What is private health insurance?
Private health insurance is an insurance policy which covers the cost of private healthcare. It works in a similar way to any other insurance – you pay monthly or annual premiums, and your provider pays out for some or all of the cost of the private medical treatment you receive. You can take out a single policy for yourself, or a joint policy to cover you and your partner. This can make things easier as you’ll only have one provider, one policy, and one point of contact to deal with.
Opt for a single private
health insurance policy
Opt for a joint private health insurance policy
What are the benefits of health insurance?
Private healthcare can offer a number of benefits over using the NHS, including:
You’ll have a wider choice of treatment options
You’ll be able to bypass long waiting times
You’ll get access to better hospital accommodation
Individual health insurance
Individual health insurance enable you to bypass lengthy NHS waiting times and receive treatment quickly should you become ill or injured.
Family health insurance
Family health insurance provides cover for the whole family ensuring that treatment is received quickly should the need arise.
Child health insurance
Child health insurance provides tailored cover for your childrens growing needs offering peace of mind that their health care is protected.
How much does private health insurance cost?
The cost of private health insurance varies by provider, but you can generally expect your premiums to be affected by:
Choosing a more comprehensive policy with extras is likely to raise your premiums. However many providers offer flexible options that can help lower the cost of cover, such as taking out a joint policy or paying more excess. Joint policies can be a cheaper option than taking out two separate individual policies – on average a joint policy costs £1,821* for a year’s cover, which is £365 cheaper than two single policies.
You can usually expect the cost of health insurance to be higher the older you are, as you are at increased risk of needing medical treatment. In fact, you’ll pay over three times as much for health insurance aged 56 to 65 than you do if you are under 25*.
Private health insurance also tends to cost more if you live in certain locations. The most expensive areas are London, the south-west and the south-east, while the cheapest is Northern Ireland.
If you’re a smoker you’ll almost always see an increase in premiums – this often includes using nicotine substitute products like e-cigarettes.