If you live in Leicester you are entitled to free healthcare through the National Health Service ( NHS ).
In Leicester, the condition of being insured in the British Public Health Service is acquired because of residence and no registration in the Social Security system. In principle, those persons who meet the condition of habitual residents in the country have the right to be users of the System.
European citizens legally residing before December 31, 2020, as well as their relatives, will be entitled to free NHS assistance provided that before June 30, 2021, they request settled status by British regulations. They must register under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you arrive in the UK with a visa, you will have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application and you will be able to access NHS services.
The UK will cover healthcare for the first three months of life for babies born in the country whose parents have been legally resident in the country for more than six months. The Government requires parents to have a visa of more than six months duration and to apply for a visa for their newborn child.
If you do not have health insurance you will be charged 150% of the NHS standard rate for any care you receive.
Each region of the UK has its own NHS body. The differences between the regional health services are mainly structural and how some of the services are provided.
To receive medical care in Leicester you need to register with a GP ( General Practice-GP ). You can choose your GP although they have some autonomy in whether or not to accept patients if they don’t live in the local area or if the practice is too crowded. In this case, you should try to register with another GP in the area.
You will generally need a referral from your GP for most hospital treatment, except in emergencies.
Hospital treatment is free if you are a Leicester resident.
The services and treatments listed below are free to all NHS Hospitals in England, including overseas visitors:
- A&E services, but not emergency treatment once you’ve been hospitalized
- Family planning services, but not pregnancy termination or infertility treatment
- Treatment for most infectious diseases, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Treatment for a physical or mental condition caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, or sexual violence. This does not apply if you have come to England to seek this treatment unless you have applied for, or been granted, asylum status.
Emergency Services (A & E), Urgent Care Centers (Walk-in center), or Minor injury unit
A&E (Accident and Emergency): Deals with life-threatening emergencies such as loss of consciousness, chest pain, shortness of breath, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions, severe burns, etc. Not all hospitals have an A&E department.
Walk-in Centre and Minor injury unit: for urgent but non-fatal medical care such as sprains, cuts, bites and stings, ear and throat infections, skin infections and rashes, eye problems, coughs and colds, high temperature in children and adults, stomach pain, vomiting, etc.
What does Private Medical Insurance offer?
Private medical insurance has a lot of perks:
Private health insurance offers the chance to reduce wait periods or avoid them entirely. Which could identify and treat diseases or illnesses quicker and allow for faster treatment.
- Usually, when getting treatment on the NHS, you’re assigned a hospital and appointment time. With private health insurance, you’re offered the convenience of choosing your appointment time, your specialist, and hospital preferences. This means that you can fit your treatments around your schedule, and pick a time that is suitable for you.
- As some cutting-edge treatments that can be life-saving are too expensive to be deemed cost-efficient on the NHS, some private medical insurance will cover the cost.
- Typically, patients on the NHS will be given a bed in a shared room with other patients. Most patients with private medical insurance will enjoy the convenience and will benefit from a private room, free parking, a-la-carte menus, and en suite facilities.
Private Health insurance provides comfort, security, and privacy to any medical experience that could potentially be an upsetting and troublesome time.
Factors that can Affect the Cost of Private Medical Insurance
The cost of private health care depends on two factors; your circumstances and the level of policy coverage that you choose.
To better understand your circumstances, your insurance will ask you questions about:
- The more advanced in age one is, the more likely that individual is to claim health insurance. Private health insurance for those over the ’60s will most times be more expensive in comparison to a 35-year-old.
- Private health insurance doesn’t usually include pre-existing conditions. But depending on the kind of cover you have, previous conditions may or may not be a factor in your price especially If a family member has suffered from a similar condition.
- Do you smoke or have any underlying health conditions? Insurance companies usually ask about nicotine consumption. Contrastingly, some companies might give you a slightly lower price if you take part in healthy activities such as being a member of a gym.
- Insurers settle their prices on the experiences of people in your neighborhood and the cost of treatment there.
- Your insurer will ask you questions as regards excess. The benefit of having an excess with your policy is that it allows you to be in control of your monthly premiums. For example, if you have a treatment that costs £3,000 and you have an agreed excess of £600, you’ll pay £600 for the treatment while your insurer will pay the remaining £2,400.
How to Reduce the Cost of Private Health Insurance
No doubt, health insurance can be useful but it can also be expensive.
With the increase in several persons purchasing private health care, many are looking for ways to cut down the costs of their coverage. In all Honesty, cutting the cost may require some form of compromise.
There are a handful of ways to bring the cost of your private health care down without having to make serious sacrifices. These include:
- Customers have a choice of hospital lists that outlines the hospitals that are available for them to access treatment. Nonetheless, many insurers are offering a guided access option which means the insurer chooses where the customer is treated which can bring down the cost of the insurance.
- An excess is an amount that you’re responsible for contributing toward a claim, so it’s worth checking how much the excess is on your current plan. Excess amounts can range from £0 to £1,000, so you can bring the costs down simply by increasing the excess amount you’d have to pay.
- If you choose to pay your premium yearly instead of monthly, you could save around 5% a year.
- Much like car insurance, some insurers incentivize fewer claims by offering a no-claims discount for each year you don’t claim on your health insurance. If you haven’t had to claim on your insurance for a certain length of time, then you could get benefit from this discount.
- Quitting habits that are health-threatening like smoking or joining a gym class are great ways to reduce the price of your health insurance.