What is Private medical insurance ?

Posted by admin On December 24th 2020

Private medical insurance (PMI) is a protection plan that provides cover for the cost of private medical treatment, removing dependence on NHS care. The range of cover normally provided includes a reimbursement of charges such as:

  • In-patient, including accommodation, operating fees, nursing fees, medication, hospital transport;
  • Medical and surgical fees including surgeon’s and anaesthetist’s fees, radiology, pathology, etc.;
  • Out-patient including consultations and home nursing care.

If you have a treatable condition, then this type of cover pays for your healthcare costs. It covers overnight stays, outpatient treatment, tests/diagnostics, aftercare etc. so long as it is part of the agreement in the contract. Health insurance covers the cost of medical treatment for conditions such as digestive system related issues and back pain, to name two. This is because these particular ailments are most likely to have a quick response to treatment and are among the most frequent claims.

It is possible to find policies that offer further benefits such as the payment of a daily rate, if treatment is delivered within an NHS hospital involving an overnight stay.

Whilst there are a multitude of policies to select from, you will find that the basic plans offer the cover of essential treatments, the more comprehensive policies can include chiropody or acupuncture. To summarise, a sum is paid on a monthly basis to the insurance company, and the company pays any fees incurred, including stays in hospital and surgery (if required).


PMI can be arranged on an individual basis or as part of a group scheme from an employer. The way in which benefits are paid varies between providers. Some will offer a 100% refund of charges with payment direct to the healthcare provider, while others impose a ceiling on the amount that can be reclaimed in any one year.

As health insurance covers the cost of private medical attention, people take out this type of cover because they can receive faster consultations and treatment, and this can be carried out in both private and NHS hospitals.