Many people now take the precaution of paying for additional private Health Insurance on top of that provided by the NHS. After heavy public criticism of the NHS over the last couple of decades, people are increasingly thinking about their well-being. However, private Health Insurance has experienced a dip in sales recently, with one of the main reasons for this being the increase in number of companies who now offer private Health Insurance as a perk to their employees. Of course this has to be included as a Benefit In Kind on their tax forms.
Private Health Insurance probably has more clauses and exclusions than any other type of cover or protection. Those looking for the right policy will often find that companies exclude chronic conditions from its cover, which means those patients who require permanent or prolonged treatment, as well as routine dental treatment and cosmetic surgery, unless in the case of disfigurement. Almost all policies will make some provision to exclude what are known as 'pre-existing' conditions. This refers to any prior medical condition the patient had before the policy was taken out.
Premiums have been rising over the last few years. As more people are surviving long-term illnesses, so the cost of medical treatment has risen. The premiums companies charge are based on several lifestyle factors, as well as age and gender. Companies will examine the medical state of a prospective client and adapt the premium according to their current condition. This means that smokers and heavy drinkers may end up paying higher premiums than their abstaining counterparts.
Also medical history will play an important part in the calculation of the policyholder's premiums. This may well include family history as companies will seek to identify those who are at an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, for instance ? illnesses that do have seem to have some hereditary connection.