Medical Insurance FAQ
Purchasing private medical insurance can be a complicated process, and there are some questions which are asked time and time again. Here, ActiveQuote answers some of the most common queries about private medical insurance to help make the buying process a little bit easier.
How does private medical insurance work?
Health insurance premiums are paid on a yearly, quarterly or monthly basis, and give you the choice of going private if you don’t want to be treated on the NHS.
What types of cover are available to me?
Traditionally, health insurers offer comprehensive, standard and budget policies. However, many insurers are moving away from this approach and offering a ‘pick-and-mix’ scheme. This usually includes a core cover policy, supplemented by a choice of additional options.
ActiveQuote will show you all the options available from each insurer so you can easily get health insurance quotes tailored to your needs and budget.
How can I save money on my health insurance policy?
With health insurance, your premiums will directly affect your level of cover. But there are ways to save money on your health insurance policy without sacrificing your policy. These include:
- Excess: reduce the premium by volunteering to pay the first part of any claim up to a fixed number of pounds.
- Co-payment: reduce the premium by volunteering to pay a percentage of any claim
- Six week wait: If the NHS can provide treatment within six weeks, you will be treated on the NHS. If not, you will go private straight away.
- Reduced hospital cover: don't pay extra for hospitals that you don't need.
Will my premiums increase as I get older?
Yes, your premiums will increase with age. This is because the older you get, the more likely you are to need to make a claim on your policy. The increase will depend on your insurer and your policy. Increases in premium are also attributed to the rise in cost of medical procedures and changes in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT).
Whilst it is impossible to predict what your premium will be in the future, rest assured that an experienced broker like ActiveQuote Health Ltd. will always review your policy every year to ensure you're getting the best cover for the best price.
Will I be covered for illnesses I’ve had in the past?
Health insurers will not cover you for pre-existing conditions. However, Moratorium plans could provide cover for these conditions in the future. Our guide to pre-existing conditions explains more about how this works.
Will health insurance cover me for cancer treatment?
Only patients with comprehensive cancer cover will have access to certain treatments on their policy, like re-constructive surgery, stem cell transplantation, biological therapies and hormone therapies. Patients with basic cancer cover may only be able to claim up to a certain annual limit, such as £30,000.
ActiveQuote will show you the full details of each health insurance policy, allow you to tailor your quotes online with instant updates to the price, and adapt your cancer cover to your needs and budget.
Will health insurance cover pregnancy?
Since pregnancy is not considered an illness, health insurance does not cover hospital treatment for normal pregnancy and childbirth. If you want to be treated privately for a normal pregnancy, you would have to pay for the cost yourself.
However, women who already have health insurance for a certain qualifying period could be covered for complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
Will I be covered for a chronic condition?
If the chronic condition develops after the start of the policy, cover will be provided to stabilise the condition. Our guide to chronic conditions explains more about how this works.
Is there anything health insurance will not cover?
There are some things that health insurance will not cover the cost of, such as voluntary medical treatment. ActiveQuote provide the full details of each policy, and give you the option to add additional cover.
If you have a concern about a particular medical condition, browse our free medical condition database for useful tips about what to look for in a policy.
Can I choose the hospital I am treated in?
One of the many benefits of private health insurance is the wide range of hospitals you can choose to be treated in.
However, some premium London hospitals require you to have additional cover. You can browse our free hospital database to see which policy covers your chosen hospital.
How do I make a health insurance claim?
Making a health insurance claim is easier than you might think. It takes just a few simple steps to arrange your private healthcare.
- If you suspect something is wrong, visit your GP, who will decide whether you need to be referred to a specialist.
- Let your health insurance company know that you want to make a claim, and they will confirm the details of your condition and treatment.
- Finally, make an appointment with your specialist, who will arrange payment directly with your insurer.
If you buy a policy through a broker like ActiveQuote, it is possible they will be able to assist you with any claims in the future if the insurers are reluctant to pay out.
What happens if I have a medical emergency?
Medical emergencies are not covered by health insurance. If you require emergency care, you will be treated on the NHS in Accident and Emergency.
After you are stabilised, you will be transferred to a private ward in an NHS hospital or to a private hospital to be treated.
Can I switch to another policy without losing cover?
Yes, you can switch to another insurer on a Switch/CPME (continuing personal medical exclusion) basis. The insurance company will transfer your underwriting onto your new policy, meaning they will continue to cover conditions that arose since you took out your old policy.
If you still have questions about private medical insurance, compare health insurance policies online now, or call one of our advisors for free on 0800 862 0373.