Public testing for Covid-19 has become increasingly contentious since the ease in lockdown measures, which, combined with rises in new Coronavirus cases, has led to increasing demand UK-wide. The availability of tests has been seen by some to reach a premium, with the return of results taking longer than ideal for others to make a return to school or the workplace in a timely manner.

ActiveQuote has found that some of the leading health insurers in the market have now started offering policyholders a way to get a Covid-19 test.

As a public health emergency, the diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19 must be led by the NHS but this means that, for those with access to private healthcare, there may also be another way.

Rod Jones, Head of Partnerships at ActiveQuote, explains: “ActiveQuote has been looking at the options available to those with private healthcare in place and, while insurers don’t generally provide for Covid testing, we have found that some offer ‘add on’ options and that there are other instances where a Covid-19 test could be performed privately at no extra cost.”

ActiveQuote asked its panel of providers what their terms for Covid-19 testing were*, with the following results:


  • Testing on admission to inpatient or day case procedures are covered.
  • Antigen testing not related to eligible claims and/or as part of an individual insurance contract are not covered.
  • Bupa Occupational Health Limited – separate from Bupa insurance – offers Covid-19 antibody tests to anyone at £65 per person.


  • Will provide benefit for Covid-19 testing if a member shows symptoms and is recommended to have a test by a medical professional, or if a test is clinically required prior to treatment.  
  • NHS approved Covid-19 antibody tests, where a medical professional recommends it is clinically necessary, are also covered.
  • Members to contact WPA for prior approval.


  • Home testing for Covid-19 for members cost £99 + £20 telephone consultation fee, results in 5-7 days.
  • Fitness to travel swab tests with no consultation (member collects kit and delivers to laboratory) cost £100, results in 2-3 days.
  • Rapid antibody tests for members cost £18, results in 10 minutes. Laboratory antibody tests cost £45, results in 2-3 days. A £20 GP consultation fee applies to both.


  • Covid-19 or anti-body testing not linked to an eligible condition under the terms of the policy are not covered.
  • Costs relating to pre-hospital, outpatient, or other pre-treatment testing are covered as required.


  • Tests relating to private hospital admissions, including parents with children, are covered. Covid and antibody tests are not.


  • Testing required as part of outpatient, day patient, or inpatient treatment is covered.
  • Testing or screening of symptom-free individuals is not covered.


  • Has no plans to include COVID19 or Antibody testing. The preference is to leave this to Government Test Centres and local NHS GPs.

Rod said: “So, depending on the insurer you’re with, it is possible to get a test on-demand, and in most cases, if you’re going into a private medical facility for other treatment, it’s likely you’ll get a Covid-19 test at the same time.”

“The other good news is that overall healthcare providers are also expecting the availability of tests of all types and how they are used to change in the near future and are keeping this under close review on behalf of their members too.”

To make sure you’re getting the full benefit of healthcare cover on offer to you and your family, or if you’re thinking about putting PMI in place for the first time, call our freephone Health Insurance number 0800 862 0373 and we’ll go through all the options with you.

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*Information correct as of 15th September 2020.