Individual Health Insurance
Good health and wellbeing are important to all of us. More people are choosing to stay healthy and look after their physical and mental health than ever. It is also considered that we are more in tune with our bodies and any changes we may experience nowadays. Early diagnosis has led to better health outcomes across most conditions, meaning more people want quicker access to medical advice and treatment.
An individual health insurance policy ensures you can look after your health and wellbeing as best you can.
There are many options for taking out private health cover and there are lots of benefits to choose from. This is something our expert advisors can help you navigate through and will advise you of the most suitable policy, based on your requirements. We compare policies from all leading UK insurers and present our findings in a clear and simple way, supporting you through the whole process.
There is no charge for our service, we are available to help over the telephone or you can request a quote online.
What is individual health insurance?
Also known as private medical insurance (PMI), individual health insurance is a policy that pays out for medical treatment privately when you need it. Health insurance is designed to cover you for acute conditions, with prompt treatment in a private hospital by a consultant or surgeon of your choice.
There are many benefits in having private medical insurance, but the main advantage is bypassing long NHS wait times and being able to choose who provides your treatment, and where you are treated.
Why choose Morehealth to compare health insurance providers?
Our experienced advisors take the stress out of comparing the leading health insurers in the market for you. We compare cover with leading insurers such as AVIVA Health, AXA Health, Bupa, and VitalityHealth. We do not charge you for our service, and as an independent intermediary our advice is impartial.
In most cases we will save you money on your health insurance if you already have cover in place.
Morehealth offers a personal and friendly service, we can discuss your needs over the telephone, and you will always have access to a qualified advisor when you call us.
What does a health insurance policy consist of?
The exact details of what an individual 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.
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:
|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.
|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.
|Cover for when you are treated in an out-patient setting without using a bed.
Surgical out-patient procedures are covered.
Out-patient consultations and diagnostics are usually included in the limit you select for this and not under the core 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.
In addition to the core cover a health insurance policy provides, there are several additional benefits you can choose from to enhance, or in some cases reduce your cover.
Here are the main add-on’s most insurers offer:
- Increased or reduced out-patient cover
- Mental health cover
- Therapies cover (e.g., physiotherapy, osteopathy)
- Guided option
- Dental and optical cover
- Travel cover
What conditions are covered
There are many different illnesses that are covered by private health insurance, they are summarised as curable, acute conditions.
The most common conditions covered include:
- Heart problems
- Musculoskeletal issues, such as joint replacements and injury
- Mental health issues
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
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.
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.
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.
Mental health cover
Some 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.
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.
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.
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.
We are often able to make large savings on existing policies, without reducing the benefits or the conditions you are covered for. Get a quote
What is not covered
Private medical insurance does not cover accident and emergency situations or rehabilitation and convalescence.
Chronic conditions are not covered by a PMI policy unless it is an acute phase.
Most insurers have general exclusions such as:
- Chronic conditions
- Cosmetic treatment
- Addictions and substance misuse
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and infertility
- Learning difficulties and developmental problems
- Gender re-assignment
Although chronic conditions are generally not covered by a private health insurance policy, there are circumstances in which elements of diagnosis and treatment of a chronic condition are covered. You can read more on chronic conditions in our guides section. Chronic Conditions Explained
Medical underwriting for individual health insurance
With an individual health insurance policy there are various ways your policy can be underwritten. It is important you choose the option that best suits your previous medical history.
You do not need to disclose your medical history; a moratorium period of two years is in place for any condition for which you have experienced symptoms or received treatment for in the last five years.
Continued medical exclusions
You will need to answer a few questions regarding your medical history in the last five years and some questions on specific health conditions. The underwriting will transfer from your previous insurer rather than being re-underwritten. This option is only available to those with an existing health insurance policy with another insurer.
Full medical underwriting
You will disclose your full medical history which is submitted to the insurer who will then apply underwriting terms accordingly.
You can read more in our guides section on underwriting. Our expert advisors can use their knowledge to assist you in choosing the right underwriting, considering your medical history and future medical needs. Underwriting explained
Renewing your health insurance policy
Most private health insurance policies are renewable every 12 months. This is when your insurer will adjust your premium based on age, claims, medical inflation, and insurance premium tax (IPT) changes.
At this point you may want to consider other options in the market. We can carry out a comprehensive market review on your behalf, even if you did not purchase your existing policy through ourselves. We are also able to conduct mid-term reviews as you do not need to wait until your renewal to switch providers.
In most cases we can switch your policy to a new insurer whilst maintaining cover for pre-existing conditions. We fully understand the underwriting process and will liaise with the underwriters to determine what will be covered. Each insurer has their own criteria for accepting a transferred policy. We can interpret this for you without you having to navigate your way through the process.
It may also be the case that the policy you already have does not need to be as comprehensive or includes hospitals you will not use. Therefore, we can save you money on your health insurance premiums, by either making some changes within your existing plan or suggesting a more suitable option with a different insurer.
If you are new to health insurance, we can assist in explaining how it works and talk you through the options available.
Let us check you are not paying too much for health insurance. Get a quote
On average, we can save you 30% on your existing health insurance premium. *
* Subject to claims history in the previous 12 months and switch criteria.
Health insurance guides
Below are our helpful guides that provide further information about how medical insurance works and the various options available. Should you prefer to speak to one of our expert advisors we are always available on the telephone to help.
Compare leading UK health insurance providers