Enter your information
Buy online or speak to one of our expert advisors
How much does private health insurance cost?
Suffering from any kind of illness can make for a worrying time, with long waiting list times for treatment and other factors adding further stress to an already difficult situation. Putting private health insurance in place can help you avoid lengthy delays in getting the medical assistance you need to put your mind at rest, by providing treatment privately.
Private health insurance provides cover for private medical care so you can avoid lengthy delays for treatment and other stresses. If you are ill or have suffered an injury it allows you to be treated sooner than you would expect, and also has lots of other benefits depending on the type of policy you go for.
For this reason, the cost of putting private health insurance in place varies greatly from policy to policy and depending on your own personal situation.
What factors affect the cost of private health insurance?
Your personal circumstances play a large part in deciding the cost of private health insurance to you.
An insurer might consider:
Your age: The cost of cover may increase with age, as your health is more likely to deteriorate and you are more likely to need to claim the older you get.
Where you live: Private healthcare costs more in some areas of the UK than others, so your location could also play a part in the price of your overall premium. This will be due to the availability of private medical facilities, accommodation and equipment, as well as differing specialists fees, in different areas.
Your lifestyle: Your lifestyle could make premiums higher if you smoke or are overweight. Most applications will take into consideration your BMI, whether or not you smoke, and how much alcohol you drink.
What you decide to cover: The wider the range of medical conditions you are looking to cover the more costly your policy is likely to be. Less essential ‘add ons’ like optical and dental support can also push premium costs up if these are important to you too.
Your claim history: The number of past claims you’ve made on a policy may also impact your premiums when it comes to renewal time.
Excess: Most insurers offer a range of annual excesses which will enable you to tailor your monthly premium alongside the level of contribution makes to you in return when you come to claim.
Private facilities: If you wish to specify which private facilities you use for treatment, this could also push the cost of your premium up. Using locally available facilities is going to be cheaper than London hospitals such as The Cromwell or Harley Street medical professionals, for instance.
What can I do to get the best price of private health insurance for me?
When you apply for private health insurance cover, there are ways you can help shape your policy, and subsequently the overall cost of your premiums:
- Decide what lever of cover you want
Private health insurance policies are often split out into three core levels of cover from basic to mid-range, and then comprehensive.
All three levels of cover tend to cover inpatient treatment in full – this is any treatment where you require a stay in hospital either as a day patient or overnight, but plans usually differ in the level of outpatient treatment provided.
A basic health plan will tend to provide no outpatient treatment or only a limited amount directly relating to any inpatient treatment that has already taken place.
Mid-range private medical insurance cover usually provides a level of outpatient treatment; however, which is often limited to a monetary amount per policy year.
For cover to be defined as comprehensive private health insurance it really should look to cover both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment in full, (such as tests, scans or consultations.)
- Consider whether you want a family/joint/single policy
If you also want to cover your partner and any children you have, your premiums may be higher than if the cover is just for you – though this can also be cheaper than taking out two individual policies. Most policies offer a free child place providing at least two children are on the policy, for example.
- Be specific about your requirements
When you are researching the cost of private health insurance, make sure you are specific about the level of cover you require. Keep the price down by not paying for things you don’t need, such as optical, dental and other kinds of non-essential treatment.
What else could affect the cost of private medical insurance?
If you have a physical or manual job where you’re at risk of suffering muscular or 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 but it will obviously cost more than a basic policy.
If you have a job that requires extensive travel, you might also be able to add international cover to your policy too.
You can also enhance your policy with dental, mental health and optical cover if it’s not included in a standard policy.
Some insurers will also give you discounts if you stay healthy. Aviva's MyHealthCounts scheme, for example, rewards you with up to 15% off your renewal premium if you’re fit and healthy, and is just one of many similar schemes offered by insurers to policy holders actively taking care of themselves.
How do I buy health insurance?
The best way to make sure you’re getting the right policy for your individual needs is to compare health insurance quotes from a number of providers. As the leading health insurance comparison website in the UK, ActiveQuote partners with, GoCompare, Money Supermarket and uSwitch to bring our customers the best cover at the right price.
When you compare 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.
Different policies offer different benefits, so make sure that the level of cover suits your needs. You will also have to disclose any pre-existing and chronic conditions, which might affect the level of cover you’re offered.
Why compare health insurance with ActiveQuote.com?
Buying health insurance can be daunting and we understand how important it is for you to feel confident the cover you have is right for you and your family. Most of our policies are straightforward and can be bought online. We also have a highly trained team ready to take your call and answer any queries you may have in person, and we’re more than happy to talk you through the range of 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