Health Insurance

We’re lucky enough in the UK to have the NHS yet the model for healthcare in other countries, like the USA, is different, based on health insurance

Health insurance (or private health cover) is preferable for conditions where fast treatment is preferable to waiting on a long list

One of the main reasons to get private medical insurance is so that you often don’t have to wait as long for treatment


Do you need a health insurance policy?

  • Many people are choosing to go private for their medical care out of fear over hospital cleanliness, NHS waiting lists and superbugs like MRSA
  • As with any insurance product, there are a range of suppliers who offer different packages at different prices
  • Knowing which one to choose can be daunting but we’ve rounded up the best out there along with all the information you need to make the right decision when choosing a health insurance policy

Need to know

  • Cover will typically include diagnosis (consultation and testing), treatment and hospital accommodation, therapy and nursing care amongst others
  • Make sure you check if pre-existing conditions are covered or not. In many cases you will not be covered
  • It’s a sad fact but as we get older the likelihood of us getting sick rises and policies tend to reflect this. The older you are, the more you are likely going to have to pay for your health insurance cover
  • Also make sure you know what you are covered for. Common exclusions from life insurance policies include conditions related to drug abuse, self-inflicted injury, cosmetic surgery, organ transplants and HIV/AIDS. This isn’t a universal list, just a reminder to get the cover that suits your lifestyle
  • As part of your application you will undergo a medical questionnaire. Make sure that you give a full and honest account to avoid being rejected or refused a payment further down the line
  • If you do have a pre-existing condition it is possible to have it excluded from the policy (moratorium underwriting)
  • Like other insurance products, you can reduce your policy cost by contributing a voluntary excess on any individual health claim you make

Go Direct

Remember, there are some insurance providers who don't use or appear on comparison sites so make sure you check direct with a few to make sure that you are getting the very best rate outside of comparison providers


About switching providers

  • If you’ve claimed for or developed a medical condition during the course of a policy it can limit your option should you wish to switch insurer as they may not cover for these pre-existing conditions

  • There are many insurers who will let you switch and remain covered for pre-existing medical conditions so be sure to check carefully if and when you want to make a move


The inside track

  • ​Before you pay for your own health insurance it may be worth checking to see if you are covered by your employer as some will offer it as part of your contract
  • If you can’t afford a health insurance policy it might be worthwhile finding a good high interest savings account so that you have something saved up in the event of a health problem

  • If you can wait for treatment, the NHS is always a good option. We are lucky to have a publicly funded health service in the UK and should use it when we need to!

  • Many providers will include a no-claims discount which can lower costs. Remember though, don’t avoid making a claim if you need to just to keep your discount. Your health is more important!

  • Only use your health insurance when and if the NHS can’t treat you in time to keep your premium costs down

  • For accident and emergency cases you will need to go to the NHS

  • As with other insurances, paying the entire premium up front is usually preferable to save on interest repayments

  • Make sure you also have a life insurance policy if you have dependants who could be at risk in the event of your death

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