Private Health Insurance provides access to private medical treatment paid for at least in part by your insurer. Utilising the UK’s private health network enables you to bypass potentially long NHS waiting lists.
- You get high standards of care and access to the latest cutting edge drugs and treatments at superior facilities.
- It provides more choice over when and where your treatment takes place and the specialists that treat you.
- Tailor your policy to fit your budget, with a number of different options to consider.
What Does Private Health Insurance Cover?
All medical treatment is split into two broad categories:
- Inpatient treatment
Any treatment which requires a bed for at least one night. Inpatient treatment includes day-patient treatment, where you’re admitted to hospital for the day but don’t spend the night. Both inpatient and day-patient treatment are usually covered as standard by Health Insurance.
- Outpatient treatment
Includes diagnostic tests and procedures (scans, x-rays, blood tests) where you won’t need to be admitted to hospital. Outpatient care is an optional extra you can add on for an additional premium.
How to Get Low-Cost Health Insurance
To get cheaper Health Insurance premiums, there are a number of adjustments you can make to a policy to reduce the cost of cover.
The biggest adjustment to make is to opt for ‘basic’ Health Insurance from the outset. This will only cover inpatient care. Outpatient treatment that might be necessary in the lead up to your admission to hospital, such as diagnostic tests will not be covered.
The biggest impact on price is how much additional outpatient cover you choose to include in the policy. The level of cover and type of treatment required will determine the exact process.
Treatment Without Outpatient Cover
Treatment With Outpatient Cover
Holding a policy without outpatient cover will save money. However, you run the risk of delayed treatment due to NHS waiting lists for diagnostic testing and initial consultations.
Limited Outpatient Cover
You can opt to have a limited amount of outpatient cover as a halfway house.
The will be capped at a monetary amount and / or a set number of sessions each policy year. It provides at least some cover for outpatient diagnostic tests.
A policy with limited outpatient cover would typically be considered a ‘mid-range’ policy. A balance between fully comprehensive cover that pays for everything and basic cover which only pays for inpatient care.
Add an Excess
Just like with car insurance, you can add an excess to your policy. This is the first amount you’ll pay towards your treatment before your Health Insurance kicks in to pay off the rest.
The larger your excess, the cheaper your insurance will be. Excesses usually start at around £100 and move upwards, all the way up to £5,000 with some providers for certain types of treatment.
A £0 excess is often available, but having no excess will significantly increase your premiums.
EXPERT TIP 🎓
Don’t set your excess so high you wouldn’t be able to afford to pay it if you needed treatment just because it will result in cheaper premiums. Your excess needs to balance premium affordability with practicality.
6 Week NHS Wait
Including a 6 week wait option can result in significant premium savings each month, usually by around 20%.
If you decide to include this option then you agree to receive treatment on the NHS if the waiting list is less than 6 weeks long.
If you have to wait longer than 6 weeks then you would go private straight away. The 6 week wait option is therefore a useful method of gaining affordable health insurance and avoiding the longer NHS waiting lists.
Note that the 6 week NHS wait only applies to inpatient care (that which needs a hospital bed). If you’ve added outpatient treatment any diagnostic tests / scans will be taken care of privately as soon as possible.
Reduced Hospital Lists
Choosing a reduced hospital list is also another method of gaining low cost health insurance.
Some policies provide the option of choosing a hospital list of just NHS Trust and Partnership hospitals. This would limit your treatment to private wards in NHS hospitals.
Excluding London hospitals can reduce the cost as they tend to be the priciest facilities in the country.
If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland you can reduce the cost by limiting cover to healthcare facilities in these countries.
Switching to Cheaper Health Insurance
If you have an existing Health Insurance policy it is likely you have seen premiums increase over time. By regularly reviewing your policy you may be able to switch to a cheaper provider at renewal.
Given the complexities of switching providers it is best to get the help of an expert. This is even more important if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
An expert adviser can make sure that the new lower cost policy is a good match for your previous plan so your cover can continue seamlessly.
If you need help please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT NOTICE 🧐
Note that you’re unlikely to be able to switch if you’re in a claim or have recently made a claim on your policy.
If it’s not possible to switch, you may be able to adjust your policy in other ways.
Increasing your excess, reducing your hospital list and adding the 6 week NHS wait where available will all cut your premium.
Compare Top 5 UK Health Insurance Companies
To ensure you find the lowest cost cover it is important to do your research and compare the top providers in the UK.
We have written expert reviews on each of the leading providers below as well as an overview to help you get the best health cover for your needs.
The most common insurers we work with include:
In addition to these 5 core providers there are additional niche insurers such as General & Medical and Freedom. These providers can offer competitive policies for public sector workers or those needing a level of overseas cover.
FREE Additional Benefits
In addition to the core cover many insurers now offer a great range of everyday benefits at no additional cost. These services include:
- 24 / 7 Virtual GP service
- Nurse led medical helpline
- Online physiotherapy sessions
- High street discounts
If you are in a position where you want to compare all the leading insurers and their free benefits you can use our quote tool here →
Get Cheap Health Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice
With a vast range of options choosing the most appropriate health insurance policy can be quite daunting. This is especially the case if it needs to be done on a budget.
We have years of experience in the Private Medical Insurance market. We’re on hand to help you navigate getting a policy in place, so why not speak to an adviser today?
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 3640 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.
If it is all getting a little confusing and you want to talk through your options please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Pop us a call on 02074425880 or email email@example.com.