Health insurance - it only covers serious and critical illnesses, right? Well, no, actually your private medical insurance can include all kinds of things you might never have thought of!

You probably already know that health insurance can help you bypass waiting lists and receive treatment in the hospital of your choice if you become ill or have an accident. But did you know it can also provide access to a range of therapies, 24-hour helplines and even discounts on things like home insurance and gym membership? Read on to find out about just 12 of the great benefits offered by our health insurance partners!

  1. Talking therapies

The nation’s mental health is now firmly on the agenda for insurers, with 82% of our PMI panel offering cover either as standard or as an optional add-on. For example, Vitality offers up to eight sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or counselling as standard, whilst several of our partners offer stress, anxiety, depression and psychiatric cover as an additional benefit.

  1. Cheaper gym membership

It pays to keep fit, in more ways than one! Insurers are increasingly rewarding customers for maintaining an active lifestyle, such as by teaming up with leading gyms and fitness centres, many with swimming pools, to offer reduced membership fees. Apple watches and Fitbits can also be part of your health insurance package, with less to pay each month the more active you are!

  1. Dental cover

Dental treatment can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, not to mention the ongoing cost of each check-up and scale and polish if you don’t receive NHS dental treatment. Having the right dental insurance can help with the cost of routine appointments, x-rays, emergencies and dental injuries

  1. Optical insurance

Optical and dental insurance are often offered together and can be a godsend if you or a family member wear glasses or contact lens. Axa, for example, offers cash back of 80% of the cost of glasses or contacts, up to £200 per year, as well as up to £25 a year for an eye test.

  1. Diagnosis

Access to faster diagnosis is covered by most health insurance policies, but did you know you can lower your premiums by opting for a diagnosis-only policy? Aviva’s Speedy Diagnostics cover focuses on finding out what’s wrong and includes things like blood tests, x-rays and consultant appointments. It covers you for more than one set of symptoms and is a way of avoiding long waiting lists to get an explanation.

  1. Travel cover

If you get taken ill whilst on holiday, the right health insurance can take care of your treatment and get you home. For example, Vitality’s travel cover applies worldwide and also covers the costs of one person travelling with you.

  1. Insurance discounts

CS Healthcare's Your Choice offers members discounts on other insurance products such as home and travel insurance, as well as all-important health screenings to keep your wellbeing in check.

  1. Health helplines

A number of health insurers offer helplines, which might be manned 24/7 by nurses or include services such as stress counselling. GP consultations over the phone are also provided in some policies.

  1. Private prescriptions

The Exeter’s private prescription service offers a hassle-free way of getting prescription medication without needing to visit your NHS doctor. During your GP phone consultation, the doctor might offer you a private prescription for medicine to relieve and treat symptoms. The prescription is then delivered to your address. There is a cost for the private prescription and the delivery, but most items are not expensive and eliminate the time and cost of travelling to your GP’s surgery. Note that private prescriptions are for one or two uses, whilst for ongoing medication you would need to visit your own doctor.

  1. Childbirth cash benefit

Vitality’s personal healthcare plan includes a single cash payment of £100 following the birth or adoption of each child you have, as long as the plan has been in place for at least 10 months prior to their birth or adoption.

  1. A range of therapies

Treatments such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropody and podiatry and chiropractic are often included with health insurance, while complementary therapies such as acupuncture are offered by some insurers, such as to alleviate some symptoms of cancer.

  1. Family cover

Family health insurance offers peace of mind that your partner and children are protected, as well as yourself. Your Choice offers free cover for the eldest child under 18 as well as babies under one.

As with all health insurance policies, the key is to read your policy documents very carefully to ensure you know what is and isn’t covered. Depending on the insurance provider, you may be asked to choose from a number of add-on options, and it’s always a good idea to compare health insurance quotes to see not only the price but the product features too.

You can go through the entire PMI comparison process online, and we also have a highly trained customer service team to answer your questions over the phone should you need further support.