What Is The UK’s Best Health Insurance In 2024?

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15/05/2024
10 mins

Finding the best Health Insurance can be tricky. There are a range of insurers and plans available, each with their own unique policy options and levels of cover. This can make the decision-making process overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Not all policies are equal, and some will align more closely with your own specific needs and circumstances. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how they differ and what the key factors are you need to consider before taking out cover.

To help you do this, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to finding the best health insurance below 👇.

What Is Health Insurance?

Although different providers offer different types of cover, at its core, all Health Insurance is the same. It provides you with private medical care so you don’t have to rely solely on the NHS.

By going private, you enjoy far shorter waiting times, often with a choice of consultants, treatment, and facilities that are convenient for you. It can give you access to:

  • New drugs and novel treatments that may not yet be available on the NHS
  • Private hospitals with usually superior facilities, e.g. private, ensuite rooms and round-the-clock visiting hours
  • Fully paid-for treatment by your insurer (less any excess).

Why Is Private Health Insurance Important?

We are extremely lucky to have access to free healthcare through the National Health Service; however, not all services and treatments are available on it, and due to resource and budget cuts, waiting times are getting longer and longer.

By having private healthcare, you can get peace of mind, knowing that should you need treatment, you will get it quickly and in some of the best facilities.

Check out our reviews for each of the top UK health insurers including Bupa, Aviva and Vitality.

And if you want to get an idea of cost, our online Health Insurance quote tool compares premiums of all the top UK health insurers.

Alex Weir
Independent Health & Protection Expert

Which Type Of Private Health Insurance Is Best For Me?

Before delving into the nitty gritty of policy options, it’s important to understand that there are different types of Health Insurance available.

This will ensure that you choose a plan that aligns with your particular needs. Whether you’re looking to cover just yourself, your family or looking for a policy suited to an older individual, there’s a range of options designed to meet the needs of different life stages and financial situations.

Individual & Joint Policies

Individual plans are tailored specifically for individuals just looking to protect themselves, whereas Couples Health Insurance is designed to cover two people. The benefit of a joint policy is that there will be less admin compared to if you were to set up two single policies and it can sometimes be cheaper.

EXPERT TIP 🤓
Joint policies can sometimes offer a more cost-effective option compared to two single policies. This isn’t always guaranteed however, so it’s important to do your research before opting for this option.

Senior Health Insurance

Seniors Insurance is aimed at individuals over the age of 65. They are similar to standard Health Insurance Policies, however the age restrictions aren’t limited. Not all providers will offer this type of policy, so it’s important to bear this in mind when looking for cover.

Family Cover

Family Medical Insurance is exactly what it says on the tin. It is cover that protects you and your immediate family (partner and children). Unlike a single or joint policy, which cover 1 or 2 people, it will cover multiple individuals under one plan.

Low Cost Options

Private insurance can be expensive, but the good news is there are affordable health insurance options out there. You can tailor policies and the level of cover on offer to reduce the cost of premiums and make cover cheaper.

We understand that trying to get your head around insurance jargon and policy types can be overwhelming.

That’s why we aim to take the heavy lifting out of putting protection in place. We use our expertise to ensure you get the best health insurance for your needs. So don’t hesitate to get in touch, give us a call on 02074425880 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Ben Brooks
Independent Health & Protection Expert

What Do The Best Private Health Insurance Policies Cover?

This is a good question. Even the best Private Healthcare won’t cover you for everything. It’s vital to understand what is offered as standard, the optional extras that can be added and what isn’t included.

Acute Conditions

Firstly, a policy will only cover you for acute conditions. These are conditions which are short term and can be cured with treatment. This means, chronic conditions, such as Diabetes and Heart Disease won’t be covered as they are long term and can’t be cured.

Inpatient & Outpatient Cover

What your policy will actually cover in terms of acute conditions, will depend on the level of protection you put in place. All medical treatment is split into two categories inpatient and outpatient and there are distinct differences between the two:

  • Inpatient Cover
    This is any treatment which requires the use of a hospital bed. Either for a day or overnight
  • Outpatient Cover
    Covers any treatment that you might need that doesn’t require a hospital bed. For example scans and diagnostics.

All Health Insurance policies will include inpatient treatment as standard, however outpatient treatment isn’t included. This is something you will have to build into your policy, and the level you opt for will determine what is included in your cover.

Insurers tend to categorise their Health Insurance products in the following way:

  • Basic Health Insurance
    Basic Health Insurance only pays for inpatient care and doesn’t offer any outpatient care at all
  • Mid-Range Cover
    Mid-Range covers some outpatient treatment up to a set monetary limit per year. The insurer offers a range of choices for this limit, such as £500, £1,000 or £1,500 a year
  • Comprehensive Health Insurance
    As the name suggests, Comprehensive Health Insurance is the best health cover. These plans pay for all eligible inpatient and outpatient care in full.

Do I Need Outpatient Cover?

You don’t have to add outpatient cover to your Private Health Insurance. Having little or no outpatient cover means your premiums will be lower. However, without it you will have to rely on the NHS for outpatient scans and diagnostics. This can often slow down access to private inpatient care.

Below shows what the process for treatment looks like with and without outpatient cover.

Treatment With Outpatient Cover
Private Healthcare Process

Treatment Without Outpatient Cover

NHS Process
Good To Know 🤓
Comprehensive Health Insurance policies provide the highest level of outpatient cover. However they are also the most expensive. If you are limited by budget, look at a mid-range plan. Having some outpatient cover is better than having none at all.

Cancer Cover

All health insurance cover will include cancer care as standard. This will give you access to cutting-edge treatment that isn’t yet available on the NHS. Benefits of this type of cover can include:

  • Giving you the choice of having chemotherapy at home rather than in a clinical setting
  • Covering the cost of wigs and prostheses that are required as a result of cancer treatment / surgery
  • Money to pay for scalp cooling, to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy
  • Donations to a hospice should you need to stay in one to receive palliative care
  • Access to home nursing for a certain number of days, where a dedicated private nurse will come to your home to check up on you during your treatment.

Cancer Cover is a highly valuable feature of a Health Insurance policy. It can ensure timely and effective treatment. As well as giving you peace of mind, knowing that you have access to advanced treatments not readily available on the NHS and comprehensive care management.

Alex Weir
Independent Health & Protection Expert

How To Choose The Best Private Health Insurance UK

Regardless of the type of policy you choose, to get the best private health cover, you’ll need to compare some key factors relating to providers and policies. For example, you’ll want to examine:

The Insurer

First and foremost, look at the insurer providing your cover. What are their customer reviews like? How is the claims experience? Do they offer the level of cover you want in the areas you’re most concerned about?

Each insurer will be different in terms of the service and cover they provide. This is why you can’t view them all as being equal. It’s important to compare them to ensure you get the best cover for you.

Policy Options

This is the real nitty-gritty of the policy, laying out exactly what the Health Insurance plan will and won’t cover you for.

  • Outpatient Cover
    As already mentioned you will have the option of adding outpatient cover to your policy. When comparing insurers look at the different options they provide. Do they offer a mid range plan as well as a comprehensive one?
  • Choice Of Excess
    The Health Insurance policy excess is how much you agree to pay upfront towards your treatment. You can opt for an excess of zero, which means the insurer picks up the entire bill for your treatment. Or at the other end of the scale, some insurers offer a £5,000 excess. The higher your excess, the lower your premiums. It could be more cost effective to set a higher excess to reduce the amount you need to pay each month. Although, this depends on your circumstances.
  • Hospital List
    Insurers arrange their hospital lists in tiers. The best Health Insurance cover offers private treatment in the top tier of hospitals. These include world-leading private facilities in Central London. Choose from a smaller list of less prestigious facilities outside of Central London if you want to save money.
  • Medical Underwriting
    The policy underwriting affects both the cost and the conditions you can claim for based on your pre-existing medical history. We will look at what the best medical underwriting is in more detail below.

Policy Add-Ons

Outside of the core policy features mentioned above, it’s important to look at the additional extras that policies offer. Some may provide more flexibility when it comes to what can be added outside of core cover. When comparing insures look to see if you can add any of the following:

  • Therapies Cover
    Therapy policy options include things like physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractor appointments. Insurers may include it with outpatient cover or add all therapies for an extra premium
  • Dental & Optical Cover
    Dental and optical cover is always an optional extra for an additional premium. It includes routine dental (e.g. checkups, fillings, crowns etc.) and optical care (checkups, money towards glasses / contact lenses). It reimburses you a set amount towards treatment rather than paying in full
  • Mental Healthcare
    Mental health policy options include private health treatment from a psychiatrist / psychologist in a private psychiatric facility. One major insurer offers this as standard, but most have it as an optional add-on for an extra premium.

Additional Benefits

All Health Insurance policies pay for private medical care. Alongside that, most insurers offer a range of extra benefits which can take your cover from basic to comprehensive. These might include:

  • 24/7 virtual GP services
  • Medical helpline staffed by trained nurses for more minor medical concerns
  • Mental health support helpline
  • Gym discounts
  • A cash benefit if you opt for NHS inpatient care for a condition the policy covers rather using your insurance
  • A baby bonus if you have a child during your policy
  • Parent accommodation for one of your children (who the policy covers) if they require private inpatient care.
EXPERT TIP 🤓
Not all Private Health Insurance companies offer the same additional benefits, so it’s best to check these out insurer by insurer.

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Which Is The Best Medical Underwriting For Health Insurance?

If Private Health Insurance is new to you, don’t worry, we’ll make it simple. The way a policy is underwritten refers to an insurer assessing your medical history to decide whether you can get cover or not. You can choose moratorium underwriting or full medical underwriting (FMU).

Moratorium Underwriting

The most common form of underwriting. Moratorium excludes any medical condition for which you’ve had advice, treatment or medication for in the past 5 years.

This is usually on a 2 year rolling moratorium basis. Once you’ve reached the 2 year point on your active policy, your insurer will reconsider any claims for medical conditions suffered before your policy started. For an insurer to do this, you can’t have received any medical attention for the condition in those 2 years.

Full Medical Underwriting

Full medical underwriting (FMU) examines your entire medical history before you take out the policy. It then excludes all pre-existing conditions.

This means you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for from the start. However, there’s usually very little opportunity to get exclusions removed.

Any health conditions you had more than 5 years ago aren’t generally taken into account when insurers underwrite you on a moratorium basis. However, they will most likely be examined when an insurer underwrites you on an FMU basis.

Which Should I Choose?

When you compare the two options, it all boils down to your medical history.

If you’ve had a minor medical 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 on a moratorium basis.

Ultimately, whether FMU is better than moratorium really depends on you and your past health. It’s critical to get this right, which is where having an expert in your corner can help.

Get in touch with us today by calling 02074425880 or emailing help@drewberry.co.uk.

Ben Brooks
Independent Health & Protection Expert

How To Get The Best Premiums?

Insurance is very personal, so we can’t offer an exact cost for Private Health Insurance. What you pay will depend on a number of personal and policy factors such as the insurer you choose, your age, location and level of cover.

Ultimately, the more comprehensive Health Insurance becomes, the more you’ll pay each month. For example, choosing add-ons such as psychiatric care or access to the best private hospitals in Central London will bump up the cost of cover.

To give you an idea of what you could pay each month, we’ve put together some example quotes below based on the different factors.

Insurer

Each insurer will charge differently when it comes to premiums. This is because they all have a different appetite to risk. When looking at the best cover for you, make sure you compare the different providers. They may offer very similar policies, but one may charge more for it. The below quote is based on:

  • A healthy 35 year old
  • Non-smoker
  • Office Worker
  • Comprehensive cover
  • £250 excess
  • Brighton based.

Different Insurers

UK Insurer Freedom logo UK Insurer AXA logo

£65.78

£101.48

Quotes correct as of April 2024

Level Of Excess

Opting for a higher excess can significantly reduce your monthly costs. However, it’s important to choose an amount that is manageable for you; remember, this is the amount you’ll need to pay upfront for your care before your insurance benefits begin. Setting an excess that’s too high, while tempting for its cost savings, could lead to financial strain in the event you need to make a claim.

Level Of Excess

£0

£250

£500

£90.34

£73.45

£62.79

Quotes correct as of April 2024

Smokers Vs Non-Smokers

Due to the health risks associated with smoking, some insurers will charge you more if you smoke. However, the good news for those considering quitting: once you’ve been smoke free for 12 months, you’ll be classified as a non-smoker.

Smoker Vs Non-Smoker

🚬

🚭

£121.45

£101.48

Quotes correct as of April 2024

Level Of Outpatient Cover

Choosing different levels of outpatient cover can impact the cost of your premiums. The more you add, the higher the cost. With this in mind, if you are limited by budget, think about opting for a basic or mid-range plan.

Type of Cover

Basic

Mid Range

Comprehensive

£90.34

£73.45

£65.78

Quotes correct as of April 2024

Age

Age is another big factor that will determine what you pay for your Health Insurance. Unfortunately the older you get, the higher premiums will be. This is due to the fact, with age comes a higher risk of ill health.

Age

25

35

45

£54.63

£65.78

£89.76

Quotes correct as of April 2024

Hospital lists

When it comes to Health Insurance, most insurers will offer a standard hospital list. This is a list of facilities where you can get treatment. There are also options to extend or reduce this list. This is one way you can manage the cost of premiums. If you aren’t concerned about where you have treatment you could opt to reduce your hospital list, which would lower your premium amount.

Need Help?

With any of the above options it’s vital to understand how they impact your policy and the treatment you would receive. Before altering your cover, we would always recommend speaking with an expert adviser. Our friendly experts are on hand to help, so don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Who Are The Top Health Insurance Companies UK?

The UK has a few major Private Health Insurance providers to choose from. Each insurer has its own unique underwriting, policy options and pricing philosophy.

It’s important to compare quotes from each provider to ensure you find the right policy for you. It’s not a case of one-size-fits-all when it comes to insurance, as every person has individual needs and circumstances. And the cheapest quote doesn’t always mean it’s the best for your specific needs.

Aviva

Outpatient Cover

Included in full as standard. You can remove it to reduce premiums. It covers:

  • Tests / scans and therapies in full
  • Up to £2,000 per policy year for GP-referred outpatient psychiatric care.

You can cap outpatient cover at £500 or £1,000 per policy year. If you do, Aviva still pays in full for chemo / radiotherapy, scans and tests before an inpatient admission.

Cancer Care

In full as standard. Includes:

  • Inpatient and outpatient chemo / radiotherapy
  • £100 for each day or night of eligible treatment on the NHS, with no overall limit
  • Bone strengthening drugs (e.g. bisphosphonates)
  • Stem cell / bone marrow transplants
  • £5,000 towards post-surgery prosthetics and £100 towards a wig following hair loss from chemotherapy.

Therapies Cover

⚠️
  • Aviva includes therapies under outpatient care, but only when referred by a specialist
  • Access to therapies via a GP referral is an optional extra for an additional premium.

Psychiatric Care

💷
  • Not as standard (except £2,000 towards GP-referred outpatient psychiatric care per policy year)
  • Add it for an extra premium to get up to 28 days of inpatient treatment per year.

Additional Benefits

The Drewberry Verdict

👍

Some outpatient mental healthcare as standard

👍

Aviva’s partnerships offer treatment in a wide variety of private hospital networks

👍

Aviva’s £3,000 and £5,000 excesses are the highest available. If you can afford them they will significantly cut premiums

🏆
  • 5-star rating from independent insurance reviewer Defaqto.

Therapies cover is standard with outpatient care, but only by a specialist’s referral. To get GP-referred therapies, you must pay extra.

Axa

Outpatient Cover

💷

Not as standard—add it for an extra premium. If you do, there are 2 options:

  • Standard cover—up to 3 specialist consultations a year, unlimited diagnostic tests and scans
  • Full cover—no annual limit on specialist consultations, diagnostic tests or scans.

Cancer Care

Comprehensive cover included as standard. This provides:

  • Inpatient and outpatient chemo / radiotherapy (including at-home chemotherapy where clinically appropriate)
  • Surgery
  • Biological / hormone therapies
  • Bone strengthening drugs (e.g. bisphosphonates)
  • Proton beam therapy for certain cancers in limited circumstances
  • Stem cell / bone marrow transplants
  • £5,000 towards post-surgery prosthetics, £400 per year towards wigs following hair loss from chemotherapy.
⚠️

If you’ve previously had cancer, AXA may only offer NHS cancer support. Here, AXA won’t pay for cancer care, so you use the NHS unless there’s a licensed treatment the NHS doesn’t offer

Therapies Cover

💷

Not as standard or with outpatient cover. You must add it at extra cost.

  • Get up to 10 sessions from a physiotherapist, acupuncturist, homeopath, osteopath or chiropractor when a GP or Working Body refers you. If a specialist refers you, AXA covers further sessions at its discretion.

Psychiatric Care

💷

Not as standard. Add it for an extra premium. If you do, it pays in full for:

  • Inpatient fees for mental healthcare
  • Specialist fees for psychiatric treatment as an inpatient or outpatient
  • Outpatient treatment by psychologists, psychiatrists and cognitive behavioural therapists.

Additional Benefits

  • Up to 5 x remote GP appointments (24/7) per year when you pay for extended cover
  • Fast track access to physiotherapy for musculoskeletal problems via AXA’s support for muscles, bones and joints service
  • Health at Hand—a 24/7 helpline staffed by nurses and counsellors to assist with minor health issues
  • Transport in a private ambulance
  • NHS inpatient cash benefit of £50 per night up to £2,000 per year if you opt to have inpatient treatment that your policy would have covered on the NHS instead
  • If you have Comprehensive Cancer Cover, AXA pays an NHS cancer treatment benefit of £50 a day up to £2,000 a year if you opt to have chemo / radiotherapy on the NHS that your policy would have paid for
  • Parent accommodation if your child under 16 is in hospital having eligible inpatient treatment
  • Child ear corrective surgery—one surgery for a child (aged under 14) covering procedure to correct prominent (bat) ears
  • Port-wine stain birthmark correction—laser treatment to improve a port-wine stain birthmark on the face of a child the policy covers aged under 14
  • Child speech therapy—up to 6 sessions per year for a child under 14 who needs it due to developmental delay.

The Drewberry Verdict

👍

High excess of £5,000 available when you choose full outpatient cover. If you can afford it, this will significantly cut premiums

👍

Excellent cancer care with comprehensive cover. This includes proton beam therapy in limited circumstances for certain cancers, which is rarely available elsewhere

👍

Fast-track access to physiotherapy via AXA’s support for muscles, bones and joints service if you suffer from musculoskeletal issues

👍

AXA provides policies to applicants who are receiving treatment of raised blood pressure

👍

Its personal health policy is one of the best on the market in terms of how flexible cover can be. Policyholders can tailor their cover

🏆
  • More than 10,500 reviews on independent reviews website Trustpilot, rating it 4.2 stars out of 5
  • Defaqto gives it a 5-star rating.

Digital GP appointments are limited to 5 per year. Only available when you pay for extended cover

If you’ve had cancer before taking out a policy, AXA typically only offers NHS Cancer Support. This doesn’t cover cancer, so you have to use the NHS for cancer care unless there’s a licensed treatment the NHS doesn’t offer

Therapies cover isn’t included as standard or with outpatient cover. You pay extra to add it on, but even then it’s fairly limited in scope

Premiums can be costly for policyholders with the highest level of cover

Bupa

Outpatient Cover

Treatment & Care Plan
No, unless part of an inpatient admission / follow-up within 6 months of an inpatient discharge

Comprehensive Plan
Covered in full, including tests / scans and mental healthcare

Cancer Care

3 options:

  • Full cancer cover—full cover for all inpatient and outpatient cancer treatment with no time / financial limits
  • No cancer cover—doesn’t pay for cancer treatment, you use the NHS for your care if you develop cancer.

Therapies Cover

Both Comprehensive and Treatment & Care plans cover physiotherapy in full

💷

Add the complementary therapies options for an extra premium for access to:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Osteopathy.

Psychiatric Cover

  • Up to 28 days of inpatient mental healthcare covered in full as standard
  • Outpatient mental healthcare covered in full as standard on the Comprehensive plan.

Additional Benefits

  • 24/7 remote GP access
  • 24/7 access and unlimited calls to a helpline staffed by trained nurses for smaller health concerns
  • Menopause Helpline open from 8am to 8pm everyday
  • Direct Access fast track service—see a specialist without visiting your GP first for cancer, mental health and musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Parent accommodation if your child under 16 is in hospital having eligible inpatient treatment
  • Transport in a private ambulance
  • NHS cash benefit of £50 per night for up to 35 nights if you opt to use the NHS for inpatient treatment that your policy would have paid for
  • If you choose full cancer cover, Bupa pays a cancer cash benefit of £100 for each day / night you have NHS cancer treatment that your policy would have paid for.

The Drewberry Verdict

👍

Remote GP service

👍

Full cover for inpatient mental healthcare as standard

👍

Huge network of private hospitals to have treatment in

👍

Bupa provides policies to applicants who are receiving treatment of raised blood pressure

👍

Easiest claims process; policyholders don’t need GP referral

👍

Best cancer care cover in the UK; offers experimental treatment

👍

Specific specialist centres / direct access for cancer (bowel, prostate and breast cancer), cardiovascular & musculoskeletal issues

🏆
  • More than 23,000 reviews on independent reviews website Trustpilot. This rates it as excellent with 4.2 stars out of 5
  • 5-star rating from Defaqto.

While physiotherapy comes as standard, access to other therapies requires you to pay extra

The Exeter

Outpatient Cover

💷

An optional extra for an additional premium except for CT, MRI and PET scans and outpatient surgery, which are covered in full as standard. Choose either:

  • Full cover—pays for all eligible outpatient care in full
  • Limited cover—limits outpatient treatment to £500 or £1,000 per year.

Cancer Care

In full as standard. The Exeter offers:

  • Chemo / radiotherapy (including at-home chemotherapy where clinically appropriate)
  • Full cover for surgery, including the removal of a tumour and any consequent reconstructive surgery.
  • Stem cell / bone marrow transplant
  • Hormone therapy.
  • NHS cash benefit – £150 per night for up to 30 nights if a member has free in-patient treatment for cancer under the NHS that would otherwise have been covered under your policy.

Therapies Cover

💷

Optional add on for an extra premium.

  • Pays for sessions with a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, acupuncturist, podiatrist, speech therapist or a dietician (up to 2 dietician sessions per member per year), plus visits to a pain clinic
  • The Exeter pays for these in full or up to your outpatient limit.

Psychiatric Cover

💷

Optional add-on for an extra premium. Pays in full for:

  • Up to 28 days of inpatient mental health care
  • Outpatient treatment by psychiatrists, psychologists and cognitive behavioural therapists.

Additional Benefits

  • Unlimited appointments with a digital GP per policy year
  • HealthWise smartphone app offering up to 2 video consultations per year for a second medical opinion; up to 6 video sessions with a physiotherapist per year; and up to 6 video sessions with specialists to help with mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression; up to 6 consultations with lifestyle and nutrition specialists
  • One health MOT kit per year
  • Transport in a private ambulance
  • Home nursing after an inpatient stay for eligible treatment
  • Parental accommodation if your child under 18 is in hospital having eligible inpatient treatment
  • NHS cash benefit of £150 per night for each night you opt to spend in an NHS hospital receiving inpatient treatment your policy would have paid for.

The Drewberry Verdict

👍

High excess of £5,000 available. If you can afford it, this will significantly cut premiums

👍

Speech therapy included as part of therapies cover; this is rare in the market

👍

Appointments at a pain management clinic are available with therapies cover. This is rare in the market

👍

Competitive premiums; best for low budgets

👍

Community friendly, can provide paper forms as well as online apps

🏆
  • Winner: Best Health & Wellness Offering, COVER Customer Care Awards 2022
  • 5-star Defaqto rating.

Outpatient options can be confusing. Not only can you limit outpatient cover to cut premiums, but if you do you can then opt to pay extra so you still get unlimited outpatient diagnostics

No option to add optical and dental cover to your policy if you want to

As a smaller insurer, The Exeter doesn’t necessarily have the deep pockets of its larger rivals

Covers cancer treatment in full as standard; however, it’s a more basic coverage than some larger rivals

Freedom Health

Outpatient Cover

💷

An optional add on for an extra premium that either pays in full or caps it at £1,500 per year. It includes:

  • GP-referred diagnostic tests (e.g. x-rays and blood tests) up to £750
  • Scans in full when a specialist refers you for them
  • 6 sessions of physiotherapy following a GP referral.

Cancer Care

In full as standard. It includes:

  • Chemo / radiotherapy, including at-home chemotherapy where clinically appropriate
  • Surgery
  • Biological therapies
  • Hormone therapies
  • Bone strengthening drugs, e.g. bisphosphonates
  • Stem cell / bone marrow transplants
  • £250 towards a wig following hair loss due to chemotherapy
  • 1 genetic test to match your chemotherapy to your cancer.

Therapies Cover

💷

An optional add-on for an extra premium.

  • Physiotherapy comes with outpatient cover, but is limited to 6 sessions if a GP refers you rather than a specialist
  • Pay for the alternative therapies option for further cover. In full, this covers GP and specialist referred acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, homeopathy, osteopathy and podiatry with a 6 session limit if your GP refers you.

Psychiatric Cover

💷

An optional add-on for an extra premium.

  • Pays in full for up to 45 days of inpatient psychiatric treatment
  • Up to £2,000 of outpatient treatment.

Additional Benefits

  • 24/7 digital GP access
  • Free cover for younger children once you’d paid to add your oldest child to the policy
  • Transport in a private ambulance
  • Home nursing for up to 13 weeks following an eligible inpatient procedure
  • NHS cash benefit of £200 for each night you decide to have
  • NHS inpatient treatment for a condition that your policy covers rather than using the plan
  • Baby bonus of £150 for each child born after the policy’s start date.

The Drewberry Verdict

👍

The psychiatric optional add-on covers 45 days of inpatient treatment per year, the longest in the market

👍

Physiotherapy included with outpatient cover

👍

Get a discount if you can afford to pay your premiums annually rather than monthly

👍

Home nursing after an eligible inpatient procedure is available for up to 13 weeks, far longer than with most other insurers

👍

New player in the private health market, best suited to families in London

🏆

Freedom has a 4-star Defaqto rating for its policy

Limits on outpatient diagnostic tests such as X-rays and blood tests of £750 per policy year, even with full outpatient cover. Most providers cover these in full with outpatient care.

As a smaller insurer, Freedom doesn’t necessarily have the deep pockets of its larger rivals.

While Freedom pays for cancer care in full, its coverage is a bit more basic compared to its larger competitors

Limited additional benefits

Vitality

Outpatient Cover

💷

An optional add-on for an extra premium. Choose for Vitality to pay for all eligible outpatient cover in full or have an annual cap of:

  • £500
  • £750
  • £1,000
  • £1,250
  • £1,500.

If you cap outpatient cover, you can add Full Cover Diagnostics for an extra premium, so Vitality still pays in full for diagnostic tests / scans etc. Only consultations come out of your outpatient limit.

Cancer Care

In full as standard. It covers:

  • Chemo / radiotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Biological / hormone therapies
  • Immunotherapy
  • Bone strengthening drugs (e.g. bisphosphonates)
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Unlimited followup care after eligible cancer treatment
  • Up to £300 per cancer claim for wigs and restyling of wigs
  • Scalp cooling to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy.

Therapies Cover

Physiotherapy as standard when you add outpatient cover providing it’s arranged via Vitality’s Priority Physiotherapy Network

💷

Add these on for an extra premium to get full cover for:

  • Osteopathy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Chiropody / podiatry
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Up to two consultations with a dietician.

Psychiatric Care

💷

Optional add-on for an extra premium. It includes:

  • Unlimited sessions of talking therapies (e.g. counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • £1,500 towards outpatient mental health treatment
  • 28 days of inpatient and day-patient treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

Additional Benefits

  • Digital GP service
  • Face-to-face private GP service—see a private GP for an upfront payment of £20 if you select London Care as your hospital list
  • Mental health support as standard—core cover includes mental health support that offers services such as up to 8 talking therapy sessions
  • Vitality Menopause Support – a service dedicated to menopause support and care in partnership with leading digital health platform, Peppy.
  • Transport in a private ambulance
  • Home nursing following an inpatient admission for eligible treatment
  • Parent accommodation if a child under 14 is in hospital having inpatient treatment
  • A baby bonus of £100 on the birth / adoption of a child
  • NHS cash benefit of £250 per per night up to £2,000 if you opt to have NHS inpatient treatment for a condition your policy covers.

Lifestyle Surgery
Vitality offers certain lifestyle surgeries not usually covered by health insurance once you’ve held the policy for 12 months. This is subject to you paying 25% of the cost of surgery upfront.

This includes:

  • Weight loss surgery
    Pays for a gastric band, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass if you have a BMI or over 40 or a BMI of over 35 with co-morbid conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea or high blood pressure
  • Port-wine stain birthmark correction
    Up to ten sessions of laser treatment for a child under five the policy covers to correct a port-wine stain birthmark on the face
  • Correction of prominent ears in children
    Ear reshaping surgery to correct prominent (bat) ears in a child aged between 5 and 14
  • Breast reduction / male breast tissue removal
    Female breast reduction or removal of excessive male breast tissue (gynaecomastia) for covered individuals aged under 21 with a BMI of under 27.

The Drewberry Verdict

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Access to mental health therapies as standard, with up to 8 sessions per year even without adding psychiatric cover

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Physiotherapy included as standard with outpatient cover

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Vitality is one of the few insurers offering surgery such as breast reduction and weight loss procedures. While it’s subject to you paying 25% of the cost and meeting strict eligibility criteria, it’s an option few other insurers offer

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High nightly NHS cash benefit if you choose to have NHS inpatient treatment rather than using your policy

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Vitality’s personal health cover is one of the best for its flexibility to make changes to policy options

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  • Winner: Moneyfacts 5 Star Private Medical Insurance 2023, Best Private Medical Insurance Provider 2013-2021, Cover Excellence Outstanding Individual Health Insurance 2021
  • 5-star Defaqto rating
  • More than 39,500 client reviews on independent reviews site Trustpilot, rating Vitality 4.2/5.

Highest excess available is £1,000. Other insurers have higher excesses; if you can afford this and want to keep costs down it might make more sense to choose another provider

After a policyholder makes a successful claims, the premiums will steeply increase

Digital GP service isn’t 24/7 (although there is a free 24/7 GP telephone helpline, which you can also use while abroad)

Private Health Insurance Product Reviews

Our expert in-depth review of each of the UK's leading insurance providers

Common Private Medical Insurance Questions

  • Why is private healthcare better?

    Private healthcare isn’t necessarily ‘better’ than the NHS. Often the same consultants and surgeons will work in both the NHS and the private sector.

    The main benefit of private healthcare over the NHS is largely the speed at which you’ll be treated. You will also have a choice of facilities you can visit and doctors you can see.

    You can expect private ensuite rooms and an environment where friends and family can visit round-the-clock. There’ll also typically be a better quality of hospital food. However, these are generally ‘nice to haves’ rather than essential healthcare services.

    We’ve written a guide comparing private healthcare and the NHS, so if you want to read more about why private healthcare is worth it, check it out.

  • Will it cover pre-existing conditions?

    A Private Health Insurance policy is designed to cover acute medical conditions. If it can be treated and cured by medication, that’s an acute condition. Any pre-existing condition you have before taking out your policy is unlikely to be covered. Here we’re talking about major health problems, such as cancer, respiratory conditions, and mental health issues.

    If you choose moratorium underwriting, any condition you have suffered or received treatment for in the past 5 years will be excluded.

    If you opt for full medical underwriting, any exclusions for existing health conditions will be declared from the outset. When you apply for Private Health Insurance, you’ll have to tell the insurer about any pre-existing conditions.

  • Does Private Medical Insurance cover overseas travel?

    Some of the best UK Private Health Insurance policies include overseas travel cover for a set number of days per policy year as standard. There are also a number of options to upgrade your cover to include travel.

    If you’re an avid traveller, you might be better off with an International Health Insurance policy. While we’re lucky to have access to free healthcare in the UK via the NHS, other countries don’t receive state-funded medical treatment. The last thing you want while you’re on holiday is to fall ill and be faced with hefty hospital bills.

  • How do I make sure I keep the best Private Health Insurance?

    Your insurer will write to you annually when your private health insurance is up for renewal.

    Each year you may find your premiums rise slightly. This is typically down to medical inflation, which reflects the growing cost of procedures, drugs and treatments.

    It’s vitally important you regularly review your policy and premiums to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

    As part of our service at Drewberry, we take care of this for all our clients. If we find you cheaper or better cover elsewhere, we’ll also be able to help you switch insurers.

What’s The Best Way To Set Up A Health Insurance Policy?

You have two ways to set up Private Health Insurance. You can either go directly to the insurer or take out cover through an intermediary, such as Drewberry™.

It’s important to recognise the difference in these approaches, as one provides much more protection than the other.

Going Direct To An Insurer

When you go directly through an insurer, it’s a non-advised sale. This means that the insurer only provides you with information on a policy. The insurer has no liability.

As you’ve made the decision yourself, there’s no financial protection if the policy happens to be inappropriate for your needs. The responsibility rests on your shoulders.

Not only is there no protection, it can be time consuming. It’s down to you to approach every insurer on the market and compare quotes from all of them to find the best deal. You’ll then also have to compare the different providers policy documents to see how they stack up against one another.

Get Independent Financial Advice

Alternatively, you can use an independent Health Insurance adviser, such as our expert advisory team here at Drewberry. This is especially important if you have pre-existing conditions.

An independent adviser can use their market knowledge to secure the best terms for your circumstances. We make it simple for you, breaking down those complicated terms, comparing quotes and providing recommendations for your insurance policy, so you get the best possible cover.

EXPERT TIP 🤓
An adviser will do all the heavy lifting for you, but they’ll also provide an advised sale. If their advice is not appropriate and the policy isn’t suitable, you’re financially protected.

Compare Best Private Health Insurance Quotes & Get Expert Advice

Finding the best Private Health Insurance isn’t easy. There are multiple policy options to look at, all of which affect the cost of premiums but also the coverage available.

Some insurers will be better for your circumstances than others. For example, if you can afford a larger excess to keep premiums down, it may not make sense to limit yourself to a provider with £500 as its highest excess.

At Drewberry, searching for the best health insurance for our clients is our bread and butter. We do this every day, so we’ve got the expertise you need.

For help and fee-free advice comparing the top Private Health Insurance companies, don’t be afraid to pop us a call. You can reach us at 02074425880, or you can email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Why Speak to Us…

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are an award winning 🏆 independent insurance broker who works with all the leading UK insurers
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
  • We are very proud of the 3821 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5
  • Claims support when you need it most.
  • We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can find us on the financial services register here 🧐
  • Claims support when you need it most.

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Contact Us

Head Office & Pensions and Investments
Senator House
85 Queen Victoria Street
London
EC4V 4AB
Personal Insurance & Accounts Payable
Telecom House
125-135 Preston Road
Brighton
BN1 6AF
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If you are unhappy with our service, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS website is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Drewberry Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Companies House No. 06675912

Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

Drewberry Ltd (Financial Conduct Authority No. 505473) is an Appointed Representative of Quilter Wealth Limited and Quilter Mortgage Planning

Limited, which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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