Private Medical Insurance (PMI) in UK

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Shaun.P, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. Shaun.P macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #1
    In the UK we receive healthcare through the National Health Service. It doesn't have a fantastic reputation for being efficient. I'm only 20 years old, but I've been seriously thinking about taking out a health insurance plan - either with Bupa or PruHealth (more likely Pru).

    This would cost around £26 a month. I understand healthcare is important, but I don't know if this is a waste of money or a wise investment, hence why I'm asking you guys :).

    Does anyone here have private health insurance with Bupa or Pru (or any other company?). Would you recommend it? What do you think I should do?

    I understand that in the US, you basically have to take out your own health insurance plan as there is no NHS, so my question is sort of UK oriented. But people from the US - feel free to give me any suggestions or insight.

    P.S. I'm not rich or anything, but I could manage to pay the £26 a month without too much grievance - but I don't know if it'd be better to put this money towards something else?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    That sounds pretty inexpensive, make sure you check into what you're getting for you money, of course.

    I've got private insurance and it's been wonderful. It's through AXA ppp through my husband's company, which is a subsidiary of a much larger group, which happens to be an insurance giant. It is astonishingly good coverage but it's group policy specific, I think. I can't tell you how nice it's been having it, they cover friggin everything and no waiting.
     
  3. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #3
    I wouldn't bother. The NHS has it's knockers but on the whole it is pretty good. And remember, for most private medical companies you have to get a referral from your GP before they will see you.

    I've had private medical cover through work and the only time I used it was for my ex-wife to get some physiotherapy and even that was limited to 6 sessions.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Are you currently generally healthy, or do you have any chronic / ongoing health concerns? If you're managing an ongoing condition and trying to supplement your care, you may wish to consider the implications of this ... as far as I know, there hasn't been any resolution to the policy on this.
     
  5. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    Jul 14, 2003
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    #5
    I'm generally healthy. However overweight... I'm 6' 2" and around 220lbs. (Used to be 272lbs).
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    The NHS has a far worse reputation than it deserves and has improved dramatically over the past few years. Of course YMMV, but at your age it seems like a waste of money, if you have a problem you'll be in the emergency ward anyway.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Congratulations on the weight loss! Finishing the job / maintaining in the healthy weight range, is probably one of the biggest health-related favors you can do yourself. :)
     
  8. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #8
    I have had Bupa cover through work for 2 years now. I have never used it. It might be worth it for the piece of mind but I don't know if I would pay for it myself. I am 23 and in good health.
     
  9. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #9
    I am 18 and recently had a stay in hospital. I am living away from home for a year, retaking my A-levels in Cambridge.

    I was seriously impressed with the quality of care and how efficient it was. People slam the NHS all the time, but don't really think about how great it really is and how lucky we are to have free healthcare.

    I spent about 2 weeks in hospitals, had many tests, was seen regularly by many doctors, and was eventually fixed up.

    Admittedly the hospital in Cambridge is a teaching hospital for the university (so it was a bit like House at times lol), and it is one of the best hospitals in the UK/Europe.

    But I was there, an 18 year old on my own, for 2 weeks had a variety of tests and medications. I walked out after thanking all the nurses/doctors without spending a penny.

    I would say stick with the NHS, although private hospitals may have nicer food.etc. they do not have the resources especially for serious events (which you would go to an NHS A&E department for anyway, and tend to be more helpful for longer-term comfort.

    Also for serious operations, you can be seen by Harley street doctors and be operated on, in a private hospital. However if there are serious complications, there is often not the scale of service and support/infrastructure available (not as many doctors/staff there all the time-they go back to the NHS hospitals)

    Anyway, those are my thoughts, additionally the NHS is improving constantly.
     
  10. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    The NHS isn't terrible but it has its weak points and I fell into one, which is why I got the private insurance. I had severe abdominal pain and went to an A&E and was told that because they didn't THINK it was life threatening I would have to wait 1-2 months for an ultrasound on my abdomen. Gee, I was not really OK with that. So I paid out of pocket to go to a BUPA to have it done only to find out later that my idiot GP didn't prescribe the right sort of scan. :rolleyes: It was a waste of £200. I got a new GP and private insurance and got it sorted out properly and had no wait. It was a ovarian cysts and endometriosis. A little keyhole surgery, which again I didn't wait for, and voila. Turns out it was not too serious but it easily could have been.

    Anyway, I can't really knock the NHS because they're not awful on general principle but I'm relieved to have the private coverage.

    BTW, you do have to see your regular NHS GP for referrals, it is very rare to have a private GP even with top notch coverage. But once you've got your referral you are set.
     
  11. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #11
    Seriously? People bash Canadian wait times all the time, but I get ultrasounds and x-rays basically on demand, even if it's not critical. And I don't even have a doctor, I go to the closest walk-in clinic. When my ribs were suspected of being bruised, I had x-rays done within half an hour. Swollen lymph nodes and I was sent right up for an ultrasound.

    :confused:
     
  12. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    Yep. I was furious and shocked by it. I don't know if I just got very unlucky (probably) or not but I was not about to wait like that.

    I still think having a national health scheme is the way to go though. If I were in the US I would have gotten my scan but left the hospital with at least a $2000 bill, if I were uninsured... or have been transferred to a county hospital where I would have likely been treated exactly as I was with the NHS, badly and with a long wait. <le sigh> Nothing is perfect, I suppose.

    I recently had an MRI and wonder what the wait would have been like for that if I'd gone NHS. :eek:
     
  13. Stardotboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #13
    You poor thing, your bladder must have been full to bursting after 2 weeks!

    But seriously, another vote for the NHS here - I had to spend a couple of weeks in hospital a few years ago when I was suffering from joint problems. The treatment I got there was fantastic, and I didn't have to wait for the X-rays or MRI scans that I needed.

    If I was offered private healthcare as part of the package with my employer I'd take it - but as I'm not I don't really think it's worth being out of pocket for it.
     
  14. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #14
    Ha ha, hadn't noticed it could be read like that until now.

    Interestingly, I had an ultrasound when I was in hospital and didn't wait more than a day. But I guess it depends on factors such as resources of NHS Trust, funding/staff and urgency of treatment.etc. I guess you can be lucky or unlucky.
     

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