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10 things you need to know about health insurance

Not sure if private medical cover is right for you? Here are 10 things you need to know before you take out a policy

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10 things you need to know about health insurance
10 things you need to know about health insurance

1. Health insurance is not as expensive as you might think

While private medical insurance can offer luxury treatment when you need it, it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Depending on your age and general health, you might be surprised at the low monthly cost of cover.

Compare health insurance quotes

Find health insurance cover from leading providers with Uswitch*

2. You'll get access to private treatment

Health insurance is designed to offer you fast access to private medical treatment when you need it. This could mean you get speedier treatment by bypassing NHS waiting lists, choosing your own appointments and getting quick access to specialists. Other benefits include choosing your own hospital and doctor, private rooms and getting access to some treatments unavailable on the NHS.

3. You can get cover with existing medical conditions

Having an existing or previous medical condition doesn’t exclude you from taking out private medical insurance (although there may be some exclusions).

Your insurer will usually get in touch after you’ve completed the quote process, and may offer you a type of insurance policy specifically designed for those with existing or previous medical conditions.

4. Private medical cover can supplement NHS treatment

Health insurance can supplement NHS treatment by providing prompt access to private treatment, as well as offering some drugs or treatments that are not available on the NHS.

If you need to have treatment on the NHS (in the case of an emergency, for example), you may be offered an NHS cash benefit for overnight stays or in-patient treatment.

5. You could protect your whole family

When comparing health insurance policies, you can choose from an individual or family policy, allowing you to add a partner and up to five children to your cover. Some insurers even offer a ‘partner goes free’ benefit, which will be highlighted in the results when comparing quotes.

6. It takes just a few minutes to get a quote

With an online quote comparison service like Uswitch, you can compare leading health insurance providers in minutes. You’ll just need to provide contact details, whether you’re a smoker and when you’d like the policy to start. TrustPilot user Vanessa Matthews says:

"Uswitch are excellent at keeping me up-to-date with the latest best deals from insurance to broadband to energy. Easy to switch today and trust the rest of the process will go smoothly and I've made the right decision!"

Vanessa Matthews, TrustPilot

7. You can build a no claims discount

Similarly to a car insurance policy, some health insurance providers allow you to build a no claims discount on your private medical cover.

For every year you don’t make a claim, you will receive a discount on next year’s premium. Policies with this feature will be highlighted when you compare quotes.

8. There's not always an excess

Most types of insurance include a level of excess — the amount you have to pay when you make a claim.

While many health insurance policies also work in this way, some providers offer cover with no excess applicable. These policies will be highlighted when you compare quotes online.

9. You can switch policies

As with other types of insurance cover, you should revisit your private medical policy on a regular basis to check whether it still suits your needs and you’re getting the best deal possible.

If you already have health insurance, it could be worth your while to shop around (especially if your policy is due for renewal).

10. You might be able to find the best price by using a price comparison service

Shopping around is one of the best ways to find the right deal on health insurance, and you can get started right now by comparing quotes with Uswitch:

Compare health insurance quotes

Find health insurance cover from leading providers with Uswitch*

*Based on a treatment and full diagnosis level of cover for a 30-year-old non-smoking male with no pre-existing medical conditions (March 2023)