During the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, private health insurers had to adapt and respond quickly, either directly through private hospitals being contracted to the NHS for coronavirus patients or by reducing out-patient access for non-essential treatment. Through these changes many providers have further enhanced services that can be provided virtually such as digital GP, and have increased NHS cash benefits, including for those treated for COVID-19 on the NHS.

The private hospitals are no longer required under the NHS contracts for treating coronavirus and access to treatment privately has returned to pre-COVID levels.

Some insurers have provided rebates on the premiums paid during the coronavirus crisis due to the reduced access to private treatment during the height of the pandemic.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 and how, if at all it affects health insurance:

Is treatment for COVID-19 covered by a PMI policy?

Health insurance covers the treatment of acute medical conditions in a private hospital.
However, with coronavirus, private hospitals do not have the same facilities as the NHS to deal with the outbreak. This includes access to accident and emergency departments and intensive care beds, as well as isolation units and other infectious disease controls.
If you are admitted to hospital with coronavirus, you will be admitted as an emergency case, which private health insurance does not cover. In dealing with a global pandemic the NHS is better equipped to provide the care required in intensive care.

Can I get a test for COVID-19 through my PMI policy?

Some insurers will pay for a PCR swab, others are offering PCR testing at discounted rates. Most insurers are covering the cost of PCR testing as part of pre-admission tests for planned procedures.

Are conditions that develop because of COVID-19 covered by a PMI policy?

In principle yes, and subject to the policy terms and conditions.

Is treatment for long COVID covered by a PMI policy?

In principle yes, and subject to the policy terms and conditions.

Can I still have travel cover as an additional benefit on my PMI policy?

Two of our providers, AXA Health and VitalityHealth offer travel cover as an optional benefit under their private medical insurance policies. Currently the following changes relating to COVID-19 apply:


The worldwide travel plan will cover member’s trips abroad if legally permitted.
If you are admitted to hospital abroad, you and any insured dependents are covered up to £10m.
But, if the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) are advising against all travel, or all but essential travel, to the destination at the time of departure, you will not be covered.
If the FCDO advice changes during the trip, you will be covered until you return to the UK.

AXA Health

AXA Health have suspended their travel cover option at present.

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