Health insurance is not a big business in the UK like it is in other European countries and America; this is largely due to the establishment of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. In contrast to other nations, all UK citizens receive free healthcare regardless of their employment status and financial situation. The NHS is funded by taxpayers and managed by the Government.
The NHS is a phenomenal institution, which provides excellent standards of care for thousands of people each day; however, with resources and finances increasingly stretched and the population steadily increasing, some patients choose to consider other options for their healthcare. According to statistics, in 2007 12.5 percent of UK citizens had private health insurance. The majority of these people had the insurance policy as a perk of their jobs. Having health insurance is not essential in the UK, as everyone is entitled to care on the NHS; however, it can have several benefits and it may be worth considering if you feel that NHS standards do not meet your expectations.
Although, for many people health insurance is an unnecessary luxury, it can be hugely beneficial for many people. In some cases, people who have health conditions are not able to access the standards of care, facilities and medication they need without having to wait a significant amount of time. The NHS is stretched beyond its limits at the moment, with budget cuts and an increasing population causing resources, staff and facilities to become increasingly burdened.
The choice to take out a health insurance policy is completely down to the individual; many people will feel it isn�t necessary and are happy to leave their health in the hands of the NHS; however, some people may feel the NHS cannot provide them with the standard of healthcare they expect and therefore private health insurance is probably a good idea and a worthwhile investment.