Let’s Talk About Private Medical Insurance (PMI)

Private medical insurance – What is it?

Private medical insurance provides you with access to private healthcare services. You pay a premium to your provider and they will keep you covered for a whole host of treatments you may need. The cost of your insurance policy will depend on your age, your medical history, your family’s history, your lifestyle, and what it is that you want included in the cover.

What can it cover?

PMI is divided into two main areas and will cover you for a range of illnesses, symptoms, injuries and treatments:

  • Core Cover: Hospital treatment – your health insurance will provide you cover for treatment you get whether you’re:
    1. An inpatient: Staying in hospital beds
    2. An outpatient: Consultations, diagnoses and treatment not overnight
    3. A day patient: Regular appointments not overnight
  • Additional services – You can also be covered for dental treatment, optical treatment, physiotherapy, medical treatment at home and psychiatric treatment

What does it not cover?

As private medical insurance is based off risk, there are some illnesses and treatments that are not included as core cover, often because they are incurable, planned or perceived as self-inflicted. The limit to what is included can vary but most policies will not cover:

  • Chronic illnesses – such as diabetes or HIV as they are long term and often incurable conditions
  • Elective surgery – cosmetic surgery and fertility treatment
  • Emergency treatment – the NHS usually deals with A&E
  • Drug abuse treatment – like spending time in rehabilitation
  • Treatment abroad – travel insurance will provide you with cover for international travel
  • Pregnancy treatment and care – although pregnancy complications can sometimes be covered


  • Faster access to treatment – NHS waiting times for treatment can be up to 18 weeks from referral. Having PMI can fast track this process.
  • Access to break through drugs and treatment – some drugs that are not available on the NHS, such as new cancer medication, can be available to those with PMI.
  • Your own private room and better facilities – open wards can have many people in one room with varying illnesses. Paying for health insurance allows you to have the privacy you will want during your treatment. Additionally, private hospitals have a greater doctor to patient ratio so you can have more attentive care.
  • Choice of doctor and hospital – Unlike the NHS, you can choose the surgeon and location of your treatment. The benefit of choosing a more specialised surgeon or the leading hospital for the treatment you need could provide you with even better treatment
  • Treatment not on the NHS – going private gives you access to a wider range of resources and specialist expertise. This can be especially necessary for rare diseases
  • Cover on additional services like dental treatment – Dental care is most of the time not covered by the NHS. Some PMI policies allow you to rebate the cost of dental appointments and other services, such as physiotherapy.

How BDHL can help

As insurance brokers, we are experts in PMI and finding you the right medical insurance is what we do best. If you are interested in getting PMI for you, your family or as an employee benefit then do not hesitate to get in touch. Email: enquiries@bdhl.co.uk or Phone: +44 (0)1892 891 900