic is forcing the waiting times to grow and realistically there seems to be no solution in the near future. The NHS Confederation believes that the waiting list could be as high as 6.9 million patients by the end of 2022. In accordance with NHS Targets, 92% of patients should be treated within 18 weeks and currently there are 1.5 million patients who have been waiting longer (1).
A more sobering fact is that over 304,000 have been waiting for treatment for over a year and, pre Covid-19, there were only 1,613 patients waiting over 12 months (2).
The net result of the problems that the NHS is experiencing is that many people are now turning to private medical insurance to protect their futures. This is now creating an acute situation where private patients are having treatment much earlier, suffering less long term symptoms, experiencing quicker recovery times and less stress than their NHS counterparts.
What are your options if you choose not to wait for the NHS?
The only option for those patients without medical insurance, who have a condition that requires treatment, is to self-fund care but this can be extremely expensive. The alternative to self-funding is to implement a private medical insurance policy that can offset the financial obligation on to an insurer. As with many things in life ‘prevention is better than cure’ and this is why over 13% of the UK population now have private medical insurance.
The data above, from March 2021, clearly shows the realities of self-funding care or waiting for treatment on the NHS.
What does a PMI policy offer and how much will it cost?
The national average premium for a member in their 60’s is less than £65 per month*. Even the most basic policy will cover the following core benefits, with the ability to upgrade cover further:-
- In-patient surgical care – i.e. heart / joint operations
- Day-patient surgical care – i.e. cataract operation
- CT/ PET/ MRI scans
- Access to a National hospital list
- Cancer care – including drugs and treatment not available on the NHS
- Virtual private GP consultations
Healthcare insurance may not be the answer in every circumstance, but the reality is that accessing NHS care is becoming more difficult and thereby the likely hood of needing private treatment increases. PMI is an affordable way to obtain treatment and access the very best care possible.
(1) State source – The Guardian
(2) State source –www.finder.com/uk/health-insurance-statistics
- Samuel Townsend, IHCS
* For the purpose of this blog, IHCS provided a quote from AXA Health based on our office address for an individual ages 60 for a monthly premium of £60.66. You can see the full quote at the bottom of this page.
We regularly work with IHCS, a specialist broker for Private Medical Insurance and other health related insurance, based in Halifax.
Please note that this blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice.