Private Medical Insurance (PMI) also known as Health Insurance is in place to protect you and your family if you need a medical procedure in the future against long NHS waiting lists or paying for the cost of your treatment. The main benefits are shorter waiting times, faster diagnosis, better facilities and more convenient times for appointments and treatments.


If you are treated privately, PMI will pay all or some of your bill depending on how the policy is set up. Private medical insurance need not be expensive, there are plenty of competitively priced plans available which can give you peace of mind that you will be well looked after in the event of needing treatment either for yourself or your family.


Private Medical Insurance covers an array of conditions, including exclusive drugs, hospital stays, scans and surgical procedures. Inpatient treatment is when you require a hospital bed, and is covered with most plans.


Outpatient treatment means visiting external specialists or consultants, and is usually available on more expensive policies. Different plans will offer different options.


There are typically two types of cover available: moratorium underwriting and full medical underwriting. Moratorium underwriting is much quicker and you only need to give limited information to the insurer regarding your medical history. The insurer will not cover you initially for any conditions that have affected you in the past few years (normally two years). This may be a condition that you have received treatment for, taken medication for or even asked your GP for advice about. Once the two years has passed, the insurer may then cover this particular medical condition subject to the terms and conditions of the plan you take out.


Full medical underwriting on the other hand is much more detailed and you are required to give a full medical history as part of the application process. You’re likely to get wider coverage but it will probably be more expensive too. The insurer may write to your doctor, with your consent, to obtain further information if required. For customers over the age of 75, most insurers would offer full medical underwriting only.


If you have an individual/family Private Medical Insurance policy, you will pay your premiums monthly and the policy will then pay out, up to specified cover limits, for any treatment that might be required. Premiums on private medical insurance policies tend to get higher the older you are. Many policies include an excess - which is the portion of any insurance policy you must pay yourself.


For those looking for more comprehensive cover, but who still want to keep costs down, one option is to choose a private medical insurance policy which offers a wider range of benefits but which enables you to select a higher excess. Manley Financial will advise you on the best policy for you and tailor the policy to meet your specific needs.