The above is a question frequently asked by those considering cash plans, after all, on the surface cash plans appear to be surplus to requirement when the NHS is designed to cover the types of treatment also covered by most cash plans on the market at the moment, but at no cost. However, this statement could only be made by someone who does not understand the true objective of cash plans. Whilst it is quite clear that full private health insurance policies are aimed at those wishing to complement the NHS service that they have access to, cash plans are aimed at supplementing, not replacing, NHS care. This means instead of seeking a purely private medical path through any given illness, cash plans provide additional support and aid when receiving treatment through the NHS.
NHS Top-up plans, unlike full private medical insurance policies require the customer to pay for treatment, such as a visit to the dentist, themselves and then they submit the receipts to their insurer with a claim form for a cash back NHS Medical Keyboards payment along the lines of their chosen plan. These plans are not a new phenomenon; in fact they pre-date the NHS. Most modern cash plans are based on plans set up between groups of workers, in the early 20th Century, to help with costs before the NHS gave them comprehensive healthcare in 1948. Today, many organisations still offer cash plans as an additional benefit to their staff and many people may have this type of medical cover without realising it.
The main appeal to organisations and individuals alike is the low cost element of this cover and this appeal has fuelled the recent resurgence in NHS Top-up plans, with many insurers bringing new products to the market in the past year. These new products are being designed with customer flexibility in mind, giving more choice and options with regard to both benefit limits and percentages of reimbursement. For example one policy may have £200 of benefit towards dental costs each year, but the customer could chose only 75% reimbursement on each receipt submitted, so to reduce their premium. A second equally important appeal is the greater freedom cash plans can give people with regard to their NHS treatment. A very significant appeal of private medical insurance is the speed with which one can be seen by a specialist. With most cash plans incorporating a specialist fee benefit, one can see a specialist privately before continuing treatment on the NHS, giving patients crucial peace of mind sooner rather than later.
The focus of cash plans has always been to provide benefits for treatment not always fully covered by the NHS. Traditionally this has been things like dental and optical costs, but is now including prescription costs and even hospital car parking fees. This diversification of the cash plans is making them a more attractive prospect than ever and their popularity is increasing as more people begin to understand how useful they can be. Family plan discounts and additional cover including travel insurance are only enhancing their appeal.