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What is comprehensive health insurance?
Standard health insurance provides cover for private medical care which reduces the lengthy delay often experienced by those needing treatment. It means you don’t have to put your life on hold or face a worrying wait.
Health insurance pays for treatment if you’re ill or have suffered an injury. It allows you to get a faster diagnosis and to start treatment sooner than you might expect on the NHS, and can also offer benefits such as a choice of hospitals or treatment centres, your own private room and appointments at a time to suit you.
Comprehensive health insurance provides you with the highest levels of private healthcare cover. Comprehensive health insurance policies can also provide for outpatient care including appointments for specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and scans, as well as ongoing referrals for appointments after initial treatment. It helps you avoid long waiting lists on the NHS that could otherwise delay your diagnosis and treatment.
What level of health cover should I choose?
Generally, health insurance providers offer a choice between a standard or ‘core’ policy or comprehensive health insurance, with the cost of your premiums (payments) reflecting the amount of cover you receive.
Core policies usually cover you as standard for treatment as an inpatient, where you need a hospital bed. This might include attending hospital for the day to undergo a minor operation or having surgery or treatment that necessitates an overnight stay.
Comprehensive health policies also cover you for outpatient care including appointments for specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and scans, as well as ongoing referrals for outpatient appointments after any initial treatment. The advantage of this type of cover is that you can avoid long waiting lists on the NHS that would delay your diagnosis and treatment.
Lots of insurance companies offer a ‘pick-and-mix’ approach, where you choose a basic or core cover policy and supplement it with your choice of additional options. ActiveQuote can help you compare health insurance policies to find the right option for your budget.
How does comprehensive health insurance work?
If a policy doesn’t offer everything you’re looking for as standard, it’s easy to add extra levels of cover to create a fully comprehensive health insurance policy, depending on what you feel is important to you.
If mental wellbeing is central to your overall health, for example, you may be interested in a mental health add-on, which can cover you for in-patient treatment if your mental health suffers or you are diagnosed with an acute psychiatric condition.
Many comprehensive health insurance policies also now include health apps, which may offer 24/7 GP support, fitness programmes and counselling, including for any teenagers named on a family policy. Many of these digital GPs can now provide referrals for certain levels of treatment/diagnosis as well as write private prescriptions.
If you have a physical or manual job where you’re at risk of muscular and joint injuries, you might also choose to benefit from speedy access to specialist treatment to get you back to work as soon as possible. In such cases, adding cover for physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment can be a good idea.
You can even enhance your comprehensive health insurance policy with dental and optical cover too.
What extras are included with comprehensive health insurance?
If a policy doesn’t offer everything you’re looking for as standard, it’s easy to add extra cover to your health insurance policy, depending on what you feel is important to you.
Mental wellbeing is central to our overall health so you may be interested in a mental health add-on, which can cover you for in-patient treatment if you’re diagnosed with an acute psychiatric condition. Many policies also now include health apps, which offer 24/7 GP support, fitness programmes and counselling, including for any teenagers named on a family policy.
If you have a physical or manual job where you’re at risk of muscular and joint injuries, you might benefit from speedy access to specialist treatment to get you back to work as soon as possible. In such cases, adding cover for physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment can be a good idea. You can also enhance your policy with dental and optical cover.
What are the benefits of comprehensive health insurance?
There are many benefits to comprehensive health insurance, including:
- No NHS waiting lists
- Receiving a quick diagnosis from a consultant
- Getting fast access to treatment
- Being able to choose the hospital and the doctor
- Choosing appointments to suit your schedule
- Recovering in a private en-suite room, often with Wi-Fi and your own TV
- Unrestricted visiting hours
- Freshly prepared, healthy meals
- Alternative therapies and complementary medicine
- Access to drugs and treatment that may not be available on the NHS
Does comprehensive health insurance cover cancer treatment?
Research has shown that one in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime, so being covered for cancer care - with the reassurance that you can access faster and often more extensive treatment - is a priority for many.
Basic policies are less likely to cover chronic conditions like cancer, but the good news is that many comprehensive health insurance policies will. Depending on the level of cancer cover you have, you can either claim for treatment up to a certain annual limit or access comprehensive cancer care, including innovative and expensive specialist treatment such as stem cell transplantation, biological therapies and hormone therapies. With some comprehensive healthcare policies, you can also claim for the cost of holistic therapies and accessories such as wigs, and home nursing too. Certain fully comprehensive policies also provide access to experimental drugs and treatments.
What isn’t covered by comprehensive health insurance?
Every policy will have different add-ons and exclusions, so it’s always really important to read the small print so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered, and make sure to fully compare comprehensive health insurance policies before you buy. It is also why it’s best to speak with an advisor in person before putting any kind of health insurance in place.
Most private healthcare policies won’t cover ongoing treatment for a chronic illness or condition you have before you take out the policy. Elective treatments such as fertility treatment and cosmetic surgery are also not usually covered.
Some policies do cover maternity benefits, as well as complications and emergencies arising from pregnancy but, again, this isn’t always standard and it’s wise to check your policy documents thoroughly to make sure you know what is and isn’t included.
Good health – and healthcare – is a priority for us all. You might like to read our guide to looking after your wellbeing for some top tips to stay in top shape!
What else do I need to know before I compare comprehensive health insurance?
- It is likely to cost more than a standard policy
- The treatment you require may also be available on the NHS
- Private hospitals often have no A&E department
- Your treatment options may not be local depending on the kind of service you require
How do I buy comprehensive health insurance?
The best way to make sure you’re getting the right policy for your individual needs is to compare comprehensive health insurance quotes from a number of providers. As the leading health insurance comparison website in the UK, ActiveQuote partners with Money Supermarket, GoCompare, uSwitch and more to bring our customers the best cover at the right price.
When you compare comprehensive health insurance quotes with ActiveQuote, you will be asked a few simple questions including your name and address, your date of birth, whether or not you smoke and your monthly health insurance budget. You will also have to disclose any pre-existing and chronic conditions, which might affect the level of cover you’re offered.
Different policies offer different benefits, so it’s important to make sure that the level of cover suits your needs. The best way to do this is to speak to one of our advisors in person before you buy.
Why compare comprehensive health insurance with ActiveQuote.com?
Buying private health insurance can be daunting and we understand how important it is for you to feel confident you have the cover that’s right for you and your family. The majority of our policies are straightforward and can be bought online. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer care, with a highly trained team ready to take your call and answer any queries you have and we’re more than happy to talk you through the health insurance policies available to you.
With ActiveQuote you can:
- View more than 50 quotes online
- Compare the UK’s leading insurers
- Tailor your quotes online with live price updates
- Buy your chosen health insurance online
- Get free advice from a health insurance specialist