Self Employed Health Insurance offers people working for themselves access to private medical care. It enables them to have prompt treatment so they can get back on their feet quickly. As a group which rarely gets sick pay, few such people can afford to take time off work while on a waiting list for NHS healthcare.
All medical needs you’ll have are broadly divided into:
One of the most valuable components of any Private Medical Insurance (PMI) policy is cancer care. This is because private medical care can offer access to drugs, treatments and therapies the NHS may not yet offer due to cost.
All policies cover cancer treatment as standard, offering:
All Health Insurance plans offer access to a remote GP. This provides either telephone or video appointments with a UK-registered GP, typically 24 / 7, at a time and place to suit you.
This means no more waiting for an NHS GP appointment and having to duck out of work during traditional surgery opening hours.
A remote GP offers all the same services as your NHS GP, including providing medical advice, issuing prescriptions and making onward referrals for private healthcare under your plan.
Firstly, any medical conditions that are pre-existing will not be covered. PMI covers the treatment of unknown future illnesses rather than paying for treatment you know you already need.
There are two main types of health concerns you could develop:
Health Insurance covers acute conditions only and works in tandem with the NHS. It isn’t designed to provide ongoing management of chronic conditions. The NHS will continue to provide this for you.
Other services that tend not to be covered privately include:
When you’re self-employed, you can’t always simply take a break from work if you fall ill or injure yourself. Any health problem stopping you working will likely see your income dry up.
This can be problematic given that NHS waiting times for certain treatments and procedures are measured in weeks or even months.
While the NHS does a fantastic job, and it’s quite rightly a beloved national institution, a budget squeeze and growing demand for healthcare has put it under strain.
For instance, at the end of July 2020, there were 4.05 million people on NHS waiting lists in England. 2.15 million of these patients — more than half — had been waiting for more than 18 weeks. 83,203 had been waiting more than a year.
If an acute illness or injury stopped you working but medical help to resolve it was at least 18 weeks away, how would you and your business manage?
It’s here Health Insurance can step in to get you the medical attention you need faster and have you back on your feet and earning again as soon as possible.
Working out the cost of private medical insurance isn’t always simple. Any quotes you get depend firstly on personal factors, such as your:
Also at play are various policy options you can choose to either make your plan more or less comprehensive depending on your needs. For example, you’ll have to consider:
As mentioned, outpatient cover is an optional extra. Private Health Insurance with coverage for outpatient procedures is more expensive than a basic, inpatient-only cover.
However, this option provides access to private diagnostic tests and scans and other treatment not needing a hospital bed. This can considerably speed up your diagnosis and pathway to treatment.
If a policy covering outpatient treatment in full is too expensive but you still want some level of outpatient coverage, you could choose a mid-range plan. With this, the insurer caps the amount of outpatient care it pays for per year at a set financial limit, typically £1,000.
An excess is the amount of money you agree to pay upfront towards your private medical care. Once you pay the excess (typically once per policy year), your insurance kicks in to pay for the rest.
The higher your excess, the lower your premiums. Excesses start at £100 and can go all the way up to £5,000 depending on the treatment you need and the insurer you choose.
Some insurers will give you several tiers of private facilities to choose from.
Choosing a more comprehensive hospital list gives you more options as to where you can be treated, including top UK hospitals in Central London. However, the more comprehensive your list, the more expensive your premiums will be.
Another option to reduce premiums, this means your Health Insurance will only pay for inpatient treatment if the NHS waiting list for that treatment is more than 6 weeks.
If the waiting list is more than 6 weeks, or the NHS doesn’t offer the procedure you need, then you have it privately. Should the wait be less than 6 weeks, you’ll have treatment under the NHS.
There are two main underwriting options for Health Insurance: moratorium or full medical underwriting.
Which one is right for you depends on your medical history, not only on the conditions you’ve had but also how severe these were.
If you have any pre-existing conditions, we recommend you speak to an expert. It’s critical to get your underwriting correct, so don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880 for help and advice.
To calculate the below Private Medical Insurance quotes, we’ve assumed each individual is:
30 Year Old
40 Year Old
50 Year Old
40 Year Old Couple
Parents Age 35, Children Age 13 and 11
This depends how you’re set up as a self-employed worker.
If you’re a sole trader and don’t work via a limited company or a similar vehicle, then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to write off Health Insurance as a business expense.
This is because, for HMRC to consider a policy an allowable business expense, there typically needs to be some form of business entity to own it and pay the premiums.
If you’re self-employed you can still get Health Insurance, but you’ll need to pay for it personally rather than put it through the business.
However, if you do work for yourself via your own limited company, either as a contractor or a director, then your business can pay. In this case, Health Insurance is generally a business expense that you can write off against corporation tax.
If you pay for private medical insurance via your limited company it is considered a P11D benefit. You will be required to pay employer national insurance contributions on the premiums.
The UK has five major Health Insurance providers all of whom cater for self employed individuals:
There are also a handful of smaller providers on the market some of which are particularly competitive for soletraders looking for cover.
We compare health insurance quotes from every single UK insurer to ensure our clients get the most appropriate coverage for the best price. If you need help researching the market give us a call on 02074425880 or email email@example.com.
Health Insurance renews annually. Your insurer will write to you yearly to inform you what your premiums will be for the upcoming year.
The cost of your policy may rise slightly over time. Generally, this is down to medical inflation, which accounts for the rising cost of healthcare inputs, from the wages of medical professionals to paying for medical advances such as brand new cancer drugs and therapies.
Once you have Health Insurance, it’s important you regularly review premiums to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Your adviser will be happy to help with this and search the market on your behalf.
If we find premiums cheaper elsewhere, we’ll then handle the policy switch. It’s vital this is done carefully to provide continuity of coverage, so we’ll port you over on a continued personal medical exclusions (CPME) basis.
As well as Health Insurance, there are a variety of other policies on the market that you may want to consider if you work for yourself. These can help fill the protection gaps you may have as someone who works for themselves.
For instance, self-employed people rarely get sick pay. If you couldn’t do your job for any length of time and had no money coming in, how would you cope financially?
For this reason, many of our self-employed clients consider Income Protection, which pays a regular income each month if you can’t work for any medical reason.
Long-term Income Protection will continue paying you for as long as is required, right up until retirement if necessary.
If you are set-up via a limited company you can also opt for relevant life insurance which is tax-efficient life cover paid for by your business.
Health Insurance is one of the more complex policies to compare due to the many different combinations of options available.
That’s why if you’re self employed looking for cover it is worth speaking to a professional who knows these policies inside and out.
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 are self employed and need help setting up health insurance or reviewing an existing policy, give us a call on 02074425880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.