freedom health

Freedom Health Insurance [Review]

Who Are Freedom Health?

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Poole, Freedom Health Insurance is a family-run business.

It offers Private Medical Insurance to businesses and individuals, both for UK residents and those living abroad under its Worldwide plan.

Freedom’s Health Insurance

Freedom Elite is the company’s main Health Insurance offering.

However, it also offers Freedom Essentials (not covered here), which operates slightly differently. This provides a fixed cash benefit with no annual limit for eligible inpatient and day-patient treatment rather than a traditional Private Health Insurance plan.

Policy Overview

Freedom Elite provides full coverage for eligible inpatient and day-patient treatment as standard. This is part of its core cover.

You then have the option to add outpatient cover to your policy for an additional premium.

Read more about the difference between inpatient and outpatient cover here.

Key Benefits

  • Breakthrough cancer drugs and therapies
    Access to cutting-edge cancer drugs and treatments, even when they’re not approved for NHS use due to cost, as standard
  • 24 / 7 digital GP access
    Use Freedom’s GP24 smartphone app or call a dedicated number to make an appointment with a virtual GP
  • 2 year fixed premium
    Add this option and your premium won’t go up in your second year, even if you’ve claimed
  • Free cover for younger children
    After paying an extra premium to add your first child to your policy, you can include additional children free of charge.

Documentation

freedom Health Insurance key facts

freedom health insurance terms and conditions

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What Does Freedom Elite Cover?

Inpatient and Day-Patient Treatment

Inpatient and day-patient treatment involves all medical care requiring a hospital bed. This might be overnight (inpatient) or just for the day (day-patient). This most commonly, but not exclusively, involves surgical procedures.

Inpatient & Day-Patient Coverage

Hospital treatment

Specialist / consultant fees

Scans
E.g. MRI, CT and PET scans


Paid in full when a specialist refers you

Outpatient Treatment

All medical care not requiring a hospital bed. This is an optional extra on a Freedom Elite plan for an additional premium.

Outpatient Coverage

Consultations

GP-referred diagnostic tests
E.g. blood tests and X-rays


Up to £750

Scans
E.g. MRI, CT and PET scans


When a specialist refers you

Physiotherapy


Limited to six sessions if your GP refers you rather than a specialist

Outpatient Limits

If you add outpatient cover to your policy, you can choose whether Freedom pays for eligible outpatient treatment in full or limit coverage to £1,500 per policy year.

Alternatively, you can simply opt for core cover, which offers little outpatient care, to access Low Cost Health Insurance.

Cancer Care

Cancer cover is one of the most valuable elements of any Private Medical Insurance policy. It pays for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including offering access to drugs, treatments, therapies and procedures the NHS may not yet offer due to their cost.

Freedom Elite includes cancer coverage as standard.

Cancer Coverage

Chemotherapy


Including at-home treatment where clinically appropriate

Cancer surgery

Radiotherapy


Including where given for pain relief

Biological therapies


During active cancer treatment, not to maintain remission

Hormone therapies


During active cancer treatment, not to maintain remission

Bone strengthening drugs
Bisphosphonates


When combined with chemotherapy to treat metastatic bone cancer

Stem cell / bone marrow transplants


One procedure per patient per lifetime

Reconstructive surgery
E.g. following a mastectomy


Within 5 years of original surgery

Post-treatment followups / ongoing monitoring

Wig


Up to £250 per person per lifetime

Genetic testing to match chemotherapy to cancer


One test

End of Life Care

If your cancer becomes terminal, Freedom covers end of life or palliative care in full when used to relieve pain or other symptoms of end-stage cancer.

Hospital List

Your hospital list impacts which facilities you get private healthcare in and also how much your premiums will be. Some hospitals are more expensive than others, so opting for access to a wider array of private facilities increases premiums.

You can choose either Freedom’s standard list or pay an additional premium to access the London Plus list.

See Freedom’s hospital list in full here.

Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

Becoming a Freedom client you also benefit from their ‘No Location-Based Pricing’. This means that premiums won’t increase based on where you live.

Joseph Toft
Health and Wellbeing Expert

Medical Underwriting Options

When you apply for Health Insurance as an individual, you choose how you want your insurer to underwrite you.

Freedom offers two main underwriting options:

  • Full medical underwriting
    You disclose your medical history when you take out the policy
  • Moratorium underwriting
    Freedom won’t ask for any medical details until you submit a claim.

These are two very different options which can impact the way your insurer decides on exclusions for any pre-existing conditions you may have. The best underwriting for you depends on your circumstances.

Read more about the difference between full medical underwriting and moratorium underwriting here.

You can also switch to Freedom Elite from another provider on continued underwriting terms on a continued personal medical exclusions basis.

Additional Benefits

Freedom includes these as standard with Health Insurance:

  • Private ambulance
    Covers transportation in a private road ambulance in full where medically required.
  • Home nursing
    Pays towards at-home nursing care in full for up to 13 weeks, where it’s recommended by a specialist and immediately following an eligible inpatient or day-patient procedure.
  • Dental surgery
    Pays for reinserting a tooth dislodged in an accident; removal of jaw bone cysts; extraction of impacted teeth; and apicectomies to remove the tip of the root of a tooth and treat surrounding infected tissue.
  • NHS cash benefit
    If you opt to have NHS inpatient treatment for a condition eligible under your Health Insurance, Freedom pays you a benefit of £200 for each night spent as an NHS inpatient. Freedom also offers a benefit of £100 for each day spent as an NHS day-patient for treatment eligible under your plan.
  • Baby bonus
    A cash benefit of £150 for each child born after the start date of the policy.

Optional Extras

You can choose to add these to your policy for an additional premium:

  • Alternative therapies
    Pays in full for GP and specialist referred acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, homeopathy, osteopathy and podiatry. If your GP refers you, Freedom will only pay for six sessions of treatment.
  • Mental health cover
    Pays in full for inpatient and day-patient treatment of psychiatric conditions for up to 45 days. It also covers up to £2,000 of outpatient treatment.
  • Private GP, dental and optical
    Refunds up to £300 for routine dentistry (checkups, scaling and polishing, extractions, fillings, crowns etc.); up to £600 for treatment of accidental dental injury; up to £200 towards routine eye tests and the cost of prescription glasses / contact lenses; and up to £300 for visits to a private GP. All payments are subject to a £50 excess.

Are There Any Exclusions?

Freedom’s Health Insurance exclusions are fairly standard to those across other providers. For example, they include:

  • Emergency medicine
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Alcohol / substance abuse
  • Allergies / allergic disorders
  • Chronic conditions
  • Birth control
  • Cosmetic / weight loss surgery
  • Intensive care
  • Dialysis
  • Take-home drugs / dressings
  • Gender reassignment
  • Infertility treatment
  • ‘Normal’ pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Screening, monitoring and preventative treatment
  • Sleep disorders
  • Organ transplants
  • Treatment of varicose veins.

Do I Have to Pay Towards My Treatment?

Freedom offers the option to add an excess to your policy, which is a sum of money you agree to pay upfront towards your private medical care. The higher your excess, the lower your monthly premiums.

However, you don’t have to add an excess and pay towards treatment if you don’t want to. Freedom provides a choice of excesses:

  • £0
  • £100
  • £250
  • £500
  • £1,000.

You pay your excess once per policy year. That means you can claim for multiple eligible conditions in a single policy year and only pay your excess once.

Read more about Health Insurance excesses here.

Key Comparison Points

No Claims Discount

Freedom does not offer a no claims discount, unlike most other insurers. However, you can choose to add the 2 year fixed premium option to your policy, which freezes your initial premiums for two years, even if you make a claim.

6 Week NHS Wait

Unlike other providers, Freedom does not offer the 6 week NHS wait option, which can be a way of keeping costs down by only paying for private inpatient treatment if the NHS wait for that treatment exceeds 6 weeks.

Limits on Diagnostic Outpatient Tests

Freedom limits outpatient diagnostic tests such as X-rays and blood tests to £750 per policy year, even if you have full outpatient cover. Most providers cover these in full when you add outpatient care.

2 Year Fixed Premium

An optional extra for an additional premium, this freezes your initial premiums for 2 years. Your premiums won’t change in your second policy year, even if you’ve made a claim in the first year.

Add Younger Children Free

Once you’ve added your oldest child to your policy to create a Family Health Insurance plan, Freedom lets you add further younger children free of charge.

Physiotherapy Included With Outpatient Cover

Freedom includes physiotherapy along with its outpatient cover. With some insurers, you don’t always get access to physiotherapy with outpatient cover. Other providers may only include it if you add another additional option (therapies) for a further extra premium.

45 Days of Psychiatric Inpatient Care

With Freedom’s psychiatric care optional extra, the insurer pays in full for up to 45 days of inpatient mental health care. This is one of the longest periods of inpatient mental health treatment available on the market.

Annual Payment Discount

Freedom offers a discount on premiums of up to 6% if you pay your premiums annually rather than monthly. Not every insurer provides this facility.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes & Get Expert Advice

As you can see, when you’re looking to compare private medical insurance there are a lot of different variations in cover that need to be considered. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.

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.

If you need help reviewing an existing Freedom plan or are looking to set-up a new medical insurance policy give us a call on 02074425880 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.

Dan Pettitt
13/01/2021
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