While the NHS is freely available, having health insurance in Northern Ireland can make any illness or treatment easier to manage and give you more options in treatment. Private health cover comes in a range of levels that you can choose based on your expected future needs and requirements.
Health insurance will generally be available to cover the costs of healthcare such as medical treatment, hospital stays and surgery. It’s important to get cover that you can afford – both with the premium itself and any payments you’ll have to make if you use it, such as excess or added fees that are not insured.
A primary reason to purchase private health cover is to avoid the long waiting lists that can sometimes occur especially in rural areas with limited facilities or in large hospitals with a lot of NHS users. This way you can usually get treatment a lot quicker by seeing a private specialist and avoiding the public waiting times.
You can choose cover that will give you access to private hospitals or you can even consider going private in an NHS hospital this generally means you can get your own room when available and if your doctor practices there, you’ll be able to get treatment.
For those who are new to private health cover it can be quite surprising to find out just how expensive some procedures are. Because of this, you need to be prepared financially to cover anything you insurance does not. You can’t claim your out of pocket expenses or refer them to NHS if you cannot afford them. If you have insurance you can usually choose to be treated as a public patient but this means you won’t be able to access any features of your policy.
Existing medical conditions don’t necessarily exclude you from being insured in Northern Ireland. Instead, you may find that any treatment for that condition is excluded but everything else will be covered as normal. Alternatively you may discover that you will have to sit through a waiting period before you can claim against it which means that you will have to use the NHS for that condition.
Obtaining private health insurance in Northern Ireland isn’t too difficult and there are more players on the market all the time. You should compare the costs against your needs and budget and work out which policy offers you the most in return. Health is generally one type of insurance that will get accessed more than any other and so you want it to be accurate for your needs.