What is Private Health Insurance?
Private health insurance provides access to private healthcare, helping you skip NHS waiting lists to get the care you need straight away.
It goes without saying, we will all experience times in our lives where we get sick or injured and will need medical assistance.
Fortunately in the UK we have the NHS, which is a fantastic resource available when needed, however when it comes to booking in for non-emergency surgery or treatment, there can be a lengthy waiting time.
What does Private Health Insurance cover?
Private Health Insurance is provided to pay for treatment at a private hospital if you require diagnoses, consultations, appointments etc.
What is covered under the policy will depend on the level of cover you decide to take when starting the policy.
When choosing health insurance all clients must know the policy is in place to treat ‘acute’ conditions which are severe and sudden in onset but treatable.
Private Health Insurance does not provide cover for ‘chronic’ conditions which in most cases are not curable just controllable.
How much Private Health Insurance do I need?
Private medical insurance plans will differ depending on the insurer you choose or policy you review but we tend to find most insurers will cover, as a basic:
- Inpatient treatment
- Day-patient treatment
- Drugs and dressings
- Radiotherapy & chemotherapy
These will be the core covers we review as a starting point when assessing your healthcare needs.
At Hooray Health & Protection, we discuss your budget requirements and what your key health worries are that we can look to protect.
One of the biggest requests for add-ons we have, which a number of insurers will not cover as standard, are psychiatric and mental health illnesses.
It is worth highlighting any concerns you may have with a protection expert as they aren’t there to judge, but can advise you on which insurer will be best suited to your needs.
Private Health Insurance has a number of added extras such as reduced excess, enhanced cancer cover, dental, optical, physiotherapy, out patient consultations, psychiatric and many more which can be added, removed or enhanced.
It’s this reason we never advise buying from a price comparison site, as this will not provide every option available and you might end up paying for cover not required.
How much does Private Health Insurance cost?
Private Health Insurance is one of the most advanced insurance markets in the UK and fortunately there have been a number of studies on the average cost.
Below, we have market research conducted by moneysavingexpert on the price for a healthy, non smoking 35 year old:
Above is quoted on a zero excess for claim, unlimited outpatient care and full cancer treatment.
We also have a case study, again from moneysavingexpert, for the average cost for a healthy, non smoking 70 year-old which is on the same basis as above:
If you are a smoker (or have been in the past) it’s is always best to discuss with a protection expert, as certain insurers will take a more relaxed approach than others.
When choosing how you pay your policy, insurers will also look to provide a discount if you pay the premium up front, rather than monthly.
It reduces the risk of cancellation for the insurers but can help you receive an additional 5% off the policy if you have the funds to pay.
Hooray Health & Protection Top Tip: Health Insurance premiums will usually increase every year as you get older. Make sure you have a broker who reviews your policy annually, as any large increases to a policy should prompt your broker to go to the market for a review, to help with premium negotiation.
How can I save money on my Private Health Insurance Policy?
If you have had your renewal premium for your health insurance policy and the price has significantly increased, you should appoint a health insurance broker to review the market for you.
Premium increases can be due to several reasons such as claims, changes to the market or potential updates to the scheme design.
Before rushing into any decisions always seek advice as you may be able to reduce your premium and keep the same level of cover.
Will Health Insurers pay my claim?
Our extensive experience in the marketplace confirms that unfortunately there are no statistics on claim pay out rates.
If we look at the financial ombudsman website, we can see what the most common private health insurance complaints are in relation to.
Looking at the list, it seems as though the majority of declined claims haven’t actually been due to insurers. Most of the declined claims seem to have come from mis-advice from the brokers that initially sold the product.
Always ensure you see a protection expert who can advise you on what is actually covered, as well as what isn’t.
Hooray Health & Protection have great relationships with insurers and have two directors with an extensive private health insurance background to ensure our compliance is 100%.
What Underwriting options are available for Private Health Insurance?
When taking out a new private health insurance policy all insurers will put underwriting requirements which can exclude any pre-existing medical conditions for a set period or potentially forever.
Before proceeding you need to ensure you are aware of all options available to you and what these mean to any potential future claims.
The most common form of underwriting for individual private health insurance in the UK is ‘Moratorium Underwriting’. If you choose moratorium it will excluded any pre existing conditions you have from the last five years for the first two years of the policy.
If you then go two years without any treatment, symptoms, consultations etc. they will then be covered under the policy again.
However, you can also decide to choose the ‘ Full Medical Underwriting’ option for health insurance where you will provided a health questionnaire on inception and the insurer will decide what’s covered from the start of the policy.
Both have their benefits and it depends on your individual requirements for what the right option is.
If you are looking to have pre-existing conditions covered under a health insurance policy you can look at ‘International Medical Insurance’ but this is considerably more expensive and will still potentially apply exclusions.
What Hospitals are covered under Medical Insurance?
Not all hospitals are automatically covered under a medical insurance policy and before taking out the insurance you need to review each insurer hospital lists.
Depending on where you are based across the UK can impact the recommendation we would provide for your medical insurance as insurers will usually provide a standard list and a comprehensive list.
If you reside in London or remote areas, you need to ensure you review all the health insurance hospital lists before deciding.
What Health Insurance Terms and Conditions should I look out for?
If reviewing a new or existing policy, it is vital to review what is excluded before deciding what option to proceed with as every insurance has exclusions and private medical insurance is no different.
Each insurer has different decisions for claims, hospital lists, treatments covered, claim bonus, payment options etc. so we always suggest seeking financial advice before proceeding with one insurer.
Does Health Insurance cover Experimental Treatments?
Treatment which hasn’t been approved, such as new and unapproved drugs, will unlikely be covered under the policy.
If for example, there was a new cancer drug trial but required funding for treatment, but it hasn’t been approved by the ‘National Institute for Health and Care Excellence‘, then the insurer will not be able to pay out for this.
Insurers can consider these as a gesture of goodwill and any Hooray Health & Protection clients will benefit from us negotiating and liaising with the insurer on your behalf.
If you would like to review all of the terms and conditions in your policy, or simply have a question about taking out a new policy, feel free to call us today to discuss if it’ll be the right fit for you.
Do you offer a Health Insurance Quote Comparison?
Hooray Health & Protection do not have any preferred provider arrangements with insurers, so every review we complete is a full market quote comparison.
We go to our panel of health insurers (usually at least six) and will provide a comprehensive report of our finding comparing price, claims and servicing.
Why use Hooray Health and Protection for Private Health Insurance?
Hooray Health and Protection are experts in the private health insurance sector, with the team gaining vast experience working at insurers and intermediaries under our belt.
We help to ensure that you have the right level of cover for what your needs are, and you can rest assured that you have a friendly voice to guide you through the complicated process.
Our background at insurers will also help to make sure that the cover that you take out is at the right price, saving you money in the long term.
Private Health Insurance – FAQs
• Can I cover my family on my private health insurance?
Most providers will allow you to add your partner or children onto the policy for an additional premium.
• I’m retired can I still take private health insurance?
Yes you can still take health insurance once retired but some insurers will have a maximum age limit. It’s always best discussing with a broker as certain insurers specialise in providing cover for retirees.
• My health insurance premiums have increased what can I do?
If you health insurance premiums have increased you should always speak to a health insurance broker to review the market and see if you can get a better price elsewhere or negotiate the increase with your current insurer.
• If I require private medical treatment do I have to pay up front?
If you need to make a claim always phone your broker or insurance company first- they will then approve the claim and arrangement payment with the hospital. Never book in treatment without ensuring your claim is eligible.
• Which is the best private health insurance in the UK?
Some insurers may have a bigger market share then others but there is a best insurer for everyone. We carry out a fact find to establish your needs and then match you with the right insurer for you.