Health insurance guide
Health insurance provides medical care quickly and saves you facing NHS queues or bureaucracy.
Health insurance provides medical care quickly and saves you facing NHS queues or bureaucracy.
Individual health insurance enables you to bypass lenghty NHS waiting times and receive treatment quickly should you become ill or injured.
Family health insurance provides cover for the whole family ensuring that treatment is received quickly should the need arise.
Child health insurance provides tailored cover for your childrens growing needs offering peace of mind that their health care is protected.
Joint health insurance offers peace of mind that should either of you require treatment it will be received promptly and at a hospital of your choice.
Health care cash plans are a great way to top up the services offered by the NHS, assisting with costs towards treatments that would otherwise not be covered.
We insure our cars and homes without a second thought, but have you ever considered taking out health insurance?
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is designed to provide medical treatment and support to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. But while it provides a valuable service, paying for private health insurance offers three key advantages:
Health insurance can also offer access to specialist drugs and treatment that may not be available on the NHS or affordable to pay for directly. Its overarching aim is therefore to provide you with the comforts and reassurance you want from your initial consultation through to your aftercare.
Whether you are worried about an experience someone you know has had or you want access to a specific hospital or quicker access to a specialist, there are a variety of health insurance products and policies to choose from which should help to meet your requirements.
As with any insurance policy, it’s important to research your options carefully. Our health insurance comparison channel will help you to compare a range of policies, so you can assess how much each policy costs as well as what it covers, before you make a decision.
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.
We can help you find the product that is most appropriate for you from our panel of providers.
All the health insurance policies we offer look to cover you for the cost of receiving medical treatment, including scans and surgical procedures, when you are admitted to hospital as an In-patient or day-patient as standard. There is also cover for radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat cancer and access to a GP or medical professional when needed.
(Please note, the limits mentioned above may vary depending on the provider you choose. For instance, access to a GP or medical professional can vary from access to a 24 hour helpline, through to a consultation with a private GP.)
Each policy allows you to build the plan to suit you by including modules of different cover, for example, you may which to add cover to help you get diagnosed when there is a problem. This would cover the costs of you having an appointment with a private consultant to establish the next course of action and having scans as an out-patient.
There are many different providers with different options. We recognise that you may need some help finding the policy to suit you, so we’ve made it simple.
What isn’t covered;
There are of course some things that simply wont be covered, these include;
When selecting the standard cover of your health insurance, you will then have the ability to tailor a policy to suit your needs and find the peace of mind you deserve.
Through a diverse range of products and modular options you can add different levels of cover, whilst keeping the policy affordable for you.
These various options include;
It is your choice to design your cover either carefully selecting the options most important to you or deciding to take a more comprehensive approach.
For example if your primary concern is to be covered for cancer we could look to provide you with information about the highest cover available. This would include cover for treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, surgery, access to higher costing drugs such as Avastin and Herceptin, experimental treatments not readily available and monitoring post treatment.
If however you are happy to use the NHS should you ever need treatment for cancer and are more interested in ensuring that you can get a diagnosis quickly, you would look at out-patient options on a policy. Modular policies allow you to take this fantastic approach and design cover around what is important to you, not the market as a whole.
We understand that even with a range of different products available which offer varying premiums, health insurance can be another payment you have to justify. There are many ways to therefore drive down the cost, one of them being the ability to build up a no claims discount. This works on the basis that providing you do not make a claim on your policy, a discount may be applied to your premium. However if you do make a claim, this could affect your renewal premium.
Understanding health insurance can be a daunting task, never mind reading through pages of policy documentation that is full of insurance terms. That’s why we are here to help and have made a directory to simplify what we mean;
In-patient: To qualify as an in-patient, you must have been admitted to hospital and spent at least one night in a hospital bed.
Day-patient: To qualify as a day patient, you will typically return home on the same day as your test or procedure and have taken up a bed whilst in hospital.
Out-patient: A patient who visits hospital typically for a diagnostic test or consultation.
Self- pay: The term self-pay is used when someone receives private medical treatment and decides to pay their medical bill directly, without claiming on their insurance.
Excess: An excess is the amount you agree to pay at the point of claim before the insurance starts to pay out. A higher excess can also sometimes be used to reduce a monthly premium.
Exclusion: An exclusion is something an insurance company will not cover, ranging from a specific condition, treatment or selection of hospitals.
NCD - No claims discount: Is a discount applied to a premium, typically applied when no claim has been made.
Underwriting: The underwriting of a policy measures the risk of someone’s health which then stipulates the terms and conditions of a policy.
IPT - Insurance Premium Tax: Insurance Premium tax is the tax levied on general insurance premiums if living within the UK.
FCA- Financial Conduct Authority: The Financial Conduct Authority is the financial regulatory body in the UK. It regulates the financial markets to ensure that firms treat their customers fairly and act with integrity.
FOS- Financial Ombudsmen Service: The Financial Ombudsmen Service is an independent service in the UK designed to settle unresolved disputes between businesses providing financial services & their customers.
Certificate of insurance: Sometimes referred to as a membership certificate, a certificate of insurance is the documentation you receive from your insurer which summarises your cover. You may have to provide it if you wish to switch to another insurer or make a claim.
The world of health insurance can be overwhelming if you are new to the industry and even though you may have a policy, it is understandable that you will still have questions about how it works or what you can gain from it. At its simplest just like all other types of insurance, health insurance will pay out the agreed amount when you claim on your policy.
To have the reassurance that your eligible claim will be paid for in full, most insurers will advise that you contact them before undergoing treatment in order to pre-authorise a claim. There are two generic guidelines issued by the insurers which you should follow. The first guideline set out by insurers is that no claim will be paid for a pre-existing condition, or any exclusion that is stated on your policy documentation unless your policy document specifically includes it. If you are receiving treatment for something you had before joining up for health insurance, or that has been identified as an endorsement or exclusion on your policy, you will have to take the self-pay route and fund the treatment yourself.
The second guideline from insurers is that if you are receiving treatment for a new condition and go outside of the hospital list, you may be expected to pay part or all of the costs.
The Financial Conduct Authority is there to protect you. The FCA is a regulatory body designed to ensure that you as the consumer are cared for and all products are sold appropriately. Of course if you do have any queries or concerns about the way in which your policy was sold or about the level of cover, Customer Relation teams are there to address these concerns.
We understand that Health Insurance, despite being optional, can be the difference in having peace of mind or not and therefore plays an important part of your life. If you feel dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, there is the option to ask the Financial Ombudsmen Service, an independent body, to consider your complaint. You can contact them on 0845 080 1800 and find out whether your complaint is eligible.
There are of course other questions that you may want to know the answers to. In this scenario, please contact your provider to discuss your personal policy.
Please read the following information about our service and print copies for your own records.
Private medical insurance needn't be expensive, and there are plenty of cheap plans available which can give you peace of mind you will be well looked after in the event you become ill