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UK medical insurance

Why the NHS is still involved in private health care

In the UK medical insurance is very different to countries like the USA, which doesn't have an equivalent of the NHS. Here, insurance firms specialise in acute conditions, which means conditions or injuries that are curable and short-term. Many firms even offer incentives for you to accept NHS treatment.

Forget the horror stories you've heard about people being refused emergency treatment in America because they don't have insurance; in the UK medical insurance works with the NHS rather than replacing it. Most insurers expect you to use the NHS for accident and emergency treatment, and you're unlikely to be covered for long-term, incurable illnesses or chronic conditions such as AIDS.

In many cases UK medical insurance firms will actually give you money if you opt for NHS treatment instead of private treatment. This is usually paid in the form of a rate per day, so every day you spend in hospital means more compensation from your insurer.