Tips on Choosing Private Medical Insurance

When you’re looking for a private medical insurance policy, it’s important that you know what to look for and understand the information that you’re presented with. These are some of the areas you’ll probably want to consider.

Private medical plan coverage

Look closely at what any health insurance policy actually covers before you sign on the dotted line. Not all policies cover the same things. For example, some cover hospital treatments and procedures, while others will also cover consultations and out-patient treatments. Look for which conditions are and are not covered too.

Think about what matters to you and choose a policy which fits in with that.


Some private medical plans have a pool of treatment providers that you can choose from, whereas others give you complete freedom to choose your own hospital. Weigh this issue up, alongside what else the policy offers to choose what’s best for you.


Always get more than one private medical insurance quote before making a final decision on your private medical plan. Don’t automatically just go for the cheapest plan though – you have to assess the package as a whole.

Small print

Make sure you read and understand the small print of any private medical plan before you sign up. Don’t be afraid to ask for any clarifications if necessary.

Help and support

Consider what kind of advice and support private medical plan providers offer. You want to be able to ask questions and get an answer quickly and have guidance on hand if you need it. Some providers have an enquiry hotline and some also offer a service where they can arrange treatment on your behalf if you require it.

Payment options

Find out about how you will be expected to pay your insurance premiums. Will you have to pay everything upfront or can you negotiate monthly payments to suit your budget?

Ask about payments for treatment as well. What if you decide to have treatment on the NHS? Will you still receive a cash payout? How do you arrange for treatment payment? How do you know your insurance will cover the cost of any treatment?

Doing your research

Obviously with so many things to consider when you’re looking for a private medical plan, it’s important that you do your research thoroughly. Write down what’s important to you and some sample questions that you want to ask. Use the internet, telephone and possibly face-to-face meetings for your research. Compare the quotes and plans on offer.

Remember, though, that although value for money is important, the very cheapest private health plan might not be the best one for you.

There are many issues to consider when choosing health insurance. Shop around and don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure you get a policy that suits you.

Medical Transcription Standard

MTIA (Medical Transcription Industry Association) along with AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) recommends a standard unit of measure for medical transcription of patient medical records. It recommends the visible black character (VBC) measurement standard to be the best document counting method. What was the purpose of having such a standard?

The final goal was to implement a standard for content measurement that the health information management (HIM) practitioners can use to evaluate in-house transcription staff and external transcription service suppliers. The earlier 65-character line standard (also called as the AAMT line) had previously been a standard industry wide unit of measure for content measurement that includes space bar, shift key, bold, underscore, and other keystrokes. With this system the cost for the line/character goes beyond just labor as the cost of the technology is bundled along with domain knowledge and human resources. Thus it became mandatory to develop/choose the best possible Industry standard. The benefits of having such a standard include ease in maintaining service level agreements, better business relationships and having a better tool for evaluation.

According to The MTIA /AHIMA task force among all the different counting methods like ASCII line, the 65-character line, gross line, gross page, per minute pricing, and visible black character (VBC) measurement standards, VBC is the only counting method that can be easily understood, verified, and replicated by all parties in the medical transcription business processes.

Whenever a transcription document is reviewed for quality what are the principles that establish the quality of the documents?

  • The transcribed report should be reviewed against the actual dictation. Reading the report without listening to the dictation does not provide an accurate comparison of the transcription to the dictation.
  • The review should apply industry-specific standards as provided by current resources and references. When evaluating style, punctuation, or grammar, The AAMT Book of Style is the industry standard.
  • The review should encompass attention to risk management issues and the documentation standards of accreditation and healthcare compliance agencies.
  • Accuracy scores (ratings) should be quantified with the use of a numeric calculation that weights varying degrees of error against the length of the report. AAMT recommends the following quality goals: 100% accuracy with respect to critical errors; 98% accuracy with respect to major errors; and 98% accuracy with respect to all errors in the report, including minor errors (see below for definitions of “critical,” “major,” and “minor” errors).
  • The reviewer (or the review process) should provide timely and consistent feedback to the medical transcriptionist in order to eliminate repetition of errors.
  • All measurements, standards, and benchmarks should be disclosed to the medical transcriptionist and should be set forth in written guidelines by the healthcare provider or transcription service.
  • Real Savings on Health Insurance

    SECRET 1

    Self insurance in healthcare is the most powerful money saving tool and trend available today!

    Sounds like a strong statement doesn’t it…well its true and the insurance industry doesn’t necessarily want you to hear about it.

    The bottom line is that if you self insure as a business owner or union president you save money and “you control your money” and not them, scary thought isn’t it!

    SECRET 2

    The most advanced forward looking corporations ( eg. LOWES) are adding Medical Tourism into their plans saving dramatically…and improving medical outcomes, while improving overall patient experiences!

    Many of these plans offer free travel for the patient and their significant other, free quality hotel stays, meal reimbursements and even reasonable out of pocket expenditures. The patients receive quality treatment by a English speaking, board certified US trained physician at a JCI (gold standard) hospital, with a PA (patient advocate) acting as their advocate from beginning to end! Of course no one is ever forced to pursue the Medical Tourism option nor should they…it is merely an option. However if even 10% of their employees and or membership opts to pursue the option the cost savings can be dramatic.

    Patients return home with a smile and a tan on their collective faces and the plan saves 75% over their former approach. I might add at this point that in many instances Medical Tourism translates into traveling to Cleveland or some other exotic location!


    Obviously when you raise this subject as a talking point during your plan review with your consultant, you may get a blank stare. But I assure you it is being done every day quite successfully.


    Dealing with a qualified US based Medical Tourism corporation and Insurance Professional knowledgeable in implementing such a plan is imperative, and at this point they are few and far in between. But they are available, and usually know each other!