Ways To Get Affordable Health Insurance In Inverclyde
There are two major sources of affordable health insurance in Inverclyde. It’s either you buy a private health policy or you make use of the public healthcare service. Let’s take a look at the public health service in Inverclyde.
Public Health Service In Inverclyde
Public health care services are provided by the National Health Service, Scotland (NHS). Founded in July 1948, the NHS is a government health agency funded majorly by general taxation that provides free and comprehensive healthcare to all individuals living within the country.
The public health service in Inverclyde is rated as the best and most affordable health service available as it offers extensive coverage of healthcare services for free.
One of the key principles the NHS operates on is to provide comprehensive health for all on the basis of need , not on an individual’s ability to pay.
Her services are available to all and does not segregate based on age, gender, race, religion, marriage or civil partnership, disability or status.
Since the NHS is funded by general taxation, both the employed or self employed are entitled to free care.
Registering With The NHS In Inverclyde
Accessing healthcare services provided by the NHS requires you to register as an NHS patient at a hospital or medical centre nearest you and be assigned a Scottish General Practitioner(GP). Your GP is your first port of call in the event of any health condition.
After you have registered with a GP, a medical card would be given to you. Your NIN(National Insurance Number) is the unique number that allows you access to healthcare services and it is contained inside your medical card.
A general practitioner is a medical doctor who is able to treat all illnesses and has the ability to refer patients for specialist treatment when need be. They are experts at diagnosis and they also give sound medical advice. The average range duration of a consultation with a GP is usually between 8-10 minutes.
Services Offered By NHS In Inverclyde
NHS provides coverage for a wide range of healthcare services; starting from the least consultation to examinations to treatments, hospital stays and even unto surgical procedures.
Stated below are services offered free by the NHS in Inverclyde;
- Dental and eye examinations
- Emergency services e.g ambulance rides
- consultations/ appointments with your GP
- Hospital stays and treatment
- Local pharmacies
- Sexual health Services
- Contraceptive advice
- pregnancy/ maternity services
- Specialist treatment when referred by your GP
Services Not Offered By The NHS In Inverclyde
The NHS, no doubt, provides a comprehensive list of healthcare services to all individuals living in Inverclyde. But there are some services that require payment. They are;
- Eye treatment (glasses and contact lenses)
- Dental treatment
- Travel vaccination
- Cosmetic surgery
Other Health Services Offered By Public Healthcare
Not every ailment or illness requires you to visit your GP. There are some health conditions that can be solved by some other health services available in the county.
Pharmacies are medical stores where medicines are sold. A pharmacist is a trained professional that is capable of giving sound medical advice on minor health conditions. Conditions like sore throat, stomach pains may not always need a prescription from a doctor. Pharmacists can provide solutions to ailments like these.
Call The Helpline
The Helpline, NHS 111 is always open 24/7 to receive distress calls. When you have an urgent medical condition outside the GP opening times, you call and you will be able to speak to a trained adviser that will instruct you on what to do.
Sexual Health Services and Contraception
Sexual health servuces are also free and can visit any of the centres for contraceptive advice.
Disadvantages Of The NHS
Using the public healthcare services provided covers a lot of your healthcare needs and reduces money that should be spent to a minimal level. However, there are some deficiencies the NHS suffers.
Firstly , is the long waiting lists. It takes a long while to get access to see a specialist when you have been referred. It is highly unlikely to get same day appointments.
Secondly, the consultation time with your GP is too short. 10 minutes is usually not sufficient to discuss your medical or health conditions with your doctor.
And lastly, it is expedient that you get a referral to see a specialist, no matter the condition.
Private Health Service In Inverclyde
There are certain individuals who prefer to use private health insurance. Most people who opt for private health usually do it in the bid to avoid the long waiting times of the public healthcare, or they were offered by their employer or they want to have more flexibility and control over the treatments they receive.
Just like the public healthcare service, the pirate health offers many benefits. You get access to better facilities and quicker access to healthcare.
On the other hand, unlike the public health service, the private health service is expensive and considers certain factors when deciding your premium costs.
Factors Affecting Health Insurance Costs In Inverclyde
Some factors that influence the rates you pay on health insurance includes;
Premiums are directly proportional to age. The older you become, the more you pay. It has been found that older people tend to need more medical care as they age and so usually make more claims on their insurance. Hence, they are charged more on health.
Past Medical History
This also plays a role in determining your premium costs. Individuals with a past record of chronic diseases are usually charged higher because they are at a greater risk of needing care again whereas, individuals with clean records are charged less.
Body Mass Index( BMI)
The body mass index is used to measure a person’s body fat and to ascertain if an individual is of a healthy weight. Having a high body index increases the risk of being sick and private health insurers charge individuals with a high BMI more to secure their health.
Your postcode also affects your rates. While some areas are charged less, some pay more on health insurance.
Other factors that are also considered are profession/occupation, family history, chosen benefits, smoking/tobacco use and alcohol consumption.
Services Offered By Private Health Providers In Inverclyde
Private health carriers usually provide coverage only for acute medical conditions and not chronic or severe cases.
Some services offered by private health insurers in Inverclyde
- Consultations with specialists
- Quick access to diagnosis and treatment
- Vaccinations and travel services
- Health checks and fitness packages
- Clinical psychology
- Private general practice
- Dietician services
While searching for affordable health insurance in Inverclyde, it is important that you weigh your options. Each sector has its benefits and downsides. Whichever you choose should be based on your needs and preferences without breaking the bank.