The capital and largest city in Wales, Cardiff, is famed for having the most castles in the world. The city is absolutely captivating with lots of historic landmarks, world-class sports, beautiful natural views and buzzing nightlife.
And did you know that the cost of living in Cardiff is exceedingly low? Far below the UK average? Well, now you know. The cost of living in Cardiff is 38% lower than that of London. Choosing to stay in Cardiff is a great choice.
While you are at Cardiff it is important that you secure your health from unforeseen health conditions that could arise.
There are several ways you can get health coverage in Cardiff. The first way is through your employer. Some employers in the city provide health insurance for their workers. It is usually a part of their benefit package.
Other ways are through the public healthcare system provided by the government or through private health insurance companies. Let’s take a closer look at these.
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Public Healthcare System In Cardiff
In Cardiff, as well as other cities in the UK, primary healthcare services are provided by the NHS (National Health Service).
These services are free and are offered to everyone living within the UK.
NHS Wales is funded by general taxation and is overseen by the Department of Health.
The key principle of the NHS is that access to healthcare services should be based on clinical need and not on the ability of an individual to pay.
The NHS through their services have reduced the cost of healthcare to the minimum; as long as you are a resident in Cardiff, you are entitled to primary healthcare services.
However, the public health system has long waiting periods and many residents opt for private health insurance for this reason.
What Does Public Healthcare Service Cover?
All residents in Cardiff( living lawfully, voluntarily and settled) are entitled to free primary health care services. Some services provided by the NHS includes:
- Maternity services
- Treatment for minor injuries at clinics
- Accident and emergency( A & E) treatment
- Treatment with a specialist when referred by a General Practitioner
- Sexual health services and contraception
What The Public Healthcare Does Not cover
Although the NHS is very comprehensive, there are certain treatments that are not covered by the NHS and require payment. Residents in Cardiff are required to pay for;
- Eye care treatment
- Dental treatment
- Wigs and fabric support
- Prescription drugs
- Any medical condition which existed previously before you arrived in the UK
Even though prescriptions are paid for, they have a fixed price regardless of the type and quantity you require per treatment.
In Cardiff, the current prescription charge is 9 GBP (11.50 USD). There are countless chemists available in the city where you can buy your prescription drugs. Pharmacies are called chemists in Cardiff.
Although residents/patients are entitled to free hospital treatment, if it’s not an emergency, your GP (General Practitioner) or qualified health professional will refer you.
As a registered patient to a GP, you would be able to book appointments for free. It is rare to get same day appointments.
You can book your appointments in three ways;
- Via phone
- Physically ( scheduling an appointment in person at reception)
Other Public Health Services
A GP is a general practice doctor who treats common medical conditions and refers patients to either hospitals or other medical services for specialist treatment.
Your GP is usually the main point of contact of health matters but you do not always have to see or visit the doctor for minor ailments.
Some health services are made available that could be of great help and that do not need you to book an appointment to gain access.
- Pharmacists are trained medical professionals, qualified to give advice on minor health conditions that do not necessarily require a prescription (for example sore throats, stomach aches and minor burns).
- You can call NHS 111 when you have a pressing medical issue that is not life-threatening. You will be able to speak to trained personnel that would give you instructions on what to do next.
- Sexual health services and contraception are free and available to everyone in Cardiff. You can visit any of the sexual health centres to get tested for STIs(sexually transmitted infections) and/or for contraception advice, as the case may be.
Private Health Insurance I111n Cardiff
Although more expensive, private health insurance provides better services than public healthcare service. You get access to better facilities, no waiting times and you get more control over your medical treatments.
You can buy a private health insurance policy if you can afford it if you weren’t offered coverage by your employer or you are not satisfied with the services of the NHS.
Many residents in Cardiff often make use of the public health care system, but if you decide to get treated privately without having private insurance,bear in mind that it can be really expensive, especially for serious health conditions.
Residents in Cardiff usually only have private health insurance for one of the following reasons:
- They want to avoid long waiting times
- Their company/employer provides it as part of an employment benefit package;
- They want to have more control over the medical treatments they receive.
Using a private healthcare insurance is equally good and has some great benefits:
- Little or no waiting lists
- Quick access to diagnosis and treatment
- A private health insurance takes the pressure that comes with the NHS while offering you peace of mind
- Ability to choose the consultant you want
- It gives you the ability to choose the hospital convenient for you
Factors That Affect Premiums On Private Health Insurance
Private health providers consider some factors when determining how much you pay as premium for your health insurance. These factors include;
- Current or pre existing health condition
- Chosen benefits
- Lifestyle behaviours e.g smoking, alcohol consumption
Average Cost Of Health Insurance
Many private health policies do not include maternity services, mental health, emergency care and general practice. Healthcare providers base their premiums on the claims made by certain groups of people which is usually influenced by their place of residency and age.
The price of premium for health insurance is 1,450 GBP per year on average, which is about 1,900 USD. However, your actual cost depends on factors mentioned earlier.
Types Of Health Insurance Plans
There are basically two types of health insurance plans:
This plan type does not include most pre-existing medical conditions that you have suffered from in the past five years.
- Full Medical Underwriting(FMU)
The FMU also excludes any medical conditions you have suffered from in the last five years. However, your insurer may start covering you for that condition after 2 years on the policy.
Private Health Insurance Costs
Below we’ve provided some estimates, averages and ranges of the costs of private treatments;
- Consultations: Around 200 GBP (250 USD)
- Surgical procedures: within the range of GBP 1,000 (1,300 USD) to 10,000 (13,000 USD)
Private Health Insurance Providers
Some major health insurance providers widely used in the Cardiff are;
- Allianz Care
- BUPA Global
- Cigna Global
There are some comparison sites online that can help you make informed decisions. All the best!