Glossary of Health Insurance Terms

This glossary is intended to help you understand some of the terms that you may come across in a private medical insurance quotation or policy.

Acute Condition
An illness, disease or injury which is short-term and curable

Alternative Therapies
An alternative to conventional medicine and may include osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and homeopathy

Cash Benefit for Treatment by the NHS
A money back payment from the insurer if the insured elects to have treatment by the NHS instead of having private treatment

Cash Plan
A partial cash reimbursement of the insured’s costs of optical, dental and alternative therapies etc, and also cash benefits for admission to hospital

Chronic Condition
A long-lasting or incurable illness

Claims Procedures
It is becoming much more common for insurers to settle claims by telephone rather than by a claim form

Consequences of non-disclosure
It is essential that full disclosure is made when declaring a medical history otherwise the insurer may reject any subsequent claims

Will be admitted to hospital for the day to undertake some form of procedure, often surgical, but without an overnight stay

This helps to reduce the cost of cover. The insured contributes towards the costs of a claim. This is usually paid only once on the initial claim per person in a policy year, although some policies apply the excess for the initial claim for each different medical condition

Inflation of Medical Costs
The increasing cost of medical treatment due partly to the increasing sophistication of diagnostic tests

Admission to hospital which necessitates a stay of one or more nights

Conditions which have existed in the five years prior to application may not be covered, but they may become eligible if a further two years pass (usually) without symptoms, treatment or medication.

A person treated in a hospital or clinic without an overnight stay (they are not admitted to hospital, unlike a day-patient)

Private Medical Insurance – see also Private Health Insurance

Permanent Health Insurance
Such insurance provides a replacement income when the insured is unable to work. It is not the same as Private Health Insurance which pays out medical expenses

Pre-existing Conditions
Any disease, illness or injury for which the applicant has received medication, advice or treatment, or has experienced symptoms, before insurance has started

Private Health Insurance
Also called Private Medical Insurance, this pays out towards medical expenses incurred from private treatment. It is not the same as Pemanent health Insurance – see above

Private Hospital
A hospital which charges fees for its services

Private Wing of an NHS Hospital
Private fee-paying wards within NHS hospitals

Related Conditions
Any symptom, illness or disease which is associated with a pre-existing condition

These include chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, podiatrists and other practitioners

Any surgical or medical service that is intended to relieve or cure a disease, illness or injury

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