Public vs. Private Healthcare

Public vs. Private Healthcare

6th January, 2015

There is no denying that your health is the most important thing. This is something we often take for granted. We assume that because we are healthy now, nothing is going to happen to us. As a consequence, we don’t give a lot of thought to what would happen if we were to get ill. What hospital would you go to? How do you know you are going to receive a high level of health care? Of course this is not a topic a lot of us like to mull over. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you consider it and one of the chief considerations you need to make is whether to rely on public healthcare systems of whether you should take our some form of private medical health insurance, such as international health insurance. In this post we are going to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both. So, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know…

Private Healthcare Gives You a Greater Degree of Control over Your Health

One of the main benefits associated with private health insurance is the fact that you are going to have control over your health. You will gain access to a network of hospitals, professionals and facilities, and you will be able to determine which ones you want to take advantage of. This is especially beneficial when you purchase the likes of global medical insurance. No matter where in the world you are, you will know that you have access to the best treatment. This is especially important when you consider the fact that not all countries boast a high quality state healthcare systems. Facilities may be of a poor standard, there could be a lack of quality doctors and so on and so forth. With public healthcare you merely have to accept the doctor that is chosen for you and the treatment and facilities that are available to you. Do you really want to take such a big risk with your health?

Public Healthcare Is Typically Much Cheaper and Sometimes Even Free

Needless to say one of the chief reasons why so many people elect to rely on state healthcare is because it is the cheapest approach to take. In fact, there are a lot of individuals who have not even thought about getting private medical insurance, since they do not want to spend their money on this. Of course this is more than understandable. Living costs seem to be rising by the day in a lot of countries and thus it is only right that we would be doing everything in our power to keep them down. However, you need to ask yourself whether the cost savings are really worth the risk? Yes, you may get access to free healthcare, but is the healthcare of quality? If you do decide to look for international health insurance plans there are ways you will be able to keep your premiums down. You could opt for a high excess plan. Excess essentially relates to the sum of money you will have to pay for treatment before your insurer begins to cover you. If this does not suit you, another approach you could opt to take is pay your plan on a yearly basis as opposed to a monthly basis. Or, why not look into the possibility of getting a group health plan?

You Will Benefit From Greater Peace of Mind with Private Healthcare Thanks To Lower Waiting Times

One problem that plagues a lot of public healthcare systems all over the world is that demand exceeds supply. As a consequence, you can walk into many hospitals and you will see that the waiting times are extortionate. Of course if you have a medical emergency you will be seen to instantly. Nevertheless, if you simply want a routine check-up you can find yourself waiting weeks and weeks to be seen. Maybe you are in line for an operation and you are feeling uncomfortable. You will still be subject to waiting times. This can of course have a huge impact on the rest of your life. Instead, you can have the peace of mind that you are seen to virtually straight away if you opt for a policy from any one of the insurance companies worldwide. Health issues can be extremely worrying, especially when you do not know what the problem is, and thus this really is highly beneficial. Aside from this, there are other aspects associated with private healthcare that will help to make your stay a lot more comfortable. A prime example of this is the fact that you will likely benefit from a room to yourself if you have to stay in hospital overnight.

Worldwide Access to the Best Healthcare If You Go For Private International Medical Insurance

This point only applies to global health insurance, which is a specific type of private medical insurance. Nevertheless, this is widely regarded as the best option to go for if you are going to take out a health insurance policy. An international medical insurance policy will provide you with access to the best network of hospitals, facilities and professionals all over the world. This gives you the peace of mind that no matter where in the world you are your health will be covered. A lot of people find themselves in a position whereby they have taken ill or been injured abroad, yet they have not had any form of worldwide health insurance in place. Whether you are simply on vacation or you have moved overseas, this can easily happen. Not only can it be damaging to your health, but your finances as well. You could find yourself facing huge medical bills that could financially cripple you for years and years to come. This is always a threat to any individual that relies on the public system and does not take out health insurance when they go overseas. Of course you can go for travel insurance, but the level of cover is much lower when compared with global medical insurance.

Private Health Insurance Can Be Difficult To Understand

On a final note, one of the reasons why a lot of people end up relying on public healthcare systems is for the simple fact that they do not understand private medical insurance policies. There are so many different factors to take into consideration, including a wealth of cover options. You then have the confusing insurance jargon. It is not difficult to see why people would look at it and view it to be the equivalent of reading another language. Nevertheless, once you actually begin to look into it you will see that it really is not that tough. You merely need to make sure you understand what you are covered for and what you are not covered for. Aside from this, make sure you are aware of any annual limits, waiting times and excess. Read your policy in full and you cannot go wrong. Nevertheless, if you do rush into buying private medical insurance and you do not read the full terms and conditions then you are more likely to run into issues.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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