Luton is a town and borough with unitary authority status, within the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire; it is located in south-east England, but is aligned to the East of England for certain administrative purposes.
The Affordable Health Insurance In Luton fully recognizes health as a right, and offers free, taxpayer-funded health care to all people living in Luton meaning that free care is granted on the basis of 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 gruelingly 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.
It begs the question: what does the NHS cover?
What Cover Does The NHS provide?
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.
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.
The British are very attached to their health system. However, in several aspects, the NHS does not correspond to the needs of a number of individuals:
- The consultation time with the general practitioner is considered to be too short (the consultation duration ten minutes on average) and in general only one medical problem is treated per consultation.
- It is necessary to be recommended by the general practitioner to consult any specialist including the gynecologist and the pediatrician.
- Waiting times can be several weeks or even months to see a specialist or be admitted to hospital.
- The quality of care and treatment you receive may depend on where you live.
- Common rooms in the hospital lack privacy.
How to Access The UK Affordable Health Insurance In Luton
Anyone can get treatment at the NHS.
If you have Luton resident status, you have free access to the NHS, regardless of your employment status. If you are European and you are in the United Kingdom for a temporary or tourist stay, you can access the NHS using your European health insurance card (be careful, this only gives access to emergencies and unplanned care ). If you are a temporary resident or a tourist from a country outside the European Economic Area, you must pay a health tax to access the NHS .
Registering with the NHS
Membership of the NHS is not automatic. You must first register with an NHS medical practice (NHS surgery) located near your place of residence or work and provide your British tax number (national insurance number) as well as proof of address. Some medical offices may also ask you for identification.
If you’re traveling from one area of the UK to another, you can still visit any NHS doctor’s practice (and you can register there as a temporary patient for up to three months ).
Consult a general practitioner (GP)
The GP (NHS GP) is the first point of contact for patients with the NHS. All patients must go through the general practitioner to be able to see a specialist doctor, including a gynecologist or a pediatrician. The objective of this system is to control public health expenditure and to guarantee the efficiency of the system by ensuring that patients only consult specialist doctors if it is medically necessary.
The average duration of a consultation with the GP in the UK is ten minutes. Doctors can ask patients to mention only one medical problem per consultation. It is therefore preferable to make a double appointment which will allow several medical problems to be discussed at once.
Why Take Out private Health Insurance In Luton?
Brighton residents usually consider taking out private treatment for six reasons:
- they want to avoid waiting times;
- they want to have more control over the medical treatments they receive.
- If you think you may need a 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 visits 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.
How to Reduce Costs of Private Health Insurance Premiums in Luton?
Adding an excess is a common way of reducing your health insurance premiums
6 Week Wait Option
The 6 week 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 week 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.