What is private medical insurance?
Most UK residents are entitled to free healthcare from the NHS.
Health insurance pays all – or some – of your medical bills if you are treated privately. It gives you a choice in the level of care you get and how and when it is provided.
You don't have to take out private medical insurance – but if you don’t want to use the NHS, you might find it hard to pay for private treatment without insurance, especially for serious conditions.
What does private medical insurance cover?
Like all insurance, the cover you get from private medical insurance depends on the policy you buy.
Basic private medical insurance usually picks up the costs of most in-patient treatments (tests and surgery) and day-care surgery.
Some policies extend to out-patient treatments (such as specialists and consultants) and may pay you a small fixed amount for each night you spend in an NHS hospital.