Getting Private Health Insurance Advice

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Private Health Insurance is a way of providing you and your family with private healthcare.

It allows you to bypass NHS waiting lists, getting you care faster than would be available otherwise.

You’ll get superior service, such as a choice in where your treatment takes place and potentially choice of the consultants/specialists you see.

Should I Have Private Medical Insurance?

No one can deny that the NHS does a fantastic job. However, the service has faced a real-terms spending squeeze over the past decade.

At the same time, the population has become older, sicker, frailer and generally harder to treat, resulting in resources being stretched to the max.

As a result, many are looking into Private Medical Insurance to get treatment faster than would be available under NHS care.

According to NHS statistics…

  • In the quarter to March 2018, there were more than 31,000 people on the waiting list for a diagnostic appointment who’d been waiting for more than 6 weeks
  • Meanwhile, at the end of March 2018, more than 1 in 10 people waiting for hospital treatment had been waiting for more than 18 weeks.
  • In the quarter ending September 2018, 18,460 operations were cancelled
  • 1,255 patients were still waiting for treatment more than 28 days later after the cancellation.
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Your Health Insurance Options

Our team of experts are often asked which is the best Health Insurance. However, the answer isn’t simple. There are various types of Private Medical Insurance, each with their own policy options that benefit different people with different needs. The important thing is to find the most suitable policy for you based on your needs and budget.

What is Inpatient Care?

Inpatient or day-patient care – where a hospital bed is required, either for the night or for part of a day, respectively – is a core part of all Health Insurance cover.

This will cover you for surgical procedures and all related costs.

What is Outpatient Cover?

As well as core inpatient cover, you can also add outpatient cover to your Medical Insurance policy.

Adding outpatient cover allows for diagnostic tests in the lead up to a potential operation to be done privately, rather than waiting for the NHS.

With inpatient-only cover, you’ll have to wait for the NHS to diagnose your condition before using your Private Medical Insurance to resolve the issue.

Adding outpatient treatment means you get the extra layer of cover that comes with having your diagnostic tests and potentially any therapies, such as physiotherapy, covered privately.

Which Health Insurance Underwriting?

The type of underwriting you have on your Private Medical Insurance policy is important as it may have an impact on what you can claim for, especially when it comes to pre-existing conditions.

For individuals, there are two main types of medical underwriting.

Moratorium underwriting

Moratorium underwriting excludes most pre-existing conditions you’ve suffered over a set period, usually the last 5 years.

If you have suffered from a medical condition in the past 5 years, you’ll need to satisfy a set period on the policy – typically 2 years – without having any treatment, advice or medication for that condition before the insurer will consider covering it.

Full medical underwriting (FMU)

With full medical underwriting, you disclose your entire medical history upfront and the insurer places outright exclusions on most pre-existing conditions.

They’ll usually rule out covering any pre-existing conditions, although there may be leeway to negotiate cover for more minor illnesses at your insurer’s discretion.

It’s important to be well-informed when choosing your medical underwriting as it could have a massive impact on what you’ll be able to claim for at a later date.

If you have pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned with what will and won’t be covered please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Other Health Insurance Options

As well as deciding whether you need to add outpatient cover to your Private Medical Insurance, you’ll also have a number of other options to consider. For instance, would you want to add:

  • Therapies cover
    Sometimes not covered as a standard part of outpatient treatment, this gives you access to therapies such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and acupuncture
  • Routine dental care
    While most policies cover emergency dentistry, say if you lost a tooth, as well as if you require oral surgery, routine dental care (e.g. fillings, checkups etc.) can be added on as an optional extra
  • Routine optical
    Again this can be added as an optional extra, giving you cover for glasses and sight tests as well as things covered as standard, such as surgery for cataracts
  • Psychiatric cover
    As mental health conditions can be debilitating and very tricky to treat, psychiatric cover is often included as an ‘add-on’ option to medical insurance plans for an additional cost.

Private Medical Insurance Top Tips

If you’re looking to get this cover in place, check out our top Health Insurance tips when you’re buying PMI.

Of course none of these tips are a substitute for speaking with an expert adviser, but they’re designed to give you a rough idea of factors you may want to look out for when purchasing cover.

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    Compare Best UK Health Insurance Providers

    Aviva is one of the largest uk health insurers


    Aviva is the largest insurer in the UK. Aviva’s PMI offering is their Healthier Solutions product, which you can tailor to your own budget.

    • Underwriting
      Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium / Continued Personal Medical Exclusions
    • Excess
      £100 / £200 / £500 / £1,000 / £3,000 / £5,000 per year
    • Core Cover
      Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
    • Outpatient Cover
      £0 / Reduced (limited to £500 or £1,000) / Full outpatient cover
    axa ppp has provided insurance in the UK since 1940

    AXA PPP Healthcare

    Based in Tunbridge Wells, AXA PPP Healthcare has helped people to access healthcare services since 1940.

    • Underwriting
      Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium
    • Excess
      £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000* / £2,500* / £5,000*
    • Core Cover
      Inpatient and day-patient / radio/chemotherapy** / Optional mental health cover
    • Outpatient Cover
      Standard or Full
    Bupa is a well-known Uk health insurance brand


    Established over 60 years ago, Bupa is a UK household name. Bupa Health Insurance has two tiers of over: Comprehensive (full inpatient and outpatient care) and Treatment & Care (inpatient-only). Both options include mental health cover as standard.

    • Underwriting
      Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium
    • Excess
    • Core Cover
      Inpatient and day-patient / radio/chemotherapy / Mental health cover
    • Outpatient Cover
      Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £750 / £1,000
    The Exeter's three coverage options make it easier to choose the best PMI for you

    The Exeter

    Founded in 1927, Exeter Family Friendly is a mutual Friendly Society with over 60,000 members. The Exeter’s Health Insurance policy is known as The Exeter Health+, which includes mental health cover as standard.

    • Underwriting
      Full Medical Underwriting / Fixed moratorium / Rolling moratorium / Continued personal medical exclusions
    • Excess
      £0 / £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000 / £3,000 / £5,000
    • Core Cover
      Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
    • Outpatient Cover
      Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £1,000
    Vitality is a relatively new entrant to the UK Medical Insurance sector but is one of the better PMI providers to choose if you want lots of added benefits with your policy


    Vitality (formerly PruHealth) launched in October 2004 as a joint venture between Prudential and South African health insurance provider Discovery. Vitality has an innovative approach to health insurance in their Vitality plan, rewarding you with points and reduced premiums for healthy living.

    • Underwriting
      Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium / Continued personal medical exclusions
    • Excess
      £0 / £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000 once a year or once per claim
    • Core Cover
      Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
    • Outpatient Cover
      Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £750 / £1,000 / £1,250 / £1,500
    *Not available with standard outpatient option / **For those who have had cancer before taking out the plan or who removed the cover for cheaper PMI, AXA's NHS Cancer Support will see the patient treated for cancer on the NHS but with any drugs not routinely available on the NHS paid for by AXA

    Get Expert Health Insurance Advice

    Getting Health Insurance advice is so important because setting up the most suitable product can be complicated, particularly if you have existing medical conditions. There are so many nuances to the cover that make it hard to get it right if you go it alone without the help of an expert.

    Why speak to us?

    We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

    • There is no fee for our service
    • We are independent and impartial
      Drewberry isn’t tied to any insurance company, so we can provide completely impartial advice to make sure you get the most appropriate policy based solely on your needs.
    • We’ve got bargaining power on our side
      This allows us to negotiate better premiums for you than you going direct yourself.
    • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
      You will speak to a named expert with a direct telephone and email. No more automated machines and no more being sent from pillar to post – you’ll have someone to speak to who knows you.
    • Benefit from our 5-star service
      We pride ourselves on providing a 5-star service, as can be seen from our 2637 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.91 / 5.
    • Benefit from the protection of regulated advice
      You are protected. Where we provide a regulated advice service we are responsible for the policy we set-up for you. Doing it yourself or going direct to an insurer won’t provide this protection, so you won’t benefit from these securities.
    • Claims support when you need it the most
      You have support should you need to make a claim. The most important thing when it comes to insurance is that claims are paid and quickly. We are here to support you during the claims process and make sure it’s as smooth and stress free as possible.

    If it is all getting a little confusing and you want to talk through your options to make sure you find the most suitable cover please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Pop us a call on 02074425880 or email

    Tom Conner
    Director at Drewberry

    Martyn Coates from Drewberry provided an excellent service with prompt handling of any question that we asked him. I would highly recommend Drewberry for anyone wanting Insurance.

    Kevin Eaton
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    Or call us on 0208 432 7333

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