Top health insurance companies

Choose the most affordable private health insurance.

A complete guide to private insurance for health. Learn what private medical insurance is in terms of coverage, as well as the most reputable insurers reviewed by thousands of genuine clients

In this article

  • How do I get private health insurance?
  • What exactly does personal health insurance cover and exempt?
  • What are the various types of bodies?
  • Are I genuinely have to be treated in a private setting?
  • What alternatives do you have to health insurance plans that are private?
  • How much will private health insurance cost?
  • The top private health insurance providers to ensure client satisfaction
  • What do private health insurance providers provide?

What exactly is private health insurance?

Many people across the UK are covered under a type of private health insurance, often referred to by the name private medical insurance or PMI.

So what exactly does it mean? What is it?

The most basic of all coverage, private individuals’ health insurance covers private medical treatment in the event of illness.

But, health insurance for private individuals will not be able to cover all expenses and will vary from provider service.

Health insurance generally covers private treatments of health ailments responsive to treatments (usually described as acute conditions), medical procedures, and elective surgeries.

This guide will explain everything you must learn about private health insurance to understand how it operates to the best providers that provide the most efficient service for their customers.

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What do private health insurance policies comprise and not include?

The type of coverage you’re entitled to will depend on the insurance company you use. However, certain aspects are typically covered in the majority of policies.

Along with the treatment aspect, many policies include hospital lodging, nursing care, and coverage for treatment outside the hospital (where there is no need to stay overnight) and consults.

The additional cover offered could include the following:

  • The treatment for mental illness
  • Therapies that complement conventional treatments
  • The drugs aren’t provided through the NHS (but are accepted by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence)

What are the different kinds of covers?

Two significant forms of health insurance are private, either fully underwritten or moratorium policy.

Full-coverage policies

If you opt for fully insured private health insurance, you must provide your insurance provider with a complete medical history.

Moratorium policies

In the case of a moratorium, only a few details must be provided to your insurance company.

A moratorium insurance policy can be more straightforward than examining the extensive medical records with the insurance company. However, wholly underwritten policies can save you money and will let you know at the start of your coverage what conditions are covered and those you’re not for.

Specialist policies

Certain insurers have particular policies. They may, for example, will cover you if you need to wait more than six weeks for NHS treatments. Some policies are specifically designed for people over 55 or focus on a specific disease, like cancer.

Pick-and-mix-style policies that are modular and flexible have become more popular. They cover inpatient treatment and allow the user to include or remove aspects of coverage so that you can tailor the insurance plan you want.

Do I require to receive treatment privately?

The fortunate thing is that we live in the UK to enjoy the NHS and its free comprehensive health care when you require it. On the other hand, the private health care system is not affordable – for example, knee replacement surgeries are very likely to exceed the amount of PS10,000. Furthermore, the standard of treatment you receive from private providers is unlikely to be superior to what the NHS offers. So then, why should you pay?

The primary benefit of private health care is the more excellent choices in the location and time you get treated and the speed and efficiency of receiving the care you need.

Private health insurance can be, consequently, a way to speed up long wait times without the need to keep hundreds of thousands of pounds available.

What are alternatives for private health insurance?

What is the cost of private health insurance costs?

Similar to other kinds of insurance, costs for private health insurance differ according to your circumstances and the particulars of the coverage purchased.

The same goes for where you live. It significantly impacts the cost of treatment and the price you’ll have to pay.

The cost of premiums will also increase with the advancing years. A whole health insurance plan for younger people could be a couple of hundred pounds per year. When you’re over retirement, insurance will likely cost hundreds of thousands.

Below is a table that provides examples of the amount two couples (aged 35 to 55) could be paying annually if they needed to cover operations, insurance for heart disease and cancer, and even cover therapy (such as physical therapy).

Prices could be much higher in the case of those who have pre-existing health conditions or previous claims. In addition, they will continue to increase as you get older.

These are illustrations of quotations obtained from insurers’ websites from September 2021. We picked the least expensive mix of insurance that provides all inpatient treatment, complete coverage for cancer and heart, and some insurance to treat two people well-informed and located within South London. The outpatient coverage was eliminated when it was feasible to remove it. We chose no extra, but we decided on the waiting period when it was offered.

Private health insurance is the best in terms of customers satisfaction

The private health insurance industry isn’t delivering on its promises if they’re not letting the customer down with services.

Between May 2021 and June 2021, We surveyed 538 Which? Members with private health insurance. They have claimed in the past five years. You can find out which insurers – Aviva, AXA PPP, BUPA, Saga, and Vitality Health performed when we looked at their health insurance.

Which? Members can log in and review the results of our research. If you’re not an active member of Which, join Which? To gain full access to the results as well as our entire reviews.

In May of 2021, we conducted an online survey of 538 participants of the Which? Connect Panel who claimed within the previous five years. Customer Score measures the respondents’ general level of satisfaction and potential to recommend the company. The sample size of the Customer Score is Aviva (64), AXA PPP Healthcare (103), Bupa (195), Saga (45), Vitality Health (40)

What are the different health insurance plans offered by private insurance providers provide?




Vitality Health

Where can I purchase low-cost medical insurance?

Talk to a broker for assistance.

Private health insurance can be complex, and you should talk to an agent, particularly in the event of medical issues or require medical assistance for a specific illness.

If you are looking for a broker to find a broker, look through the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) or the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII).

Reduce your expenses by adjusting the policy.

After you’ve selected a policy, you can start making changes to reduce costs. You can do this by modifying the procedure.

Begin by evaluating your choices of hospitals. The majority of hospitals will provide you with the option of choosing from. However, you might save money when you choose smaller lists.

Choose which aspects of your coverage are essential to you. Fortunately, most insurance companies allow you to choose and select from the different modules. In particular, removing or cutting down on coverage for outpatients (primarily consulting with physicians and scans) is a way to cut several hundred dollars off your annual premium.

Some insurers offer the option to reduce completely comprehensive cancer insurance – offering coverage, for example, only available when you require treatment or medications that aren’t accessible via the NHS.

Excessions, co-payments, and waiting time

Consider including an extra in the policy. If you’re happy with contributing to the costs of medical treatment on your own, the premiums are likely to decrease, but be sure you can cover the extra.

“Co-payments” are an alternative to the over-the-top theme. A co-payment is a commitment to pay some percentage of a claim’s expense (say 10 or 15 percent) above a specific value (say 1,000 PS).

The discount will be in the cost of your insurance because you’ll have less dependence on the insurance company – yet the highest amount ensures that there won’t be any impossible costs.

Consider whether you’d like to get specific treatments through the NHS. Some policies let you select discounted coverage that only kicks in when you feel the NHS isn’t able to provide it promptly (usually six weeks). Therefore, if speedy care is the primary reason to go private, this could be an ideal solution.

Make sure you’re careful about you are switching and ditching

Private health insurance differs from car or home insurance in that hitting every year can save you money. Making the switch to get lower cost – although not impossible – must be treated with care.

If you’ve noticed that your rates have increased and you’re considering a less expensive plan elsewhere, be sure to check out the conditions of the switching before deciding to leave the current insurance company. It is important to note that if you suffer from any medical condition already covered, ensure that your new plan protects your requirements.

It can be challenging to figure out, and you might want to consult the advice of a broker or adviser in case you’re unsure.

Be as fit and healthy as you can.

Certain insurance companies will offer discounts when you’re well. Aviva’s MyHealthCounts scheme, for instance, provides you with as much as 15% off the renewal cost for being fit and healthy.

Comparison of providers for private treatment

Making a private appointment for medical treatment allows you to choose a different option. However, it can also lead to confusion in deciding what to do and the amount procedures will likely cost.

Your GP might be able to give you some suggestions, as may your health insurance.

A different source to consider can be found in The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), established with the Competition and Markets Authority to aid in making private healthcare accessible to the public by gathering and publishing information on private hospitals and consultants.

It is possible to use the website of PHIN to search for options within your region – such as feedback from customers of local private hospitals and the fees charged by different doctors.

What are the steps to claim your private health insurance plan

First, read the policy documents

Different health insurance companies have their procedures for submitting claims. If you want private care, look at the fine print in the policy or go to the insurer’s site to find out the specific guidelines available.

Second step: Contact your doctor

Talk with your GP regarding your health concerns as usual. Your GP may refer you to privately-funded treatment. There are two types of referral: open referral, where the GP does not address the request to a particular doctor, or designated referrals, in which an individual is named in the referral letter.

Check the conditions and terms of your policy to determine what your insurer will need.

Three steps: Contact the private health insurance company you have chosen.

The next step is to call your provider to discuss your situation. What information you’ll need to provide during your contact with your provider will vary from one to provider. However, you should take into consideration the following:

  • Your policy’s number
  • The details of the things your GP has told you
  • More information about your medical illness
  • The details of the person you referred to.

Step 4: Contact your private health insurance company (again) when you’ve been to a doctor.

If you’ve been to the doctor, you should call your provider to inform them of the actions to take next. Be sure to know how to be able to pay for consultations or treatments – whether you’ll be required to cover the cost and get the refund or your provider will take payment directly.

Step 5 Be confident to voice your concerns.

If the claim you’ve filed doesn’t work out as you expected or you believe your insurer wrongly dealt with you, Do not hesitate to file a complaint.

Talk to your provider first. But if it’s not working (and you’ve tried the complaints procedure), discuss the issue through the Financial Ombudsman Service by calling 0300 123 9123.

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