Private Health Insurance is an insurance policy which provides private medical care in exchange for monthly premiums.
You’ll receive treatment in top-notch facilities without any of the waiting times associated with the NHS for any acute conditions you develop after the policy goes live.
Private Health Insurance offers access to cutting edge drugs, treatments and procedures that may not yet be available on the NHS due to cost.
This can be particularly valuable when it comes to cancer care, where the drugs and therapies involved are often very expensive and may therefore not always be licensed for use by the NHS for this reason.
Many policies also provide you with access to a second medical opinion service, putting some of the world’s best oncologists at your disposal to share their expertise regarding your treatment.
Private Medical Insurance is designed to cover the treatment of acute health conditions.
There’s a difference between acute conditions, which are short-term conditions that can be cured or alleviated with medical care, and chronic conditions, which are long-term conditions that are only able to be managed rather than cured.
Acute conditions include joint pain brought on by the need for a joint replacement – once you’ve had the surgical procedure to replace the joint, the condition is alleviated. Chronic conditions, on the other hand, include asthma and diabetes, which cannot be cured and can only be managed going forward.
Private Health Insurance is only designed to intervene to treat acute conditions. For chronic conditions, you’ll still need to use the NHS.
Medical treatment is split broadly into two categories: inpatient care, which requires a hospital bed, either overnight or just for the day as a day-patient, and outpatient care, where no bed is needed at all.
Inpatient treatment is most commonly related to surgical procedures – for example a joint replacement or other surgery. Outpatient care largely involves diagnostic tests and scans, as well as other procedures which don’t need a hospital bed.
All policies cover inpatient treatment as standard. However, to get most aspects of outpatient cover you’ll need to add this to the policy separately for an additional cost.
With outpatient cover you can either opt for it to be paid in full or paid up to a set limit, say £1,000 per year.
Taking out Health Insurance provides you with access to cutting-edge cancer treatment, including drugs and procedures that may not be available on the NHS because they don’t meet cost guidelines.
Other benefits of private cancer care can include:
Having Private Health Insurance doesn’t mean you can never receive treatment from the NHS – it’s designed to work in tandem with the NHS rather than replacing it.
In fact, many policies have an NHS benefit built in that means you’ll receive a cash payout if you choose to take treatment in an NHS hospital rather than using your Private Health Insurance.
This is typically in the form of a benefit of a certain sum per night up to a fixed number of nights per year, but you can also receive a payout if you take outpatient treatment, such as chemotherapy, on the NHS as well.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with cancer and you’re looking for Health Insurance to cover your treatment, you may have a more difficult time.
This is because few policies cover pre-existing conditions, so you’re likely to face an exclusion for cancer or an outright decline to cover you until you’ve recovered and been in remission for at least 5 years.
Your health is taken into account when pricing policies, so even after this 5 years have gone by you’ll likely pay more if you’ve suffered from cancer in the past to reflect the greater risk to the insurer you represent.
You may also face higher premiums if you have a family history of certain types of cancer with proven genetic links, such as breast, ovarian and bowel cancer.
If can be more difficult to get cover if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
If you need some help to better understand your options please do not hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880 or email email@example.com.
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry
Below are the top five UK Health Insurance providers highlighting their cancer coverage.
Each provider broadly offers the same coverage for cancer thanks to stiff competition in this area, although some have slightly different minor points that may mean you want to consider one provider over another.
Most insurers include cancer cover as part of their ‘core’ or inpatient cover, even if you only ever need treatment that doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay. This means you don’t typically have to pay extra for cancer cover as you do for outpatient care.
This is usually the case even if you don’t have outpatient care added to the policy, allowing you to receive outpatient radiotherapy or chemotherapy, for example, because it’s covered as part of core cover even if you don’t select this option from the start.
Note that Aviva does not pay for hormone therapy unless deemed medically necessary to shrink a tumour before surgery or radiotherapy.
AXA has two levels of cancer care:
Comprehensive Cancer Cover offers full cancer cover, while NHS Cancer Support, an option that can be selected to lower the premium, does not cover cancer except in the case that the NHS does not pay for a particular drug or treatment due to its cost. This means all cancer treatment will have to be on the NHS unless there’s a particular drug or treatment your consultant recommends that the NHS doesn’t supply.
AXA will pay for unproven drugs in certain circumstances, such as if you’ve been invited to participate in a randomised clinical trial approved by an appropriate ethics committee.
Bupa has two levels of cancer care:
On a Comprehensive (inpatient and outpatient) policy, Cancer Cover pays for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in full, whereas NHS Cancer Cover Plus pays for the diagnosis of cancer but all treatment will be on the NHS unless there are drugs / treatments only available privately.
On a Treatment & Care (outpatient only) policy, with Cancer Cover all post-diagnosis treatment is paid in full whereas under NHS Cancer Cover Plus all diagnosis and treatment will be on the NHS unless there are drugs / treatments only available privately.
Bupa does not pay charitable donations towards end of life / palliative care in a hospice.
The Exeter places neither financial nor time limits on its cancer treatment.
The Exeter does not cover preventative treatment, including the prophylactic removal of healthy tissue to reduce future risk of disease.
While most Health Insurance covers cancer, there are some differences between the policies that you might want to consider when taking out Private Medical Insurance.
Our expert advisers compare health insurance policies on a wide range of factors, including cancer coverage. So if this is particularly important to you, it’s worth getting advice to ensure you’re getting the best policy for your requirements.
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.
If it is all getting a little confusing and you want to discuss your needs with one of our expert advisers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Pop us a call on 02074425880 or alternatively you can drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director at Drewberry
I had the pleasure of dealing with Jake Mills in organising my insurance. Jake was fantastic to deal with — his patience and understanding really helped.