Bath, an elegant city in the county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths, imposing architecture, and traditional heritage is nothing short of thrilling and it is an amazing place to live. Having some of the poshest areas in the neighborhood, Bath is an expensive place.
While living in Bath, it’s important you get your health insured to safeguard you from crises, that is, unexpected illnesses that may occur in the future.
As a resident in Bath, there are several ways you can get affordable healthcare coverage. One way is from employers. Some employers in Bath offer their employees coverage as part of their benefits package.
Other ways are either through the public healthcare service or through the private sector. Let’s look deeper into these to get a better understanding.
Public Health Service
The NHS, founded in 1948, is different from many healthcare systems in the world as it is funded by general taxation instead of health insurance.
In the UK, Bath inclusive, the NHS(National Health System) provides free healthcare for its residents and it is overseen by the Department of Health.
Free healthcare in the UK is granted on the basis of need rather than the payment of insurance. This free healthcare is available to every resident in the UK including expatriates.
Nonresidents in Bath can also have access to these services as long as they did not travel specifically with the intent to receive free health treatment.
These medical services provided by the NHS reduce the costs of healthcare to the barest minimum. But be warned that the public health system or service has long waiting periods.
The NHS is responsible for commissioning primary care services such as physicians, dentists, and pharmacists.
What Does Public Healthcare Cover?
The NHS offers coverage for most of your healthcare needs. Every ordinary resident in Bath(living legally, voluntarily, and settled) is entitled to free primary healthcare services.
- Consultations with your General Practitioner
- Treatment for minor injuries at clinics
- Maternity services
- Accident and emergency treatment
- Sexual health services and contraception
- Treatment with a specialist when referred by your GP
What The NHS Does Not cover
Although the NHS provides wide coverage of the healthcare needs of residents in Bath, there are some exceptions. Residents or patients are required to pay for the following;
- Prescription drugs
- Eye treatment
- Dental treatment
- Wigs and fabric support
Although prescriptions require payment, they have a fixed price, notwithstanding the type of medication or quantity you require for treatment.
The current charge for a prescription is 9GBP, which is 11.50USD. Pharmacies are usually called chemists in Bath. you can purchase your prescriptions from chemists.
While all residents are entitled to hospital treatment, if it’s not an emergency then your GP( General Practitioner must refer you.
Once you are registered with a qualified healthcare professional or GP, you will be able to book appointments for free. It is not common to get a same-day appointment.
You can be able to book or change an appointment directly at your GP practice in different ways:
- Via phone
- In-person by scheduling an appointment at reception
Other Public Health Services
Usually, your GP is your first port of contact, however, you may not always need to see the doctor for minor ailments.
There are some health services available that do not require an appointment and could be of help to you.
- Pharmacists are qualified medical professionals who are trained to give advice on minor conditions that do not necessarily require a prescription (for instance sore throats, minor burns, and stomach aches).
- You can call NHS 111 when you have an urgent medical issue that is not life-threatening. You will be able to speak to trained personnel that would direct you on what to do next.
- Sexual health services and contraception are free and available to everyone in Bath. you can visit any sexual health center to get tested for STIs(sexually transmitted infections) and/or for contraception advice, as the case may be.
Private Health/Medical Insurance
Private medical insurance is an insurance policy designed to pay some or all the costs of the policyholder’s medical treatment. It is also referred to as PMI, private health cover, private health insurance, and health insurance.
Private health insurance removes the limitations of the public healthcare service ensuring that you are able to access treatment without needing to worry about long waiting lists or self-funding your treatment costs.
Private health insurance covers many services including hospital scans, surgeries, inpatient treatments( stay overnight in the hospital), and prescription drugs.
However, in some situations, not all costs are covered; many private policies exclude maternity services, mental health, emergency care, and general practice. So it’s best to inquire from your insurance provider about any exclusions in your policy.
Many residents in Bath usually opt for private health insurance when;
- They want to avoid long waiting times
- They want to have more control over the healthcare treatments they receive(flexibility)
Using a private health insurer has many benefits. Some of them are stated below;
- No waiting lists
- Quick access to diagnosis and treatment
- Private health insurance takes the pressure that comes with the NHS whilst offering you peace of mind
- Flexibility to choose the consultant you want
- Being able to choose the hospital convenient for you
Note: If you decide to purchase private insurance, bear in mind that it is expensive and can leave you with mounting medical bills, particularly for serious/chronic conditions.
Factors That Affect Premiums On Private Health Insurance
In the private sector, your premiums rates on health insurance can be affected by a number of factors. They influence your premiums by either raising or lowering them. They include;
- Current or pre-existing medical condition
- Chosen benefits
- Lifestyle behaviors like smoking, alcohol consumption
Average Cost of Health Insurance
Although the actual price you pay depends on a number of factors, the average premium cost for private health insurance is 1,450 GBP per year (1,900 USD).
Types Of Health Insurance Plans
There are two main types of private health insurance:
This plan type excludes pre-existing medical conditions that you have suffered from in the past five years.
- Full Medical Underwriting(FMU)
The FMU, similar to the moratorium, also excludes any medical conditions you have suffered previously in the last five years. However, after two years on the policy, your insurance provider may start covering you for that condition.
Private Health Insurance Costs
To give you a rough idea of the costs of private treatments, here are some price averages and ranges:
Below are some price averages and ranges for the cost of treatments under private health insurance:
- Consultations: about 200 GBP (250 USD)
- Surgical procedures: between GBP 1,000 (1,300 USD) to 10,000 (13,000 USD)
Private Health Insurance Providers
There are some health insurance companies widely used that provide medical services in the UK. The major ones are:
- Allianz Care
- BUPA Global
- Cigna Global