PMI or Private Medical Insurance is going to get more and more popular in the next few years. There are several choices to be made, especially regarding the company, the excess and whether to go for full cover, family cover or even “group” cover. It is not inconceivable that groups of professionals or trade unions might club together to get a group policy. These are much cheaper than individual cover.
As the standards fall, and complication rates rise, infections will get more common, and the risk reduction by going private will be the greater. Don’t forget that Private Medicine escapes from complications either by prevention (No shit in this theatre) or by transferring to the UK’s 4 health services when things go wrong.
Private Medicine does take away from health services’ waiting lists, and as such the gain to the 4 health services is much greater than the loss of £250 million annually. However, as the percentage of citizens who choose PMI or just to pay outright increases, there is a more obvious health divide. Those who can afford it have operations at a time they choose, from a consultant and not a junior, and have less complications and get back to full function more quickly. The morbidity of waiting for 160 weeks as in N Ireland cannot be measured, but we know that heart complaints and obesity are likely.
Choosing a high excess means a lower premium, but the reason you take out this option is for disasters. These might include an exclusion from a NICE approved cancer treatment in your particular post code. I have not been able to research helicopter transport options to Tertiary Cardiac Surgical centres. In remote areas of the country citizens are too far from such centres to reach them in time for a stent in the event of a heart attack……
Casualty (A&E) services are degenerating as well as planned care. It may not be long before ambulances ask if you might like to go to a private A&E ….. These are NOT covered by most policies.
40% of what a GP sees has a psychiatric element to it, and 40% of GPs in training do not get psychiatry in their rotations. PMI can be perverse in its application, especially in Mental Illness. In Australia the actuaries have commented: “Insurers offer perverse incentives on mental health claims”. (Banking and Finance in Australia) Mental Illness can be long, and making a claim is laborious. Once claiming successfully there is less incentive to get back to work quickly than there is with physical conditions, according to actuaries.
Whether you decide to pay directly or insure, remember that premiums rise as you get older, and are higher still for those with pre-existing conditions, Even if your cancer is cured and 5 years old, you may well be loaded or even rejected.
NHSreality predicts PMI will get more popular, and that there may be differentially higher rates in regions whose services are worst, as more claims will be made. Our “leaders” will show us the way…
Chris Smyth reports October 20th in the Times: NHS spends £250 million patching up private care
Paul Gallagher for Inews reports: Junior doctors in private hospitals ‘left in charge of up to 96 beds each’
MoneySupermarket offers a comparison website. as do many others.
The big UK players are: AXA PPP, Aviva, Western Provident, BUPA
and of course there is the Benenden low cost option (Mutual) which excludes cancers, and only operates when waiting lists are longer than their policy (always these days)
23rd August 2017: Best private health insurers revealed by Which?
In Dentistry the same players offerings can be compared, as well as Denplan
Drivers for more PMI: (Our leaders show us the way) Waiting times, Choice, Standards, Risk reduction….
Government officials, former Chairmen and CEOs of Health Trusts, and Politicians all choose PMI. Why? (The Express 18th October 2017: Anger as new NHS watchdog chief REFUSES to give up private …)
As the UK disintegrates there will be competition for professions in shortage. GPs are the gatekeepers and the single reason the system has been “efficient” in the past. Now there are
NHS problems and Waiting Lists are unacceptable : NHS Health Check: Hunt says NHS problems ‘unacceptable’ reports Nick Triggle for the BBC on 10th February.
NHS Health Check: Which part of the UK is doing the best/ (worst)?
Faye Kirkland and Phillipa Roxby report: NHS Health Check: A&E waits for January ‘worst ever’
Full article The 10 ‘longest’ hospital delays exposed
l article How one GP practice tackled waiting times:
Jeremy Hunt: We must do better on NHS waiting times