According to Cancer Research, one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. While this figure alone is concerning, research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) also shows that Britain is now bottom of international league tables for cancer survival, lagging two decades behind some countries for various types of diseases. 
With pressure mounting on the NHS, it is increasingly clear resources are stretched. In fact, a recent report from the NHS highlights that nearly 90% of patients waited up to 18 weeks from referral to treatment.
Despite these statistics, take up of private medical insurance (PMI) amongst the UK population remains low. According to The Kings Fund, only around 11% of the UK population are covered with some form of PMI.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that with the NHS acting as the natural solution to the majority of the UK’s ailments, PMI is so commonly misunderstood. We have asked our expert advisers to breakdown the top five most common myths associated with PMI.
1. PMI isn’t needed
‘I’m fit and healthy; why would I need health insurance?’ We live in a society where people tend to be fairly optimistic about their own health, and may be guilty of the ‘it will never happen to me’ school of thinking. As a result, it’s often easy to fail to recognise the potential risks faced. This is why young, healthy people often forgo health insurance.
Many clients will be happy to protect their valuable assets such as their home, pets, and even electronic devices without hesitation. However, have you ever thought how insignificant such items would become if you were to be diagnosed with an unexpected illness?
Insurance is designed to cover what may happen in the future, not what has already happened. It’s human nature not to want to think about the potential impact of an illness, so many don’t act on purchasing PMI until they have an existing medical condition and opt ‘to go private’ to get it treated.
If you don’t act on purchasing PMI while you’re healthy, the trouble is that typically that condition will not be eligible for private cover. It’s therefore important to think about PMI to ensure you will be protected for conditions which develop in the future.
2. PMI is long-winded
The process of applying and setting up PMI is in fact extremely straightforward. Even if you are new to PMI, there is generally no need to complete an application form, nor to declare a long history of medical information. The process can take as little as 30 minutes to complete for instant coverage. Not only that, but a good adviser will do all the work for you anyway, making it hassle-free.
3. PMI is complicated
Insurance is not always the easiest topic to understand. With so many different types of underwriting, insurers, hospital lists and levels of cover to choose from, it can seem too confusing to know where to start. It is vital to recruit an expert to do the hard work for you. Here at Usay Compare our friendly, expert advisers will get to know your requirements, then do all the hard work for you, to find you the best value quotes available.
4. PMI is expensive
Perhaps one of the biggest myths associated with PMI is cost. Many people view PMI as a product financially out of their reach, when in reality, the reassurance of superior healthcare, may cost less than their monthly TV subscription. The cost of PMI ultimately varies by provider and policy, but more often than not, people are pleasantly surprised to discover the cost of covering arguably their most valuable asset.
5. PMI means I can’t use the NHS
Clients may believe that when they take out a PMI policy, their NHS access becomes restricted or compromised. This could not be further from the truth; PMI is designed to complement and support the NHS and they completely work together. People are still entitled to use an NHS GP as the point of referral, and it is at this point the patient has a choice to proceed with the appropriate treatment privately, or through NHS care.
For some, the main motivation is speedy diagnosis for their condition in order to find out what the problem is as quickly as possible. They can choose to use their PMI plan to do just that. From this point options remain open, to have treatment in a private setting or an NHS one.
Whilst we may have put the top five myths to bed here, there are plenty more, which is why it is so important to always ask an expert. Here at Usay Compare our team of friendly expert advisers are on the end of the phone ready to help you easily through the options and find you the best and most cost effective quotes for all your individual requirements.
With the UK population growing year on year since 1982, pressures facing the NHS are only bound to increase. PMI simply provides greater choice, and better control over everyone’s own individual health.