General Article Patients with private medical insurance cost the NHS millions

Topic Selected: National Health
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Patients with private medical insurance have the comfort of knowing that if they fall ill they can receive the best treatment in the best surroundings. So why do a significant proportion of privately insured patients decide to seek treatment from the NHS instead?
A report by private health analysts Laing and Buisson estimates that almost one in three patients receiving care in an NHS hospital is privately insured. While these patients could opt to have their insurance companies pay for the treatment they need, it seems that many are worried about the repercussions of doing so. Many private health policies enforce a significant excess charge when a claim is submitted and patients are also concerned that their premium will be negatively affected. Some insurers even offer patients cash payments if they choose NHS treatment.
It is estimated that the NHS performs 250,000 operations each year on patients with private medical insurance, costing a total of £359 million. In addition to which, ...

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