To get the best Private Health Insurance, you will want to be comparing a number of key factors including:
Where almost all Private Medical Insurance covers inpatient treatment in full, the extent of the cover provided tends to be broken down by outpatient treatment with the best policies providing full outpatient cover.
Naturally the greater the level of outpatient treatment that is provided the higher your premiums are likely to be.
If you opt for limited or no outpatient treatment be aware that you may need to use the NHS for the initial diagnostic part of your treatment.
Given potential waiting lists this could mean delays in your care before you can use your medical insurance for any inpatient treatment.
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry
There has been a great deal of consolidation in the marketplace for Health Insurance providers in recent years, with many of the larger providers buying up smaller ones.
This has left us with a handful of large household names as well as a few specialist firms:
We provide instant online quotes from all the leading providers. Simply use our health insurance cost calculator by clicking below.
The top Private Medical Insurance providers will cover a range of additional options as standard on their best PMI policies. Mid-range and basic plans may require you to pay extra for these.
Some providers will offer a ‘menu’ of additional options for you to choose from that you can add and subtract from the policy, thus increasing or reducing the cost of cover respectively.
The big four therapies covered by the better Medical Insurance providers are:
These will only be provided as standard by the best Health Insurance plans that offer a good level of outpatient cover.
Alternatively if it is not included by default some insurers will allow you to add therapies cover to your plan for an additional cost.
Some insurers offer a set number of physio sessions without having to see your GP, who is normally first port of call to get referral for private treatment.
However, certain insurers allow you to bypass this and get treatment straight away if you’re suffering from a joint or back complaint.
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry
These are among the most popular Health Insurance add-ons, as few policies cover all dental and optical treatment as standard.
Most policies will cover you for what’s known as ’emergency dental’, which covers treatment if you had an accident that loosens or knocks out at tooth. Many plans also cover oral surgery, which would provide cover for wisdom tooth extraction in a hospital.
However, if you want cover for everyday dental treatment – such as checkups, fillings, crowns and cleaning – you’ll likely need to consider an add-on to your policy.
It’s important to check what you’re covered for if you do opt for a Private Dental Insurance add-on, as many policies will only contribute towards the cost of treatment up to a set limit, or only cover dental emergencies, rather than paying for full dental cover.
While most PMI plans cover you for treatment such as cataract surgery, few offer cover for routine optical appointments as standard.
This will generally need to be an add-on to pay for everyday checkups and items such as glasses or contact lenses.
Although it’s not often requested as a ‘must have’ for many policies, the better Medical Insurance plans will cover psychiatric treatment. Others may require you to add this on separately.
The cover generally pays for a set number of days of inpatient or day patient treatment if you were to be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition such as schizophrenia or clinical depression.
Some policies only cover outpatient treatment, however, such as appointments with cognitive behavioural therapists or psychologists.
For most people there are two underwriting options available: moratorium underwriting and full medical underwriting (FMU).
Moratorium underwriting is the most common form of Health Insurance underwriting.
With moratorium underwriting, any medical condition that you’ve had advice, treatment or medication for in the past 5 years will automatically be excluded from the policy if you try and claim in the future.
Many insurers use a 2 year rolling moratorium, whereby the insurer will consider any claims for medical conditions that you suffered in the 5 years running up to the date your policy started providing you’ve served 2 years on the policy without needing any medical attention for that condition.
Full medical underwriting (FMU) will examine your medical history before you take out the policy.
While this means you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for, there’s usually very little opportunity to get any exclusions arising from the underwriting process removed.
Conditions occurring more than 5 years ago aren’t generally taken into account when insurers are underwriting you on a moratorium basis. However, they will most likely be examined when being underwritten on an FMU basis.
With full medical underwriting, an insurer might not decide to exclude a minor condition having seen the medical evidence from your GP, but this condition would likely be automatically excluded if it occurred in the 5 years leading up to the policy start date if the insurer was underwriting you on a moratorium basis.
If you’ve had a minor condition in the past then an insurer might decide not to exclude it on an FMU basis once they’ve seen the medical evidence. This won’t likely be the case for moratorium underwriting.
Ultimately, whether full medical underwriting is better than moratorium underwriting will depend on you and your medical history. It is absolutely critical to get this right, if you need some help please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Based in Tunbridge Wells, AXA PPP Healthcare has helped people to access healthcare services since 1940.
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.
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.
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.
Finding the best Private Medical Insurance for your needs takes a lot more thought because it depends very much on your budget and your personal circumstances.
To lower the cost of Private Medical Insurance you may have to sacrifice the level of cover you receive. If you know which elements make up the bulk of the cost you can scale back your policy and still get a good level of cover even though it won’t have everything included that would be covered by the top policies.
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 let us help.
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 02084327333 or email email@example.com.
Director at Drewberry
Very professional, kept me informed at every stage, easy to communicate with, no stress!