Contractor Health Insurance

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Contractor Health Insurance gives contractors access to private healthcare treatment paid for at least in part by an insurer.

  • Access private healthcare when you need it most bypassing NHS waiting lists.
  • Have peace of mind knowing there are no waiting lists and you’ll get the highest standards of care.
  • Get a choice over where and when your treatment will take place, and the specialist who treats you.
  • Many contractors opt for Private Health Insurance to ensure they are back on their feet and can return to work as quickly as possible

What Does Health Insurance Cover?

Inpatient and Day-Patient Cover

Most plans cover inpatient and day-patient treatment in full.

Inpatient and day-patient treatment involves you occupying a hospital bed after a surgical procedure, either overnight (inpatient) or just for the day (day-patient).

The insurer will take care of all hospital costs associated with that stay, from accommodation fees to paying for the staff involved in your care.

Outpatient Cover

The best Private Health Insurance plans will also cover outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment generally involves diagnostic tests / scans, as well as appointments where a bed isn’t needed, such as for physiotherapy.

There tends to be three ‘tiers’ of outpatient cover you can have on your policy:

  • No outpatient cover
  • Limited outpatient cover, which is capped at a set monetary amount each year such as £1,000
  • Full outpatient cover, where all eligible outpatient treatment is paid in full.

Receiving Treatment Without Outpatient Cover

Opting for inpatient-only cover without any outpatient treatment may be a cheaper option but it means you’ll have to rely on the NHS for outpatient appointments, potentially slowing down your diagnosis.

Private Health Insurance No Outpatient Process

Receiving Treatment With Outpatient Cover

Adding outpatient cover to your policy means that your treatment can be taken care of privately following a referral from your NHS GP.

This includes all diagnostic tests and scans leading up to your private treatment.

Private Medical Insurance Outpatient Process

Additional Contractor Health Insurance Options

As well as deciding whether you need outpatient cover as well as inpatient cover, there are a number of other policy options for you to choose from that will determine what your plan covers.

Physiotherapy and Alternative Therapies

Your cover for certain therapies will depend on your provider.

Not every all Health Insurance policy automatically covers physiotherapy and similar therapies, such as chiropractic treatment and osteopathy, as standard.

On the other hand, some insurers may cover certain therapies under outpatient cover and will cover the cost for a fixed number of sessions if you add outpatient cover to your policy.

Overseas cover

If your job requires you to spend time working abroad, then you may wish to opt for a Medical Insurance plan for that incorporates overseas cover. This will generally pay for much of your medical treatment if you fall ill overseas.

However, it’s another added extra to your policy and will come at additional cost. If you’re travelling abroad frequently for business it might be worth it, but this will ultimately depend on how cost-effective this will be for you over your other options.

Psychiatric cover

Although not always on the top of the list for contractors, Contractor Health Insurance with psychiatric cover can be incredibly valuable, especially if you work in a high-stress environment.

However, few providers of Health Insurance for contractors will offer this as standard and it will generally have to be an added extra.

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Do Contractors Need Health Insurance?

The National Health Service does a brilliant job, but resources are limited. An ongoing funding squeeze coupled with demographic pressures from an older, sicker population means the NHS is now under considerable strain.

As a result, many people decide they’d prefer to be treated privately, potentially saving time and offering far more choice when it comes to treatment options.

Contractor Health Insurance is designed to minimise disruption to your business by ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment, reducing the time you have to spend away from work and getting you back up and running as soon as possible.

Drew Nelson
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

What About the NHS?

Without Private Medical Insurance, you’ll still be eligible for treatment on the NHS.

Even with your own Contractor Health Insurance, some aspects of your treatment – such as emergency care and most likely GP appointments – will continue to be dealt with on the NHS, anyway.

However, NHS waiting lists are growing longer as the system comes under huge strain.

How Much Does Independent Contractor Health Insurance Cost?

The cost of a Medical Insurance policy will not be the same for everyone. Premiums will change depending on your personal circumstances as well as the options you choose when taking out your policy.

Factor which will impact the cost of Health Insurance include:

  • Age
    As we get older, health problems become more of a common occurrence, so insurers will increase your premiums as you get older to account for this.
  • Address
    The rates of the private hospitals in your area will affect the cost of your policy because in certain areas around the UK, it will cost insurers more to pay for your treatment. Private hospital fees in London are more expensive than they are almost anywhere else in the UK, for example.
  • Health and Medical History
    Your current state of health and medical history will give your insurer an idea of what to expect in terms of your future health. If you aren’t in top health when you take out your policy or have a history of serious health problems, your policy will likely cost more.
  • Smoker status
    It’s common knowledge that smoking has detrimental affects on your health, which means that being a regular smoker will significantly increase your Health Insurance premiums.

Example Costs

To provide you with estimate costs we’ve researched all the major providers in the UK market and assumed the following to obtain pricing:

  • All the individuals are in good health
  • They’re non-smokers
  • They’re looking for a mid-range policy with a mid-range hospital list
  • They’re willing to pay a £100 excess
  • They’ll be underwritten on a moratorium basis
  • They don’t want any additional extras on their policy
  • They’re based in the same postcode as our Brighton office.

With these assumptions we have calculated pricing of a Mid-Range Health Insurance policy for different age groups as well as for individuals, couples and families.

Cost of Health Insurance for Single Individuals

25 Year Old
50 Year Old
£63 per month
£113 per month

Cost of Private Health Insurance for Couples

30 Year Old Couple
£125 per month

Cost of Private Medical Insurance for Families

Family with 35 Year Old Parents
13 and 11 year old children
£200 per month

How to Reduce Your Premiums

Many people are concerned about the cost of Private Health Insurance and wonder whether they can afford it, but there are actually a range of options available that can help you stick to your budget.

  • Excess
    This is an amount that you agree to pay to cover some of the cost of your treatment upfront. Just like with car insurance, increasing the excess you’re willing to pay will decrease your premiums.
  • NHS 6 week wait
    This option will make it so that you will only be able to claim for treatment on your policy if the NHS waiting list for the same treatment is longer than 6 weeks. This will considerably reduce your premiums and help you protect your no claims bonus.
  • Hospital list
    Many insurers offer you a choice of hospital lists to choose from, ranging from limited to nationwide. The most comprehensive hospital lists, covering the top private facilities around the UK, will add to your premiums while limited hospital lists that maybe cover only local private hospitals and private wings in NHS hospitals can help you reduce your premiums.

Tax and Health Insurance for Contractors – Can My Company Pay?

The answer is technically yes – if you’re a contractor working through your own limited company then your business can pay for your Private Medical Insurance.

However, Health Insurance paid for by your company is considered a P11D benefit and you will be taxed as an individual accordingly on that benefit.

Speak to your accountant to ensure you’re aware of the tax implications of your company paying your Health Insurance premiums.

How is Contractor Health Insurance Taxed When Your Company Pays?

Your company can pay for Health Insurance for you and offset the cost of the premiums against corporation tax.

However, both you and your company will face other tax implications when paying for Medical Insurance through your business because the policy will be considered an employee benefit.

Your company will have to pay Employers’ National Insurance Contributions at 13.8% on the benefit.

Also, when Medical Insurance for contractors is paid for through a company, it’s considered a P11D or a benefit in kind, which means you as an individual will have to pay extra tax on the benefit you receive.

Is it Better to Pay for Medical Insurance Myself Than Through My Limited Company?

In comparison, if you pay for your Contractor Medical Insurance yourself then you do so out of post-tax income.

As it won’t then be considered a business expense or an employee benefit, there’s no other tax considerations to worry about.

Although Private Health Insurance is subject to Insurance Premium Tax at 12%, this is included in the premium and won’t be added on top.

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Common Contractor Health Insurance Questions

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    Compare Best UK Health Insurance Companies

    Read our Health Insurance provider reviews to learn more about what the top UK insurers have to offer.



    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 healthcare

    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


    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

    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+.

    • 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 (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 Contractor Health Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

    Many contractors want Health Insurance, recognising that it can be a valuable benefit that gets you back to work as quick as possible, but finding the best policy for them can be a minefield because of all the additional benefits and options that need to be considered. So why not ask an expert for help?

    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 2643 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.91 / 5.
    • Gain 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 you 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

    Nadeem Farid
    Head of Employee Benefits

    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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