Private health insurance is very important for most individuals because you do not want to get sick and have no way to pay your medical expenses. Your employer may provide medical cover but it may not be sufficient for your needs, either because it has so many exclusions or because it does not cover your family.
So most people will opt to get private health insurance which is a great idea because you never know when you will need to use it. However there are certain things you need to take into consideration before taking your help cover, and this includes the cost, the network of doctors, what exclusions it has amongst other issues.
So what are the advantages of private health insurance?
Choice of a personal physician.
Some of the health insurance covers allow you to choose your own physician. This will be a bit more expensive but they give you the flexibility to go to a doctor that you feel comfortable visiting. This is especially important for those families that have family doctors who have been in their lives for a very long time and have become an integral part of their general health care.
Treatment is faster.
Due to the fact that you do not have to look for money to pay your medical bills, you can get treatment faster at the healthcare facilities. This is especially important if it is something like surgery or if you have been involved in an accident. The insurance cover kicks in immediately thus taking the worry off your shoulders.
Access to facilities.
Public healthcare facilities are normally over-crowded, understaffed and generally, lack amenities. However, with insurance you visit private health facilities which do not have any of these problems.
What are the disadvantages of private health insurance?
This is one of the main disadvantages of private health insurance. Private health insurance is expensive and you have to factor in the premium payments into your monthly expenses. Some of the covers also require that you pay out-of-pocket on some of the expenses because there is an aspect of co-sharing. If you want to visit your own physician, you will find that most insurance companies will require you to pay part of the fee. Other times you will be required to pay the fee and then make a claim which can take a lot of time, and if it catches you at a time when you have no money, it becomes an inconvenience. There are a number of options for loan companies out there who can offer you short term loans to get you through this, but be careful of the interest and make sure the benefits are worth it.
The fact that private healthcare insurance clients are given priority at health facilities creates some kind of social inequality. While it is a fact of life that there are some people who are more well off than others, it gets frustrating when some people seem to curry more favor because they have health insurance.
Insurance companies are notorious for this; sometimes have clauses in the documents that the layman will not understand. This results in a situation where you may take a cover only to later realize that it has some aspects you do not necessarily agree with. Make sure you understand the documents very well before you sign them otherwise you’ll find yourself in a very tough situation.
What you need to know before buying health insurance.