Comprehensive Health Insurance

Receive the best medical treatment when you need it most...

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Why Comprehensive Health Insurance?

Comprehensive health cover provides you with access to private healthcare so you can bypass NHS waiting lists.

Peace of mind knowing there are no waiting lists, highest standards of care and round the clock visiting hours.

Have choice over where and when your treatment takes place as well as the specialist who treats you.

Speak to our expert independent advisers or get an instant online quote to compare the UK's leading insurers.

What is it for?

What does Medical Insurance cover?

Nearly all private health insurance plans provide full cover for eligible inpatient healthcare but Comprehensive Medical Insurance extends the cover to include all costs for outpatient consultations, treatments and tests.

Private healthcare offers peace of mind knowing there are no waiting lists, the highest standards of care, lower infection risks, private rooms and round the clock visiting hours.

Tailoring your policy

With plans ranging from basic to comprehensive there is likely to be a policy that suits your needs and budget. With some insurers the options can even be tailored to fit your specific requirements..

What does it cover?

How does Medical Insurance work?

The level of cover and type of treatment required will determine the exact process but the main variation depends on whether the policy includes outpatient cover.

No Outpatient Cover
Private Health Insurance No Outpatient Process

With Outpatient Cover
Private Medical Insurance Outpatient Process

A comprehensive policy removes the risk of you having to go through the NHS outpatient waiting list for testing and initial consultations.

How does it work?

Do I need Private Health Insurance?

Although the National Health Service (NHS) does a brilliant job with limited resources, millions of people in the UK have decided they would rather be treated privately.

Should I go private?

Those with comprehensive medical insurance benefit from speedier diagnosis and treatment, the highest quality care, lower infection risks, private rooms with internet access and round the clock visiting times.

Health Insurance is particularly popular with individuals who need to return to work as quickly as possible and retired people where NHS waiting times for orthopaedic treatment has traditionally been one of the longest.

Do I need cover?

Your Key Options

Choose the level of Outpatient Cover
Although the level of outpatient cover makes a sizable difference to the premiums it does ensure that initial consultations and testing can be done privately.

Therapies Cover
It is common for plans to cover therapies (such as physiotherapy) up to the outpatient limit, although GP referred therapies can be an additional option.

Psychiatric Cover
A popular option is to upgrade the policy so there is no time limit for the provision of biological cancer drugs (some plans have a standard limit of 12 months).

What are my options?
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What is comprehensive health insurance?

In addition to covering outpatient treatment in full comprehensive plans also provide an extended amount of cover for other methods of treatment, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and homeopathy. Other additional benefits typically covered include oral surgery, home nursing and use of a private ambulance.

It is also possible to include routine dental and optical cover to your policy for an additional premium. You are also able to upgrade to a 'premier' or London hospital list which includes some of the best hospitals in the United Kingdom.

The details below provide an overview of the cover that is either included in a typical comprehensive medical plan and those options you can choose to increase the cover.

  • Choose from 15 specially selected comprehensive health plans from 10 leading insurers.
  • Receive full outpatient cover for consultations, treatments, tests and scans.
  • Extended cover for physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and homeopathy.
  • Choose a plan with cover for dental surgery and psychiatric healthcare.
  • Key options: overseas cover; routine dental & optical care; premier hospitals.

What does it cover?

Comprehensive health insurance provides greater peace of mind knowing that all eligible inpatient, day-patient, outpatient and associated healthcare services are covered. Most reputable medical insurance policies will cover eligible inpatient healthcare where a hospital bed is required, whether on a basic or comprehensive plan.

The real difference in the level of cover provided is with regard to outpatient healthcare (where a hospital bed is not required) and the additional benefits provided by the policy. Comparisons of these differences are set out below, both for outpatient cover and associated benefits.


With comprehensive health plans all outpatient consultations with a specialist are covered in full, and there are generally no limits imposed on the number of eligible consultations. More basic plans provide nso cover at all or will limit the cover provided to around two consultations per policy year and they usually have to be in relation to an inpatient treatment.

MRI, CT and PET Scans

Nearly all comprehensive policies cover these scans in full and without restriction. About half of basic plans cover these scan in full with the other half imposing certain limits or providing no cover at all.

Other diagnostic tests

Practically all comprehensive plans will cover other diagnostic tests in full and without restriction. A very limited number of basic plans provide full cover with the vast majority imposing specific monetary or impatient restrictions, and some plans providing no cover at all.

Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy

Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy relate to the treatment of cancer. Most basic plans and nearly all comprehensive plans provide cover in full.

Additional benefit options


Although some comprehensive medical plans provide full cover for physiotherapy most policies will limit the cover provided to around 12 sessions or £500 per policy year. A number of basic plans provide no physiotherapy cover at all or typically limit the cover provided to less that £500 per policy year for conditions relating to inpatient treatment only.

Psychiatric healthcare

With comprehensive health plans around a third of policies provide full cover for psychiatric care, another third provide cover of around £1,000 per policy year and the final third provide no cover. The vast majority of basic plans provide no cover and the ones that do impose financial limits.

Alternative medicines

Alternative medicines relate to osteopathy, acupuncture and homeopathy. Although some comprehensive policies provide full cover for alternative medicines the vast majority impose limits of between £250 and £1,000 per policy year. Practically no basic plans provide benefit for alternative medicines.

Other benefits

The vast majority of comprehensive policies will provide full cover for home nursing, whereas basic plans often impose restrictions or no cover at all.

Roughly half of comprehensive plans will provide benefit for dental/oral surgery, whereas most basic plans provide no benefit. Both types of plans generally provide some degree of cover for the use of a private ambulance, with most comprehensive medical insurance plans providing full cover.

Comprehensive health cover upgrades

When it comes to selecting your ideal health insurance plan it is possible to identify the types of cover most important to you from the list above, and then selecting a policy that best fits your requirements.

In addition to these options there are a number of important choices to make which can be included in your policy, usually with an additional premium required. These options are set out below.

Routine dental and optical

A number of policies allow you to include routine dental and optical healthcare to your plan for an additional premium of approximately £10 per month. The benefit provided usually comes in the form of a cash plan, setting out a specified pot of 'cash' for you to use throughout the year. It should be noted that this bolt-on typically comes with separate excesses.

Overseas cover

Although overseas cover is not generally an added extra, a very small number of comprehensive health insurance plans include this benefit as part of the policy. If you travel overseas regularly it might be worth selecting a policy that includes overseas cover.

Upgrade hospital list

For an increase in premium it is possible to upgrade your hospital list to a premier list or a London list. The London list provides access to an increased number of London hospitals as compared to a standard national list.

With the premier list you can receive treatment at practically any hospital in the United Kingdom, including top specialist and London hospitals. Upgrading to a premier hospital list usually increases monthly premiums by approximately 30%.

Family health cover

When taking out a medical insurance plan it is possible to add family members to your policy, which may include your partner, children and, potentially, your grandchildren.

Need some guidance?

In many cases individuals wishing to temporarily reside or permanently reside in the UK will often to be required to provide documentary proof that you hold sufficient health cover in the form of comprehensive sickness insurance.

A comprehensive plan is designed to ensure any medical treatment that is required whether inpatient or outpatient treatment can take place privately without requiring the services of the NHS. All of the leading UK health insurers offer some form of comprehensive cover although they can still vary quite considerably in the policy coverage so do ensure you read the policy terms, the devil is in the detail.

To ensure you decide upon a policy which meets the requirements for individuals wishing to temporarily or permanently reside in the UK please do not hesitate to give us a call or pop us an email.

If you are looking for individual health cover and would like more information, some advice or health insurance quotes comparing the leading UK insurers then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help, our aim is simply to make personal insurance simple and affordable.

Give us a call on 0208 432 7333 or get an instant online health insurance quote here.

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Frequently asked private medical insurance questions

If I need to see a physiotherapist will health insurance pay for this?
There are a number of good private hospitals in my area and I want to know if I can receive treatment in them if I get a health insurance plan?
I am considering taking out health insurance and am unsure to what extent it will cover me, if I needed to see a GP could I go privately?
I have a health insurance plan through work and it says it has a six week wait option, what does this actually mean?
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Published by Andrew Jenkinson
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