Health Insurance

Best Ways To Get Affordable Health Insurance In Brighton

Brighton is saddled with high health and safety risks more than most areas in the UK due to its sky-high levels of knife and gun violence.

The overall crime rate is 95 for every 1000 persons making it the most dangerous city in all of East Sussex.

 Individuals must take proactive measures to protect their downside in the form of an invoice if they suffer any unforeseen event.

The health system in the United Kingdom offers free, taxpayer-funded health care to all people living in the United Kingdom through the NHS (national health service) and is regarded as one of the best, safest and cheapest health care systems in existence.

 In simpler terms, it fully recognizes health as a right, meaning that free care is granted based on need rather than the payment of money as fees or insurance.

Even though the standard of medical facilities is good, be warned: the waiting lists can be gruellingly long, and there are limits to your choices.

However, you can also access the private healthcare system, which many people in the UK choose to do. You may be wondering why you should consider private health insurance on top of what the NHS offers.

While it is true that many NHS services are free and accessible to both Brighton residents and visitors, many other services are not covered. 10.5% of the UK population also have private health insurance, suggesting that the NHS has some flaws.

It is possible to take out a local policy for your health insurance in Brighton, but it is recommended to use an international insurance company.

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What does the NHS cover?

The NHS provides all kinds of health care services free of charge, as long as you are considered a resident. This includes a wide range of medical conditions and treatments, such as:

  • treatment for minor injuries in clinics;
  • maternity services;
  • sexual health services and contraception;
  • consultations with your GP and nurse;
  • treatment at accident and emergency (A&E);
  • if referred by your GP, treatment with a specialist.

While most medical services provided by the NHS are free, there are some exceptions that you will have to pay for, including:

  • Medication prescriptions.
  • Dental treatment or examination.
  • Eye exams.
  • Wigs and fabric support.
  • GP (general practitioner) services for the provision of certificates for a health insurance policy.

Some NHS services are available to everyone, including non-UK residents. These include:

  • Emergency treatments (although there are health care costs for emergency surgeries) at NHS hospitals.
  • Family planning services (excluding abortions and infertility treatment)
  • Treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Treatment of physical or mental conditions caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, or sexual violence.

How to access the UK Public Health System in Brighton

Once you’ve registered with the NHS, a GP (general practitioner) is your first go-to for most medical issues. You have the legal provision to choose your GP.

You may go about this in different ways; for example, you can ask people you trust for recommendations or you can do work of researchIng online.

A General Practitioner practice cannot refuse you, unless they have reasonable grounds, such as lacking the needed capacity to take you on board.

You can change practice if you deem it necessary, without providing any reasons. Registration is done at the GP by completing a GMS1 form.

To do this, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill, etc.)
  • Valid ID (e.g. passport, national identity card, etc.)

Appointments with the GP usually last around 10 minutes. They will give you a referral if you need specialized treatment. For emergency care, you can go directly to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of NHS hospitals.

Is Private Health Insurance a smart choice in Brighton?

You may decide that the right path for you is to take out medical insurance or at the very least supplement public care with a private policy.

However, how does private health insurance work? If it is not offered to you as part of your employee benefits package, and you can afford it, you might want to consider it, as it will allow you to choose the level of care you get, and how and when it is provided.

As a general norm, private hospitals and specialist clinics have much shorter waiting lists and better infrastructure, but costs can be astronomically high.

Brighton residents usually consider taking out private treatment to cover:

  • They want to avoid waiting times
  • They want to have more control over the medical treatments they receive.
  • If you think you may need treatment or service not covered by the NHS for free, such as dental care or specialist medicine.
  • If you prefer to choose which doctor or hospital to go-to for any procedure or treatment, or even access medicines and treatments that are not usually available on the NHS.
  • If you’ll likely want second opinions or more tests to make sure you’ve considered all of your options before getting treatment.
  • If you want to have the peace of mind of knowing that you can receive a bed in a private hospital and have visited 24 hours a day.
  • In short, private health insurance allows individuals to access UK private health care and have more control over their medical treatment needs.

UK Private Health Insurance Costs

To give you a rough estimate of the costs of private consulting and treatments, here are some price averages and ranges:

Consultations: Around 200 GBP (250 USD)

Surgical procedures: From GBP 1,000 (1,300 USD) to 10,000 (13,000 USD)

Private Health Insurance Providers

There are some health insurance companies widely used by ex-pats, which cover treatments in the UK. The main ones are:

  • Allianz Care
  • BUPA Global
  • Cigna Global

How to Reduce Costs of Private Health Insurance Premiums in Brighton?

Adding Excess

Adding an excess is a common way of reducing your health insurance premiums 

Hospital List

Most insurers offer a standard hospital list which covers a wide range of hospitals throughout the UK.

Nonetheless, there are then options to either increase or reduce that hospital list depending on your requirements.

Options to reduce the hospital list can often include a local hospital list limiting the hospitals in which treatment can be received. Some insurers go as far as offering hospital lists which limit you to private wings of NHS hospitals.

With all of these alternatives, it is imperative to understand the cover provided by each and the cost of that particular benefit before making any decisions on changing cover to reduce your monthly premiums.

6 Week Wait Alternative

The 6 weeks wait alternative was introduced into the PMI market to provide a more cost-effective option to individuals who were priced out of the market.

With the 6-week wait alternative, the policyholder agrees to receive treatment via the NHS should the waiting list for treatment of their condition be less than 6 weeks.

Should in case the NHS waiting list be more than 6 weeks, the policyholder is eligible to receive treatment privately immediately. By picking the 6 weeks to wait alternative premiums can reduce by as much as a third.

The 6 week NHS wait only applies to inpatient care (i.e. all care requiring the hospital bed be out in use), not outpatient care.

If you’ve chosen outpatient care on your policy, this will allow you to be seen privately as soon as possible for all outpatient diagnostic tests/scans. The 6 week NHS wait only comes to the fore after it becomes apparent you need inpatient care.

Degree of Outpatient Cover

A great measure of Private Medical Insurance (PMI) products will provide cover for inpatient treatment in full (i.e. situations where a stay in hospital is required).

It is in the degree of outpatient treatment that the premiums can differ considerably as claims are more frequent.

Outpatient treatment includes any scans, tests or specialist consultations where a stay in hospital is not required.

The three options tend to be no outpatient treatment, a level of outpatient treatment capped at a limit i.e. £1,000 per policy year or covering the outpatient treatment in its entirety.

Usually, the lesser the level of outpatient cover provided the lesser your monthly premiums.

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