Do not wait to be diagnosed before taking out medical insurance, as you will not get cover for pre-existing conditions - is the message from the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII).
This applies particularly to those people who think they will need medical treatment for natural wear and tear that can affect any of us from middle age onwards, such as knee or hip replacements or cataracts as we get older.
This follows regular concerns that some NHS Primary Care Trusts are already delaying non-life threatening operations to save money as the squeeze on their budgets continues and waiting lists increase forcing more people to consider private healthcare rather than relying on the NHS.
Andrew Tripp of AMII says, “If you choose to go private then insurance can be a cost effective way to pay for treatment when you most need it rather than suffering because you have to wait. However, like any insurance, you must have taken it out before an event or situation occurs otherwise you have left it too late. These conditions which can often befall us as we get a bit older are relatively easy to deal with.”