Health can be a fragile thing, and the whole of our lives depend upon it. At the time of writing, all but 43 countries worldwide have some form of universal or statutory health insurance. Although each will differ in terms of quality and entitlement, depending on where you live.
As a result, private health insurance is an important consideration for many. For some, it’s essential to avoid any unexpected bills. Here, we’ll look at both private and statutory forms of health insurance so individuals can make an informed choice as to what they need.
- What is Private Health Insurance?
- What is Statutory Health Insurance?
- Which one is the Best Health Insurance?
What is Private Health Insurance?
Individuals usually take out private health insurance to ensure they are receiving benefits that a statutory arrangement does not cover. An employer can also provide private insurance as a workplace perk. Learn more with our article on How Does Business Insurance Work?
A private package will differ wildly depending on which country it’s found in. For example, the United States is the only developed country with zero universal healthcare. This means a private deal is required to get treatment of any kind.
By contrast, the UK has a National Health Service (NHS) that deals with the likes of emergency treatment. Some use private insurance to cut down on waiting lists for non-emergency treatment. This is to give greater choice regarding hospitals and doctors and to cover the costs of potential prescriptions.
Around 11% of UK citizens have some form of additional private health insurance, compared to 61% of Americans. All form of universal healthcare makes a huge difference to the size of the private insurance market.
What is Statutory Health Insurance?
The statutory health insurance system is provided by a government and paid for by taxation, or what’s termed as national insurance contributions. It’s often called ‘free’ or ‘public’ health insurance, and your rights will depend on a particular country’s legislation.
In general, it will cover the likes of emergency treatment and check-ups with doctors. It’ll also likely cover non-emergency treatments as long as they’re deemed essential medical procedures by a registered professional. Statutory health insurance is often government-initiated and linked to earnings. Those on higher wages generally pay more tax towards national insurance, regardless of their own levels of usage.
Which One is the Best Health Insurance?
Whether private or statutory health insurance is best is wholly down to an individual and their own personal circumstances. When considering your own circumstances, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons before deciding which arrangement works best for you.
If your country has statutory insurance, you’ll already be paying a rate of tax towards it that’s dependent on the size of your income. Private health insurance coverage is an additional fee on top of any taxation, so you must decide if statutory coverage covers the healthcare you need. Remember, some employers offer private health insurance as a workplace benefit, which often costs employees nothing.
2. Levels of Coverage
More insurance naturally means greater coverage, so having both private and statutory insurance will cover you for almost any healthcare eventuality. It’s worth making a list of your own personal situation. If you’re in vibrant health, you may not need to pay a surplus for private insurance unless you are a US citizen. However, if hospital or doctor choice is important to you – or you’re on long-term medication – then a private deal may be beneficial on multiple levels.
3. Waiting Times
Although statutory healthcare usually covers emergency treatment, what’s deemed as ‘emergency’ can often be debatable. For example, a knee or hip replacement may not be deemed an emergency, but it may be causing no end of discomfort to an individual.
Those with a private plan could jump the queue and have their operation sooner than those relying on statutory care. It’s a similar case for tests – those without private plans must wait if such a test is deemed a non-emergency.
Even if you’ve decided that private health insurance is of no benefit to you at this particular time, some consideration should be given to the needs of your partner and dependents. Private family health insurance plans are often cheaper than several individual policies.
For example, if a family member requires regular medication that’s not covered by universal healthcare, it may work out cheaper to get a family health insurance policy than to pay for the medication separately.
Our most comprehensive health insurance plan offers a full refund of fair and reasonable fees for both in-patient and day-patient treatment and anywhere in the world except in the US and Canada.
Should you require emergency treatment in either of those countries, GasanMamo’s comprehensive package will cover any treatment up to €50,000. Consider all your options and spend a merry hour with a calculator before agreeing on any deal.
Whether private or statutory health insurance is right for you will depend wholly on your age, health, and personal circumstances.
Many of those living in a country with a statutory system won’t need additional private insurance, but regular overseas travellers, those with families, or anyone needing treatment should make consideration a priority.
Begin your own search for the right plan by looking through our clear and transparent benefits on our health insurance page.
GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.