Compare Health Insurance
Health insurance can take many different forms, but there are some common features throughout the market which help you identify what you could be covered for.
What is health insurance?
It’s an insurance policy designed to cover the cost of private medical treatment. It will cover you for ‘acute conditions’ (things that can be cured), such as a hip replacement or having a hernia removed. You can buy different types of policies that offer various levels of cover, the cost of which will be reflected in your premium.
When you compare health insurance, you’ll initially be asked questions about yourself, such as what your job is, your age, where you live and whether you smoke. Once you’ve made an application, insurance providers may ask you for more details, including whether or not you have any pre-existing conditions. They might also ask general health and well-being questions in order to build up a picture of how healthy your lifestyle is and what the likelihood is of you making a claim.
Getting started with our health insurance comparison tool
What’s included in health insurance?
The benefits will vary from policy to policy, but the right one for you will offer you the most flexibility and support when you’re in need.
Look out for these benefits:
- In-patient treatments, such as routine health checks, tests and surgery
- Out-patient care, such as overnight stays
- Cash benefit if private treatment takes place in an NHS ward or facility
- The use of diagnostic equipment
- Cost of appointments, plus the consultant’s time
But what’s covered will vary from policy to policy, so carefully compare the benefits and exclusions to find the right one for you.
Do I need health insurance?
Health insurance can work in tandem with the free care provided by the NHS, which all UK citizens are entitled to, to give patients control over how they’re treated.
Self-employed workers, or those with debilitating conditions that don’t receive statutory sick pay, may benefit from health insurance because it fast-tracks treatment.
Some insurers also offer a medical advice phone line so you have the option to speak to a nurse.
What types health insurance can you get?
- Individual policies: These are taken out in just one person’s name and can only pay out for treatment for that person.
- Joint policies: You can cover two people on the same policy, e.g. yourself and your partner. This could be cheaper than getting separate health insurance policies (but it is worth checking if getting separate policies works out cheaper).
- Family policies: These let you cover yourself, your partner and your children on one policy. You can pay to cover the whole family with one monthly premium instead of paying for everyone separately.
- Children’s policies: You can either get a standalone policy for your child or add cover for your children to your own health insurance.
How to choose a policy
- What illnesses and injuries you want to cover, e.g. cancer
- What types of treatment you want to cover, e.g. physiotherapy and dental treatment
You can then find policies using our health insurance comparison, which shows a range of providers and what their policies offer.
You could also get health insurance quotes from a broker by either entering your details online or talking to them by phone.
You can then compare the quotes to find the best policy by checking:
How can I cut the cost of private medical insurance?
Just like your car insurance, you can reduce the cost of your healthcare cover by choosing to pay a bigger excess – but make sure it’s realistic and affordable because you’ll need to pay it before your claim can be processed.
You could also lower your premium by opting for less out-patient cover, as well as agreeing to a reduced hospital list. This means that you won’t be able to choose from as many hospitals for treatment as you might with a standard policy. Some insurance providers also offer a ‘six-week option’, which means if the NHS can treat you within six weeks, then you won’t be able to make a claim.
You might also find that you’re offered a no claims discount – so you’ll be rewarded with a lower premium for every year you don’t make a claim. Some insurance providers will also discount your premium, or offer you cashback, if you can show that you’re generally fit and healthy.
Do I need a medical check before I get health insurance?
Some policies make you fill out a declaration about your health, and some may need to run medical tests.
Will my health affect the cost of my insurance?
Yes, some policies could charge you more if you have existing conditions. Others only charge you more if you need to cover treatment for them.
Which hospitals or doctors can I use?
Most companies give you a choice of several medical facilities when you are referred for treatment.
Can I still use the NHS if I get health insurance?
Yes, you can get free treatment on the NHS or use your policy to pay for private treatment
Does health insurance cover me abroad?
No, most of these policies only cover treatment in the UK, but you could get medical cover from your travel insurance if you go abroad.
Can I get health insurance for my family?
Yes, you could get separate policies for everyone or a single family healthcare policy.
Can I get health insurance if I am disabled?
Yes, but some providers do not cover treatment for any conditions that are related to your disability.
Who do we include in this comparison?
We include unsecured loans you can get in the UK from our panel. Like other comparison sites, we make money when you click through to a product or service, or go on to purchase it after visiting our site. If you use one of our broker services, we make commission after you buy a product, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Our comparisons are free for you to use and you get the same or a better deal than going direct.