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We have the NHS, so do we need health insurance?

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We are extremely lucky in the UK to have a free health service, something that most other countries are without. Even some of the most developed nations in the world such as the USA have expensive healthcare, and a trip to the hospital can cost more than many can afford. The NHS allows us to have access to free healthcare, which is especially beneficial for families and individuals on lower incomes and for emergencies.

But the NHS is not perfect. With a huge drop in funding over the past few years, the quality in services is declining. This means a lack of rooms and beds for patients, long waiting lists for operations and even appointments, and not enough money to fund some new medicines or treatments.

Many people are now wondering if it is worth investing in health insurance rather than using the NHS. So is it worth swapping a free service for paid private insurance? Here are a few reasons why investing in health insurance could be just the right thing to do.

Receive first class treatment
When new drugs or treatments become available it is often hard to access them through the NHS, as they can be quite expensive. This can obviously be very frustrating to patients, their families and even the doctors who want the best possible treatment options at their disposal. Patients with health insurance have fewer limits when it comes to expensive treatments, as they are less restricted when it comes to the cost. This means you and your loved ones can access the newest, best treatments without financial restraints.

Skip the lines
One of the biggest issues with the NHS is the excruciatingly long waiting lists for treatments. Whether it’s a life-saving transplant, a routine operation or just a GP appointment, there is always a wait involved. Health insurance gives you the luxury of skipping the queues for many treatments, and get you a bed in a hospital room a lot easier and faster than with the NHS.

Have a better hospital experience
Needing hospital treatment is not ideal and can usually be a very uncomfortable experience. Whether you’re faced with bad food, a noisy cramped room or a shared bathroom, your time in hospital can be full of inconveniences. Health insurance could put an end to highly uncomfortable hospital stays. Some insurance policies will help you to have a private room and ensuite, with healthier, more delicious food options and more space to accommodate visitors. All of this can ensure that your hospital stay isn’t any more undesirable than it needs to be.

Take some pressure off the national health service
Taking the strain off the NHS is just one way we can help it to survive. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford private health insurance, it could be worthwhile to invest in it. This allows you to access excellent care in a private hospital, while giving breathing space to an overcrowded and underfunded NHS.

Credit card vs loan – which should I get?

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We all need a little helping hand from time to time, and our finances are no exception. The complexities of making expensive purchases or struggling with various costs and bills can be eased with the help from loans or credit cards. But which is right for you? It all depends on your personal and financial circumstances, as both loans and credit cards have their benefits and disadvantages. If you have an idea of what you need or want from your borrowing source, then you can find your answer. Whether you only need short-term financial help or need to borrow money as soon as possible, your specific needs can lead you to the right option.

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“I need to borrow a lot of money.”
If you are in need of a large amount of money, a personal loan could be the right bet for you. You can usually borrow up to £25,000 with competitive rates. However, smaller amounts will have higher interest rates, so a loan of £2000 could end up costing you a lot more than you expect. If you want to borrow a smaller sum, a credit card could have better rates. How much you are able to borrow also depends on whether you are eligible, specifically with your credit rating and if it is strong enough. To make sure you are getting the best deal, compare both loans and credit cards online using a price comparison website.

“I can’t pay it back fully for a long period of time.”
Before you take out a loan or credit card, you should figure out how long you will need to make the total repayment. Loans are often a lot more flexible than credit cards and can let you decide how long you will need to pay it all back. You can spread the payments over several months or years, with set monthly payments. This should be organised when you are taking out the loan. If you are in the middle of repayments and find that you need more time to pay back your loan, you should contact your lender as soon as possible to arrange an alternative payment plan. Credit cards will have no definitive end date for repayments, but can be less flexible with monthly payments and can have high interest rates.

“I have a bad credit score.”
With a bad credit score, borrowing money can be very tricky. Taking out a loan will be especially hard as you will need to pass a credit check. You will still be required to go through a credit check for a credit card, however there are some credit cards specifically created for customers with a bad credit rating. They will have high interest rates, but if used correctly can help you to boost your credit score, while giving you a financial helping hand.

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“I need money fast.”
We’ve all been in a situation when we need money, and we need it fast. It could be for an urgent last minute purchase or emergency bill that needs sorting as soon as possible. Credit cards can take up to 10 days to be processed and send out to you, making them a potentially slow option. However a loan can be an almost instantaneous, with the money going into your bank account within 24 hours of approval.

“I want protection on my purchases.”
To make secure purchases, a credit card is your best friend. If you buy something between the cost of £100 and £30,000 using your credit card, your purchase is protected and if anything goes wrong with an item (such as the company going bankrupt before your item reaches you), your credit card provider and the retailer are both liable and you are entitled to a refund.

How to find the best life insurance deals

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When it comes to your family and loved ones, keeping them safe is a priority, and you can’t put a price on their security. Life insurance acts as a safety net for those who depend on you. If you were to die without a backup plan for your family, they could be left with expensive funeral costs, mortgage payments and piles of debt to deal with. Having life cover ensures that your loved ones aren’t lumped with the job of paying off your debts. Insurance can cover everything from your home, to loans to funeral costs. You want to make sure you are getting the best life insurance deal, so you can have peace of mind that you are giving your family the utmost long-term protection.

Protect Your Family

Pick the right type of cover
Before you sign on the dotted line and commit to a life insurance policy, you need to be sure that you have all the right information to pick the best deal. First, you need to ensure that you have chosen the right type of cover. There are two main types of life insurance policies: term life insurance and whole life insurance.

Term life insurance is the most popular type of insurance. It lasts for a set period of time, so if you die within the particular time frame, your loved ones will receive a lump sum payout or monthly instalments. This type of insurance policy only lasts for a limited amount of time, so if don’t die by the end of the set period, your insurance will expire and you will be required to get a new policy.

Whole life insurance allows you to be covered for your entire life. Because of this, it is the more expensive type of life insurance. Once you die, regardless of age, your family will receive a lump sum payment, as long as you have been paying the full premiums each month.

Stay healthy
For the best and most affordable life insurance deal, your health should be in great condition. People who are healthier tend to get cheaper premiums, so keeping yourself fit is great for both your wallet and your body. Smokers are also more likely to pay more for life insurance, as they can be seen as higher risk to insurance providers.

Combine insurance deals
There are some life insurance providers that will allow you to combine your life, home and car insurance together. This could save you time and hassle when it comes to renewals, and could also save you money over time with customer-loyalty deals and discounts.

Compare all insurers
Comparing life insurance deals online is the fastest and simplest way to get the best possible cover. You’re no longer forced to shop around from door to door or make endless calls for quotes. Price comparison websites can help you whittle down your options and gives you bitesize breakdowns of all available policies. You will have access to a list of policy quotes from a range of trusted providers, which will concisely detail the benefits, terms and prices of each insurance deal. You can use the information provided to pick the best possible life insurance option for your loved ones’ security.

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