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Health Insurance Comparison GuideWelcome to the Health Insurance page.  Please click the 'Get Quotes' button above, or at the bottom of this guide to get competitive quotes from leading providers. You could save money and feel good too, as we will donate 25% of any profit we make to charity.

Obtaining a Health Insurance Quote online couldn't be easier.  Just enter your details into the quotation form. These are then passed to a number of Health Insurance providers who will contact you at a time of your choosing  to discuss details of the quote.  You could save money for the same cover you have had or even get more cover than before. What have you got to lose?

If you would like to understand a little more about Health Insurance then why not continue to read our guide below? It will give you a brief outline of Health Insurance terminology so you can better understand some of the keywords used.

The National Health Service was launched on 5th July, 1948, ‘born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth’1.
 
It has undergone many changes in its 65-year history, and although the ideal remains the same today as it was back in 1948, what is currently available does not always match people’s expectations, whether these are realistic or otherwise.  So lots of people in Britain choose to have private health insurance for extra peace of mind.  The following benefits may be included, dependent upon the policy:

  • diagnosis and treatment is available quickly if they become ill or suffer injuries;
  • they will have a choice regarding when treatment will take place, the health specialist who will treat them and the hospital where they will receive their care;
  • they will be given a private, en-suite room with a television and other home comforts.

What is private health insurance?

There are a variety of private health insurance (also known as ‘private medical insurance’) policies provided by companies that are designed to cover expenses of private medical treatment for short-term, curable illnesses or injuries. These come under the category of ‘acute’ conditions, which insurers define as disease, illness or injury starting after the policy has been taken out, and which are likely to respond quickly to treatment that is designed to return the policy-holder to the state of health he/she was in immediately before suffering the disease, illness or injury, and which leads to full recovery.  

What does private health insurance cover? - Benefits

The policy benefits differ from policy to policy and company to company.  For example, some will cover out-patient expenses and other things such as home nursing and private ambulance transport, but other policies exclude out-patient treatment completely.  You will need to investigate the cover benefits offered in the different levels of policies.  The names for these vary between companies, bearing titles such as   ‘Budget’, ‘Standard’, ‘Six-week Plan’, ‘Comprehensive’ ‘Gold Plan’ policies and so forth.  Typically, policies cover a core set of in-patient fees such as:

  • accommodation costs;
  • surgeons, anaesthetists and physicians’ fees;
  • drugs and dressings;
  • operating theatres;
  • radiotherapy and chemotherapy;
  • specialist consultations;
  • diagnostic procedures (radiology, scanning, laboratory investigations etc);
  • physiotherapy and prosthesis.

Policy cover for chronic conditions, for example cancer, does vary between providers, so you would need to check carefully the level of care on offer before purchasing cover.
 
A standard policy will normally exclude all ‘pre-existing conditions’ suffered before the commencement of the policy.  Some policies however, will offer treatment for such conditions, but with the proviso that the customer remains ‘treatment-free’ for a given period of time after commencement of the policy. These policies are referred to as ‘moratorium policies’.  The definition of ‘treatment-free’ usually means that during the moratorium period:

  • there will have been no consultations with a doctor concerning the pre-existing, or any related, condition;
  • no advice has been sought about the condition, including check-ups; and
  • no medication or special diets have been prescribed.

What is not covered? -  Policy Exclusions

Not only do health insurance benefits differ from policy to policy, so do the exclusions, but the following are generally not covered:

  • conditions brought about through drug abuse, self-inflicted injuries, war risks and dangerous pursuits;
  • treatment for HIV/AIDS, infertility and normal pregnancy, sex change, cosmetic surgery, organ transplant, kidney dialysis and experimental treatment;
  • GP services, accident and emergency admissions, outpatient drugs and dressings and mobility aids;
  • psychiatric treatment, treatment for anxiety and depressive disorders, and pregnancy complications.
  • dental treatment, although dental insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy

Employee health insurance schemes

If you are in employment, your employer may offer you the option to purchase health insurance at a reduced rate compared to taking it out yourself, so it is worth finding out if a company health insurance scheme is in operation – normally this is discussed on appointment.

Tips when purchasing private medical insurance

  • Investigate all benefits and exclusions carefully: similarly priced policies do not necessarily provide the same level of cover.
  • Private health insurance is an annually renewable contract. Your premiums will usually increase because of age, the insurer's claims experience and advances in medical care.

 The Association of British Insurers has made available a free guide to help customers make more informed choices about what private medical insurance in the UK is, why people buy it, and how it works.  The guide is obtainable here: Are you buying private medical insurance?

Important: If you fail to provide accurate information to an insurance company, a subsequent claim may be refused, so gather together all the information you're likely to need before you get your quotes and always ensure you fill in any forms correctly, paying attention to any pre-determined tick-boxes.

References
 
1  http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/NHSTimeline.aspx

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