What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is an insurance policy that covers the costs of private healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment. You will pay a monthly subscription that covers all or some of the cost of treatment for acute conditions that develop after your health insurance policy has begun. This can be anything from private GP appointments to cancer treatment.
Health insurance is also called medical insurance, private medical insurance or private health insurance. They’re all the same thing.
Generally, the core cover for these policies will give you peace of mind that you can access private healthcare whenever you need it. But, you’ll also get support, tools and some times rewards to help with your health and wellbeing depending on the provider. From mental health and menopause support, to discounts on popular health and fitness brands, and rewards for being active.
How Does Health Insurance Work?
Before you take out health insurance, it’s important to understand how it works. Health insurance covers the cost of private healthcare for conditions that develop after your policy has begun. Depending on the level of cover, private health insurance may cover you for treatment as an in-patient, out-patient or day patient.
You will usually pay a monthly fee and then make claims for any eligible private healthcare you receive. One of the main benefits of private healthcare is that you’ll often get access to treatment faster than on the NHS. Health insurance can get you access to new drugs or specialist treatments that aren’t yet available with the NHS.
What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Private medical insurance helps cover the cost of private medical treatment, this includes hospital stays, medicines and surgical procedures.
Health insurance in the UK doesn’t usually cover long-term conditions such as diabetes or any long term condition that was diagnosed before or after a policy is bought.
When considering the best health insurance policies, you need to think about what is important to you.
If in any doubt please talk to one of our advisers today
✓ Acute conditions*(see below)
✓ Private hospital stays
✓ Specialist consultations
✓ Diagnostic tests
✓ Cancer treatment
✓ Oral surgery
Depending on the provider the following conditions may also be included as standard:
✓ Weight loss surgery
✓ Corrective surgeries
✓ Discounts and rewards for healthy living
✓ Mental health support
✓ Menopause support.
Additional cover options can be selected such as Out-Patient Cover, Optical, Dental and Hearing Cover and more.
*These are conditions where symptoms develop quickly and treatment is short-term. Examples include hernias and joint injuries.
What’s not covered?
✕ Long term, chronic conditions*(see below)
✕ Pre-existing conditions
✕ Any treatment you receive outside the UK
✕ Pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions
✕ Cosmetic treatment
✕ Organ transplants
✕ Dental/oral treatment (Cover can be added to policies)
✕ Sleep problems and disorders
✕ Gender dysphoria or gender re-assignment
✕ Any treatments or practices that are experimental, unproven or unregistered
✕ Any treatment for learning and behavioural problems, or dementia.
*Conditions where symptoms appear slowly and can worsen over time. For example, diabetes.
If you have any questions please feel free to talk to one of our advisers today
Health Insurance Benefits
Health insurance coverage can be adapted to suit you and your family’s needs, plus there are a whole range of benefits that are also included, please note these can differ from the insurance provider. If you have any questions then please contact our team today to discuss these.
See a GP from the comfort of your own home
GP appointments in your own home are via a video call service.
Please see your policy documentation for more details.
The exact times for GP Doctor appointments will differ from provider to provider. If this is the main factor in choosing Private Health Insurance please inform your adviser.
24/7 Health Advice
Access to 24/7 dedicated phone lines to give you advice on any health issues that might crop up.
Please check with your provider’s policy documentation.
Access to Specialist Treatments
Private health insurance can help pay for the costs of specialist drugs and treatments. For example, access to new medications before they are openly available on the NHS.
Reduced Waiting Times
You’re likely to receive treatment and appointments quicker than you would on the NHS
Choose your Surgeon or Hospital
You may have a choice of specialist surgeons and be able to choose your hospital. Which isn’t always possible on the NHS
You’ll have access to a private room, rather than staying in an open ward using shared facilities.
Healthcare That Rewards You
Many providers offer incentives to help make the decision of getting private medical health insurance more attractive.
These can be, discounts on popular health and fitness brands, dental care, specialist treatments, memberships, spa days etc.
Please check your policy documents for the full details on the benefits that you are able to receive, as these will differ from provider to provider.
How much does Private Health Insurance cost?
You will have the option to pay your premiums monthly or an annual subscription, ensuring you have the cover paid for upfront.
Health insurance does not cost the same for every person – your premiums will be calculated based on different factors, these include:
Age can be an important factor in how your health insurance premium is calculated.
If you are interested in Private health insurance it can be beneficial to get a policy in place sooner rather than later as premiums typically lower, the younger you are. This is not guaranteed as there are many factors that will affect the cost.
As you get older, you become more at risk of developing health conditions and needing medical services, thus increasing the cost of the policy.
Your lifestyle will definitely affect the cost of Private Health Insurance Premiums
If you’re a smoker, this will affect your premium as you’re seen as a higher risk.
Reducing your alcohol intake may also help bring costs down as well as having a healthy lifestyle and being a healthy weight for your body type. Some providers will require you to have a medical exam depending on your lifestyle and medical history.
Choosing the right level of cover is key
Comprehensive health insurance is more expensive than a basic policy, so decide if more extensive cover is needed if you’re looking to keep costs down
You may also be able to include cover for specific conditions or extras that are not covered in a basic policy, these can include: Dentistry cover, Eyecare cover, Physiotherapy, Homeopathy, Mental health support.
Keep your premiums cost down by choosing a higher excess
The higher your excess, the more you’ll contribute towards your healthcare costs – so the lower your premiums can be, you may also be able to contribute towards to cost of treatments as well as paying your excess.
If you’re looking for ways to cut the cost of private health insurance, you could consider:
Paying more excess – Choosing to pay more excess can indicate to the provider that you are more likely to only claim when you need to, this then may help lower your premiums as a result.
Reduce your cover – Removing certain extra levels of cover, from your policy can also help keep your premiums down
Reduce your hospital list – Reducing the number of preferred hospitals
Take the six-week option – Something you can take that means you’ll only claim on your private health insurance policy if you won’t be seen within six weeks on the NHS.
Co-pay any claims – You may also have the option to pay extra on top of your excess, reducing the cost of your claim, thus lowering your monthly cost of cover.