Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Is There Private Health Insurance In The Uk

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Giving Birth In The Uk

The Benefits of Private Health Care

Giving birth in the UK as a non-resident can seem like a daunting event. Concerns over healthcare and immigration problems will all play on your mind, but you can feel at ease knowing that there is almost no difference to giving birth in the UK as a permanent resident.

Having a Baby in the UK as a Foreigner

If you are having a baby in the UK and you are not a national, you should not be concerned there are some key benefits of having a baby in the UK:

  • In the 2019 Survey of Womens Experiences of Maternity Care, carried out as part of the NHS Patient Survey Program, more than 80% of women surveyed said their midwives, doctors or other staff spoke to them in a clear way that was easy to understand.
  • Free dental care for the duration of your pregnancy and for one year after birth.
  • Free prescriptions for the duration of your pregnancy and for one year after birth.
  • Most non-complicated births will allow you to choose the place of delivery however, if you require specialist treatment, you might have to give birth in a specific hospital.
  • 52 weeks maternity leave. To receive your Statutory Maternity Pay for 39 weeks of your 52-week maternity leave, you must have average earnings of 118 GBP and have been working for your employer for at least 26 weeks.

Giving Birth in the UK Without Health Insurance: What Are the Costs?

Giving Birth in the UK for Citizenship

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What Happens When I Go On Family Or Unpaid Leave

Your membership of the insurance scheme will continue through maternity leave, other family leave, or any other period of statutory pay or unpaid leave .

Your monthly premium will not be deducted during periods of statutory pay or nil pay, but the cost will be recouped from you following your return to work.

If you leave and later re-join the scheme, your moratorium underwriting will begin anew from the date you re-join.

What Are The Alternatives To Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance from your employer

This is less an alternative to health insurance than it is an alternative way of owning it. Many employers offer health insurance as a perk of the job.

Employer private health insurance schemes are usually cheaper and more generous for example, covering pre-existing conditions – than policies you can buy separately from an insurer.

Healthcare cashplans

Healthcare cashplans are generally much cheaper than private health insurance, but are only designed to cover everyday health expenses such as dental work, glasses, contact lenses, or physiotherapy.

The cover you get is unlikely to extend towards the costs of serious medical treatment, such as an operation.

You pay a monthly premium, and the cashplan provider will reimburse you for medical expenses covered in the plan. There’s an annual limit on how much you can claim, with more comprehensive policies having higher limits.

Find out more in our full guide to critical illness insurance explained.


Most people who make use of private healthcare do so via insurance, but paying directly – ‘self-paying’ – is increasingly common.

The costs that you can expect to chalk up will include the initial consultation and any necessary diagnostic costs, the price of the treatment itself, hospital fees and followup care. Hospitals often sell these as a package.

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Specialist Drugs & Treatments

Some specialist treatments and medicines are not available via the NHS this is either because they are too expensive or because they are not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in England and Wales or the Scottish Medicines Consortium.

Private health insurance does not guarantee access to specific drugs but can help with some treatments not available on the NHS. If youre looking for specific treatments or medicines, call our friendly team on 0808 10 18 999 to discuss options in full.

How Does Universal Health Coverage Work

Hearing aids through private health insurance

Health coverage in England has been universal since the creation of the National Health Service in 1948. The NHS was set up under the National Health Service Act of 1946, based on the recommendations of a report to Parliament by Sir William Beveridge in 1942. The Beveridge Report outlined free health care as one aspect of wider welfare reform designed to eliminate unemployment, poverty, and illness, and to improve education. Under the 1946 Act, the Minister of Health had a duty to provide a comprehensive, free health service, replacing voluntary insurance and out-of-pocket payments.2

Currently, all those ordinarily resident in England are automatically entitled to NHS care, still largely free at the point of use, as are nonresidents with a European Health Insurance Card. For other people, such as non-European visitors or undocumented immigrants, only treatment in an emergency department and for certain infectious diseases is free.3 Rights for those eligible for NHS care are summarized in the NHS Constitution they include the right to access care without discrimination and within certain time limits for certain categories, such as emergency and planned hospital care.4

The government owns the hospitals and providers of NHS care, including ambulance services, mental health services, district nursing, and other community services. These providers are called NHS trusts.

Other important public agencies involved in health care governance include:

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Can I Get Dental Health Insurance

Dental issues are often excluded from UK Health Insurance policies. However, there are some exceptions and some ways that dental cover can be included, depending on the provider and the dental work in question.

If dental cover is important to you, it’s worth comparing policies from dental insurance providers. For example, Bupa does not offer any dental cover with its health insurance policy: instead, it has a separate dental product that can be bought independently of health cover.

Do Private Health Insurance Premiums Change

Yes, private health insurance premiums often increase at the point of renewal for a number of reasons, whether due to medical inflation, or a change in your circumstances that means you will be more likely to make a claim. Prices may also rise if youve recently made a claim, or simply because youve aged into a higher bracket. However, you can ensure you arent paying over the odds by having your policy reviewed before you renew it, and potentially by switching providers for a more affordable plan. Get a quote from Healthcare Clarity now to explore the options available to you.

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Which Insurers Offer Cover

There are many providers who offer health insurance products. You can contact insurers directly or use an adviser to find the product that best suits your needs.

Switching insurance provider

If you are thinking about switching insurance provider, there are a number of things you need to consider:

  • It is best to consider switching provider when your current policy reaches its renewal date, otherwise you may incur a fee for switching provider before the insurance contract has come to an end.
  • You should compare the benefits, policy terms and cover limits from different providers carefully, so that you get the cover that is right for you.
  • Some insurers might not cover illnesses or injuries you have had in the recent past or any condition that you suffer from now, even if these are covered by your current insurer.

Freedom Health Insurance Review

I tried to apply for the UK’s private health insurance.

Freedom Health Insurance was established in 2003 and is a specialist provider of Private Medical Insurance. Being that they only offer healthcare insurance, they are dedicated to the provision of first-class private medical protection. Unlike other providers, they don’t adjust their premiums based on your location, so even if you’re in a more expensive area such as London, you’ll pay the same as if you were outside of the capital.

Freedom Elite

Freedom’s best level of protection is their Freedom Elite product, which gives you comprehensive in and outpatient cover. Medical costs are settled directly with the hospital, and the whole plan can be tailored to your requirements.

Freedom Elite is by its nature a comprehensive, high-quality policy, with cover even for alternative therapies such as homoeopathy and podiatry as an optional extra. It includes full cancer cover, with oncology tests, surgery and private healthcare treatment. Psychiatric cover is an additional extra as is access to a private GP, Dentist and Optician.

Reviews and awards

Freedom only has a small number of reviews on Feefo but they are largely positive, with the company scoring 4.6/5 from 32 reviews.

Other awards:

  • 2019 Health Insurance & Protect Awards Finalist
Freedom private health insurance policy highlights:
  • Medical treatment costs settled directly with the hospital
  • Full inpatient annual benefit
  • Optional psychiatric and alternative therapies cover
  • Optional virtual GP and routine dental and optical cover
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    Full Medical Cover Underwriting

    Full underwriting lets you know for sure if your pre-existing condition is covered or not.

    You have to provide your insurer with extensive details of your medical history. This usually includes answering questions about your health and giving them permission to access your medical records or contact your GP.

    Insurers use this information to work out their risks and decide:

    • If they are happy to give you insurance

    • How much your policy costs

    • What treatment and illnesses it can pay out for and what it excludes

    • If they are willing to cover any of your pre-existing conditions

    Two: Speak To Your Gp

    Start by speaking to your GP about your condition as you normally would. Your GP can refer you for private treatment. There are two main types of referral an open referral, where your GP doesn’t address the letter to a specific consultant, or named referral, where a specialist is listed on the letter.

    Read the terms and conditions of your policy to check which one your provider will want.

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    Private Treatment & Operations At Nhs Hospitals

    NHS specialist hospitals usually have excellent intensive care facilities, and whilst these may not be needed for routine procedures, some patients like to have peace of mind.

    Although there are some larger specialist private hospitals in London, even these often lack 24×7 ITU. It is a little-known fact that if a private patient becomes critically unwell in many private hospitals, the patient is likely to be transferred back to a public NHS hospital for emergency care. The NHS has many specialist hospitals that are world leaders in areas such as cancer, cardiac and paediatric care.

    The NHS private wards are there to make money for the hospital/NHS, but they are not profit-making in the true sense. Thus, NHS private units/wards can often offer treatment at a lower cost than a private hospital. This is achieved by using NHS operating theatres and staff, while at the same time allowing you the benefit of consultant-led healthcare and a private room.

    More innovative private insurance plans now offer incentives to patients that keep their treatment costs lower. For example, our Freedom Essentials health cover pays a cash benefit for each approved medical procedure which you can use towards your treatment and keep any surplus or top up as required.

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    NHS does a great job and is accessible to all however, it cannot cater to your specific needs in certain cases. For example, if youve recently noticed some degradation in your health and need an urgent checkup, youll have to wait for your referral to be issued, a process that can extend to many months.

    NHS is also based on funds and taxes, and because that the British population is getting older and more prone to health issues, the NHS has been facing some financial obstacles that result in service limitations. For instance, in the past few years, the NHS hasnt covered cancer treatment and medications. In 2018, at the end of March, up to 2,755 patients had to wait to begin treatment after their referral process.

    However, in other cases, the national health services may be sufficient for your needs and more helpful in emergencies. For example, if you got into an accident and need to be hospitalised right away, private medical insurance does not cover your surgery or treatment, unlike NHS. If your case is specific and you think your treatment should be covered, you can file a claim to your insurer, and they will pay for it. Weve explained the process of making a claim in the following sections.

    How do I choose the right plan for me?

    Choosing the right insurance cover necessitates a careful examination of ones personal requirements and budgetary plans. To select the best health insurance, ask yourself the following question:

    Can you add your children and partner?

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    How Changing Your Excess Affects The Price Of Private Health Cover

    As with every type of insurance, UK private health insurance policies use an excess to help control claims.

    The insurer’s thinking is that if you have to pay the first part of a claim, then you’ll be more careful about incurring a claim at all and only really do it when you have to. Their fear without an excess would be that people would claim regularly as there would be no cost to them.

    Excesses are typically charged either per year or per claim . Make sure you know which you have as the per claim excess will often work out more expensive.

    All insurers give some degree of flexibility on the excess you have on your policy – for example, Vitality let you choose whether you have a per year or a per claim excess and what amount you’d like.

    The excess can also have a material impact on cost – a high excess makes things cheaper.

    For example, BUPA health insurance costs roughly £34 per month with a £500 excess for our 33-year-old example, but it leaps up to £52 per month for a zero excess. Read a review of Bupa health insurance here.

    While hiking up the excess can make for attractive premium levels, buyers should remember that adding a high excess not only means more to pay when you have a big claim, it also means that you will be wholly responsible for claim amounts under the excess you choose.

    You can compare UK prices for private health policies, and compare their excess levels, using, which allows a detailed comparison of health policies online.

    What Is Being Done To Promote Delivery System Integration And Care Coordination

    GPs are responsible for care coordination as part of their overall contract with the NHS. For instance, the 20182019 GP contract aims to improve care coordination for older patients by requiring practices to have a named accountable GP for all patients over age 75. GPs also have financial incentives to provide continuous monitoring of patients with the most common chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

    GPs work increasingly in multipartner practices that employ nurses and other clinical staff to carry out much of the routine monitoring of patients with long-term conditions. These practices also have some features of a medical home. For instance, they direct patients to specialists in hospitals or to community-based professionals, like dietitians and community nurses, and maintain treatment records of their patients.

    The 2012 Health and Social Care Act charged NHS England and CCGs with promoting integrated care, which is defined as closer links between hospital- and community-based health services, including primary and social care.

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    How Does Private Health Insurance Work

    Private health insurance typically covers a range of acute conditions , but not chronic conditions . If you need treatment for a new health problem, your insurance can cover the cost of getting private treatment, which can sometimes be thousands of pounds. Private health insurance also doesnt cover you for a pre-existing condition.

    Broadly, medical insurance works in much the same way as other insurance policies. You pay a monthly premium and claim on your insurance if you need treatment. Each time you claim, youll pay a small excess while your insurer covers most of your medical bill. The excess can be anything from £0 to £500.

    You can get private health insurance to cover just you or other members of your family.

    How To Get Private Healthcare In The Uk

    USA vs UK Healthcare Insurance

    There are several options to access private healthcare in the UK. It may be offered through your employer, you can pay for the treatment in full yourself, take out a medical loan and pay monthly, or purchase private medical insurance. Private medical insurance allows you to access a wide range of treatments and hospitals for a monthly or annual premium, which may be a more cost-effective option than funding a single treatment yourself. If you’d like to compare medical plans, then please get in touch.

    Want a hand exploring your policy options?

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    How Can You Lower The Cost Of Your Family Health Insurance

    Typically, insurance providers let you tailor your package to fit your lifestyle, healthcare needs and budget. Inevitably, the younger, fitter and healthier you are, the more favourable your premiums will be.

    Here are a few other ways you might be able to lower the cost of your premium:

  • Six weeks option you can agree to receive NHS care rather than private care if your consultants appointment is within six weeks of a referral.
  • Keep extras to a minimum extra cover, physiotherapy treatment for example, can increase the cost of your premiums, so consider whether you really need it.
  • Excess you can agree to pay a certain amount towards your treatment, much like you do with your car insurance excess.
  • Pay annually it usually works out cheaper than paying by month.
  • Reduce the choice of hospitals you can agree to limit the range of hospitals you have access to.
  • Live well non-smokers will normally pay less, and some insurance providers will offer reduced premiums if you can prove you have a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you have a healthy weight or go to the gym regularly.
  • Speak to your employer they may offer a discounted health insurance scheme and often, theyll let you add family members to your policy.
  • If youre more concerned about paying for routine treatments like dental work, which is provided by the NHS but at a cost, you could consider a health cash plan instead.

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