Health Insurance product options

The exact details of what a health insurance policy covers varies considerably from policy to policy. Standard policies cover surgery, consultations, nursing, and hospital charges. While comprehensive policies cover much more, including out-patient appointments, psychiatric treatment, and complementary medicine.

Health insurers have designed their products with two elements: core cover, which is the base policy, and additional benefit options for you to choose from, to either reduce or enhance your cover.

There is often a great deal of flexibility in how you build your health insurance policy, and therefore a lot of people prefer to seek our advice to help them with this.

Core cover

All health insurance policies have a core offering as standard, this is what the policy includes before you add any additional optional benefits. They can vary between insurers but usually include:

Benefit Details
In-patient treatment Cover for when you stay overnight in hospital for treatment. Cover includes hospital fees such as operating theatre costs, nursing care, specialist fees such as surgeon and anaesthetist fees, diagnostic tests, MRI, PET and CT scans.
Day-patient treatment Cover for when you are admitted to hospital for treatment or diagnostics and are discharged on the same day. The same benefits as in-patient cover apply.
Out-patient treatment
Cancer cover Most insurers offer cancer cover as standard under the core benefits with some including access to drugs not routinely available on the NHS.
Digital GP and helplines Most insurers provide digital GP services and clinically led telephone helplines, with access to immediate advice, prescriptions, and onward referral to a specialist. Read more on digital GPs here.

Comprehensive cancer cover

According to Cancer Research UK more than a third of people in the UK fear cancer more than any other life-threatening condition. Therefore, having access to private cancer treatment is one of the most valuable aspects of health insurance. With a health insurance policy, you will have access to the latest cancer drugs and treatment and your choice of cancer specialist.

Most leading UK health insurers include comprehensive cancer cover as a core benefit in their policies. However, there are differences in the specific benefits each insurer offers and therefore it is important to compare the options available. Our expert advisors have a full understanding of all insurer products and benefits and are on hand to talk you through them.

You can read more on cancer cover in our guides section.

Cancer cover compared

Benefit options

There are several ways you can tailor your private health insurance plan with add-ons to the policy, such as mental health or travel cover. There is an additional premium for most add-ons, however some of the options will reduce your premium.

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Out-patient cover

With most insurers the out-patient limit needs to be chosen by you, unless full cover is included as standard, in which case you can choose to reduce it. Out-patient cover ranges from no cover up to full cover with options in between such as £500 or £1000. The limit is either a combined limit to include out-patient consultations and diagnostics, or with some insurers you can upgrade the out-patient diagnostics to full cover, which is separate to the limit for consultations.

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Mental health cover

YouSome insurers include certain mental health benefits as standard such as a restricted limit on psychiatric consultations or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You can choose to extend your cover with this add-on which would give you access to in-patient and out-patient psychiatric treatment, including diagnostics, hospital charges and specialist fees, and up to 28 days in-patient treatment.

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Therapies cover

Some insurers offer specialist referred therapies such as physiotherapy under their core cover. With the therapies add-on you will have access to treatment such as osteopathy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, or chiropractic care, and this can be referred by your GP.

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Dental and optical cover

Most health insurers cover surgical dental procedures when performed in a hospital as standard. You can enhance this by choosing the dental add-on which includes reimbursement for routine, major and accidental injury costs. While the optical benefit will reimburse you for the cost of glasses or contact lenses and eye tests.

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Travel cover

Some insurers offer both European and Worldwide travel cover as an additional benefit on your health insurance policy. There is also a winter sports upgrade option and cover for travel vaccinations available with some policies. The travel add-on covers you for all the usual travel related issues as well as cover for medical emergencies while you are abroad.

Guided option

Most leading insurers offer a ‘guided option’ which members can apply to their policy, resulting in lower premiums for their health insurance. With this option, the insurer offers you a select list of consultants and hospitals to choose from rather than the full list. Often with the ‘guided option’ the insurer will guarantee no shortfalls for the member to pay. The ‘guided option’ is a great way to save money on your health insurance if you are happy for the insurer to choose the consultants you can see. Read more on guided options here.

The six-week option

Choosing the six-week option can significantly reduce the premium you will pay. You will still have the benefit of prompt cover should a GP refer you to a specialist for consultations and diagnostic tests, and any subsequent eligible out-patient treatment. In-patient or day-patient treatment will only be covered under your policy if the wait for the treatment you need is longer than six weeks on the NHS. If the waiting time for NHS treatment is longer than six weeks you will be covered for private treatment as an in-patient or day-patient straightaway.

Comparing health insurance policies

There are differences in both the core cover and additional benefits between all leading health insurance providers.

The main differences are usually in the out-patient cover options. Some out-patient limits are a combined limit to include out-patient consultations and diagnostics. It is important to understand this as it means some diagnostic tests, which can be expensive, are only covered up to your out-patient limit, and this limit must also include any consultations you have.

Vitalityhealth offer you the option to upgrade the out-patient diagnostics to full cover, which is separate to the limit for consultations.

Most insurers include MRI, PET and CT scans as an out-patient in their core cover, but Vitalityhealth only do if you select an out-patient option. So, if you select zero out-patient cover these will not be covered as an out-patient.

The Bupa Fundamental product offers basic cover compared to their main Bupa By You product. It is unique in that it only includes two out-patient consultations following an in-patient stay, and these must be within six weeks of discharge from hospital.

There are other differences between products, such as AXA Health and AVIVA Health allow you to protect the no claims bonus. AXA Health also have a first-year price promise, if you do not claim in the first year the renewal premium will be the same for the second year. AVIVA Health also offer a ‘first year renewal guarantee’.

Most leading insurers offer a ‘guided option’ to enable reduced premiums and AVIVA Health offer the six-week option which will reduce your premium further.

All leading UK insurers offer flexibility in being able to tailor your policy to suit your needs, but it can make comparing the different products difficult.

This is what we can do for you. Morehealth understand every health insurance policy on the market and can compare them for you. Our expert advisors have a wealth of knowledge and can suggest the best policy, whether you are looking for health insurance for the first time, or you want a cheaper price on the same terms as your existing policy.

Our friendly advisors are available on the telephone to take the stress and hassle out of comparing health insurance in the market today.

Call us now on 0800 028 5540

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