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A handy jargon buster to help you understand some health insurance terminology.

 

PALLIATIVE TREATMENT

Palliative treatments are designed to relieve the pain or discomfort of symptoms at the end of life. They are used when there is no cure for a condition, to help people live longer and more comfortably.

PARENT ACCOMMODATION

Parent Accommodation is when a policy covers the cost of parents staying within a hospital or nearby should their child be kept in overnight. This feature will have an upper-age limit for the child, varying between 9 and 16 years of age, and the child (not necessarily the parent) must be on the insurance.

Most family health insurance policies will allow for parent accommodation, but some include this only as an additional or optional benefit.

PATHOLOGY

Pathology is the study of diseases – where they come from, how to find them and how to stop them from harming your body.

Pathology tests are used to find diseases you may have, and are commonly both Blood, Stool, Urine and Tissue sample-based tests.

PENDED CLAIMS

A Pended Claim is when an insurance claim has been submitted to the insurance provider, but not yet paid because they need more information, either from yourself or from your healthcare centre and/or practitioner.

PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), or Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), is a cardiovascular medical condition which affects the legs.

Find out more about PAD and Health Insurance

PERSONAL HEALTH FUNDS (PHFS)

Personal Health Funds or PHFs are used by businesses to help employees cover their everyday health expenses. It’s a personal ‘pot’ of money (usually between £70-£100) that each employee can access throughout a year to pay for expenses including Sight Tests, Dental check-ups, Dental Fillings or Chronic Prescriptions.

Personal Health Funds are included as an additional benefit for Business Health Insurance policies.

PET SCAN

A PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography Scan) is a diagnostic scan that focusses on how your body tissues are working together. As an outpatient procedure, you can have a PET scan and go home the same day.

PET scans can help diagnose or monitor a number of health conditions.

POLICY DOCUMENT

Your policy document is a booklet containing all the information about your policy, including the terms and conditions and any payment conditions. It’s the physical copy of your contract with your insurer.

PRA

Prudential Regulation Authority. Run by the Bank of England the PRA is responsible for the “prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms.” Its main role is to protect the stability of the financial system. Clients of PRA regulated firms are protected by the Financial Services Compensations Scheme.

PRE AUTHORISATION

Where the insurer is contacted to confirm a proposed treatment is covered before it is provided. If your policy requires pre-authorisation you must gain it or you could be liable for the cost of your treatment.

PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS

Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are conditions that require medical care and attention, in order to protect the health of both the mother and the child.

Most private medical insurance policies do not cover the costs of routine pregnancy, but would insure complications as a result of the pregnancy. Each insurance provider will have their own list of what is/isn’t covered, and examples of pre-natal complications include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Miscarriage or threatened miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Hydatidiform mole

Note that morning sickness and non-emergency caesareans are not classed as complications of pregnancy.

PREMIUM

A premium is the amount you pay for your insurance policy. This would usually be an annual or monthly fee, and wouldn’t include the cost of an excess if you were to make a claim.

PREVENTATIVE CARE

Preventative care is a type of medical care and treatments that focus on reducing the chance of, or ‘preventing’ health problems before they occur.

Preventative care typically involves screening for medical conditions before or as they’re starting to develop, so you can address the issue before it gets worse. For example, the NHS’s breast screening programme looks for early signs of breast cancer in women aged 50-70.

A good example of preventative care is Health Assessments, which are all-round body ‘check ups’ to identify future risks of illness.

PRIVATE AMBULANCE

Some Private Medical Insurance policies include ‘Private Ambulance cover’ which will allow you to transfer between hospitals (both NHS and private) if needed.

Private ambulances could be used to transport you:

  • From your home or work to a medical centre (and back)
  • Between medical centres
  • From an airport to a medical centre
PSYCHIATRIC COVER

Psychiatry and psychotherapy are the treatment of mental conditions by psychiatrist and/or clinical psychologists.

These are usually covered in comprehensive private medical insurance policies, and may be included on basic plans as ‘optional extras’. Sometimes insurance policies only cover a certain number of psychiatric sessions per policy term, and sometimes your insurers may want to see a ‘progress report’ before continuing this cover.