Figures for people taking out private health insurance has exceeded six million for the first time, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Reasons behind this include policy holders, who are becoming increasingly wary of unhygienic hospital wards and the increasing number of MRSA cases.

According to BBC’s Panorama the number of cases involving MRSA, has risen to between 16 per cent and 35 per cent in the final quarter of 2007.

Louise Cuming, head of protection at, said: "We welcome the good news consumers are taking the need for protection seriously and are considering Private Medical Insurance. PMI is designed to cover the costs of treatment for ‘acute' conditions such as disease, illness or an injury likely to respond quickly to treatment, and gives peace of mind of knowing treatment will be available promptly.”

She also added: "However, its important people consider their needs against the other suite of protection products available; income protection, life or critical illness cover for example. PMI is not suitable insurance for chronic conditions such as cancer where critical illness cover would be appropriate.”

Cuming continued: "Levels of cover and price vary widely so its important to be sure of the level of benefits you'd like and then shop around for the best price. For example do you want your cover to include seeing a specialist as an out patient; do you want a choice of hospitals, or would you be satisfied with a hospital in a limited range chosen by the insurer? Comprehensive plans are also likely to include extra benefits such as alternative therapies like acupuncture and aromatherapy."

The Price comparison website, has provided tips for people who are searching for the relevant health insurance policies. Such tips include looking for the total figure and not being lured by the lowest premiums. Looking out for policy coverage and extras, within the cover can also help to ensure that you are getting the best deal.

Making sure that all the relevant details such as personal information and medical history, are accurate and included in applications or else claims may be rejected.

Also review the cover policy when, distinct events happen such as changing occupations, marital status or child birth as well as increasing debt or moving home.

If choosing to change a health insurance policy, seek advice and compare on a like for like basis; some premiums may appear cheaper, but the coverage may not be as comprehensive as another. Cancelling a cover policy before a new one is in place was also seen as a no-no.

Author's Bio: 

Ruth is an author of several articles pertaining to Health Insurance. She is known for her expertise on the subject and on other Business and Finance related articles.