Top 10 reasons to buy health insurance

We all want to be able to access healthcare quickly when we are ill. The UK is lucky in the fact we have the NHS; however, what happens when you cannot get an appointment? Can you afford to self-fund specialist consultations and diagnostic tests, or would it cost too much money? With waiting times increasing and no sign of improvement, what are your options? Is now the time to buy health insurance?

There are many different drivers that result in people wanting to buy health insurance. For some, it’s personal experience; for others, the fear of uncertainty. Importantly, however, you must understand that private medical insurance does not guarantee you recovery from any medical condition. What is does, is get you to medical specialists fast, which in turn can help you achieve a more positive outcome for your future.

Ascend Health’s TOP 10 reasons to buy health insurance

  1. Get rapid access to a GP

Medical treatment, even on a private basis, is primarily GP-led. When you buy health insurance, you will have access to remote, private GP appointments. This means you do not have to wait to see your own NHS GP and you can begin your journey to recovery sooner. Remote GP apps are easy to use, and appointments are readily available. This can save you having time off work to see your GP. If the private GP believes you need to see a specialist, they can provide a referral that would be recognised by your insurance company. All private GPs available in the app are fully qualified and registered. You can also choose which GP you see, in most cases, and your policy might even provide an element of cover for face-to-face private GP appointments.

  1. See a specialist of your choice quickly

Once your GP (NHS or private) has referred you to a specialist, you will need to contact your insurer to pre-authorise a consultation. When you buy health insurance, you will have a choice of hospital coverage. If you have opted for guided hospitals, the insurer will give you options of consultants close to your home. If you have a specific “hospital list”, you will need to ensure your chosen or recommended consultant is recognised by your provider and is fee assured. Using a fee assured consultant will ensure there are no shortfalls in payment for your consultation. If your GP does not have a specific specialist to refer you to, you can easily research specialists online.

  1. Choose when you have your private hospital appointments

If you are busy at work or are going on holiday, that’s not an issue in the private medical sector. People buy health insurance to get flexibility for their healthcare. Many consultants and specialists offer early morning, evening and some weekend appointment times. You can therefore get your appointments to fit around your life without worrying about having to cancel appointments and joining the back of the NHS queue. The UK government is working hard to improve NHS waiting times and every week there are reports on how this is going to happen. Below is a recent update regarding scanning centres. Private health insurance patients rarely have to wait to get hospital appointments.

  1. Receive private treatment in a hospital of your choice

When you feel unwell, being treated in a hospital of your choice is fantastic. You might opt to be treated close to home or, if you work away from home, maybe in a facility close to your place of work. People who buy health insurance give themselves options! In many cases, we like to be treated near our homes to enable friends and family to visit – especially true when it comes to in-patient and surgery cases.

  1. Affordability when you buy health insurance

There is a misconception that has been around forever, that “health insurance is only for the wealthy”. No longer is this the case. Consumer and business policies are modular and can be tailored to fit your budget. Working with a specialist broker can help you to buy health insurance that is relevant to you. There are many different types of health insurance, including:

  • Private medical insurance (often referred to as health insurance)
  • Health cash plans
  • Benenden Health
  • Hospital treatment/non urgent surgery policies
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (business policies only)

In the first instance, think about what you really want your policy to cover and work from there. You can re-assess your needs year on year. Even when it comes to the renewal of your health insurance, you can still adapt the policy and make changes.

  1. Access and availability of new drugs and treatments

When new drugs and treatments hit the market, they are not always available via the NHS. Technology improves every day and although the original solutions work, sometimes the revised treatments work quicker or more effectively. Robotic surgery and cancer drugs are two areas that immediately spring to mind. These new and improved medical treatments are normally accessible when you buy health insurance. If you are unwell and faced with uncertainty, having access to the latest in medical treatment could save you hours of worry when facing the long road of recovery.

  1. Discounts for health screening and assessments

Many of the UK Health insurance providers now offer discounts for screening when you buy health insurance. There are several providers with screening facilities across the country. If you are a business owner, you can provide workplace screening for your staff on your premises. Early diagnosis can make a big difference to your prognosis and recovery time. Health screening gives you an insight into how your body is working and gives you the chance to make changes if they are needed. If there are indicators or evidence of abnormalities, you can then push forward and have further diagnostic tests. Prices for health screening vary and any discount helps to make health screening more affordable.

  1. Treatment in clean and comfortable hospital facilities

When you have to go to hospital for treatment, what could be better than having your own room, your own TV and your own bathroom! Private hospital facilities offer exceptional levels of comfort and cleanliness. Often implementing strict infection and bacteria testing, private hospitals strive to irradicate infectious diseases such as MRSA in their wards. Visting hours are longer in private hospitals and the food provided to patients is more like a restaurant menu – a far cry from the cold mash potato and watery vegetables with jelly and ice-cream for dessert we often associate with hospital food! Recovering from surgery in a relaxed environment can help you to feel better, faster.

  1. Second opinion options when you buy health insurance

So, you have seen a GP, been to the specialist and had diagnostic tests but you are still unhappy and unsure your diagnosis is correct. When the treatment you are receiving is not making any difference to your symptoms, what can you do at this stage? Private medical insurance providers may offer you a second opinion service. By allowing you to obtain a 2nd expert opinion, you can then have the peace of mind that the original diagnosis and treatment plan is correct. If the second opinion is different from the first, then you have the advantage of following a new treatment plan without going back to the beginning again.

  1. Perks and rewards when you buy health insurance

Although Vitality Health is known for its additional membership rewards and discounts, there are several insurers who also offer membership perks. Have you looked at your policy to see what other benefits you have access to? Gym discounts are often available. Bupa, too, offers discounts on other policies, like dental insurance, if you have a company private medical insurance policy. Essentially, health insurance is no longer just a policy that covers medical treatment. Insurers know they can offer so much more, and they want to give something extra back to their valued members.

The team at Ascend Health have years of experience and can guide you to the type of policy that is right for you. Whether you are looking for yourself and your family, or your entire workforce, our experts can help you today. Speak to the team before you make your decision and ensure that you buy the right policy, first time.

You can contact the team via email: or by telephone: 01245 929129.

We look forward to helping you soon.