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What is Private Health Insurance UK ?

Private health insurance in the UK provides cover for medical expenses incurred by the policyholder, supplementing the publicly funded National Health Service (NHS).

Some key aspects:

  • It pays for private treatment by specialists, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. This expands options beyond just the NHS.
  • Covers all or some costs like private hospital stays, surgeries, diagnostic tests, and prescription drugs.
  • Helps pay for services that may involve long NHS waiting lists or aren’t fully covered by the NHS like dentistry, optometry, mental healthcare, and physiotherapy.
  • Offered by private UK insurance companies as an addition to, not a replacement for, NHS coverage which all UK residents have access to.
  • Premiums are paid by individuals, families or employers directly to the insurance provider.
  • Having private cover can allow faster diagnoses, treatment flexibility, and wider provider choice.
Private Health Insurance Key man Insurance UK

One thing a lot of people  overlook is the fact that private health
insurance can give you exclusive access to specific treatments and drugs
that are not necessarily available on the NHS.

How Much Does It Private Health Insurance Cost UK

The cost of private health insurance in the UK can vary greatly depending on the level of coverage, insurer, and factors like age and pre-existing conditions. Here are some examples of average annual premiums:

  • For basic private coverage like specialist consultations and diagnostics only, an individual may pay £600-£1,000 per year.
  • For hospital-only coverage excluding outpatient care, annual premiums may range from £1,200-£2,500 for an individual.
  • For comprehensive coverage including inpatient, outpatient, therapies, tests, mental health support, and more, expect premiums from £2,000-£5,000 annually.
  • Family policies covering a spouse and dependents are typically £3,000-£7,500 per year for comprehensive private coverage.
  • Older policyholders may pay up to 50% more, with premiums rising as you age. Those with pre-existing conditions also face higher rates.
  • Adding dental, optical, or maternity benefits can increase costs by 20-40% above base policy pricing.
  • Choosing higher excess payments per claim can reduce premiums substantially.
  • Premiums may be paid annually or monthly, with monthly instalments costing 5-10% more overall.

These examples demonstrate the wide range of premium costs for UK private health insurance based on desired coverage levels and personal factors. Policies can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds annually.

The Various Options To Consider

Private health insurance policies in the UK typically offer a range of options and cover levels to cater to individual’s healthcare needs. Here are some common cover options within private health insurance policies:

  1. Inpatient Treatment: This is the core component of most health insurance policies, covering the cost of hospitalization, surgical procedures, and inpatient care.

  2. Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient cover includes consultations with specialists, diagnostic tests, and minor treatments that don’t require hospital admission.

  3. Cancer Cover: Many policies offer comprehensive coverage for cancer diagnosis and treatment, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.

  4. Mental Health Cover: Some policies include mental health services, covering therapy sessions, counseling, and treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety.

  5. Maternity Cover: This option provides coverage for antenatal and postnatal care, childbirth, and related medical services. It may include both routine and emergency procedures.

  6. Chronic Condition Cover: Some policies offer coverage for the management and treatment of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or asthma.

  7. Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation: Coverage for physiotherapy, rehabilitation programs, and post-surgery recovery services.

  8. Dental and Optical Cover: These options include coverage for routine dental check-ups, fillings, and optical services like eye exams and the cost of corrective lenses.

  9. Alternative Therapies: Certain policies cover alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and osteopathy.

  10. Complementary Medicine: Coverage for complementary treatments like homeopathy and herbal medicine.

  11. Emergency Helplines: Some policies offer access to 24/7 medical helplines for medical advice and guidance.

  12. Health and Wellness Services: Coverage for health assessments, wellness checks, and preventive measures like vaccinations and screenings.

  13. Travel Insurance: Some policies provide coverage for medical emergencies while traveling abroad.

  14. Home Nursing: This option covers the cost of nursing care at home, often after a hospital stay.

  15. Second Medical Opinion: Access to a second opinion from a specialist to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

How Does Private Health Insurance Work In The UK?

Private health insurance in the UK is your express lane to healthcare, offering swift access and tailored services. While the National Health Service (NHS) is the cornerstone of healthcare, private insurance acts as your VIP pass, giving you control and speed when it comes to medical needs.

Here’s how it works: you pay a monthly premium, and in return, you gain access to private medical facilities, specialist consultations, and treatments. The cost varies depending on factors like your age, health history, and the extent of coverage. This means you can skip NHS waiting lists for elective surgeries, diagnostic tests, and specialized care.

However, it’s vital to understand that private health insurance doesn’t replace the NHS; it complements it. The NHS still provides essential and emergency care for all UK residents. Private insurance simply empowers you to take the reins of your non-urgent healthcare, offering shorter waiting times and a broader network of specialists. In a nutshell, private health insurance ensures that your health is always a priority, without relying solely on the NHS.

When Sophie’s NHS referral for a crucial MRI scan was met with a six-month waiting time, her private health insurance stepped in. She had the scan within a week, leading to an early diagnosis of a treatable condition, potentially saving her life.

What Are The Benefits of Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance in the UK offers a valuable complement to the National Health Service (NHS). It provides individuals with a range of benefits, effectively addressing some of the shortcomings of the NHS, particularly concerning waiting times. Here are the key advantages of private health insurance:

 

  • Reduced Waiting Times: Private health insurance offers quicker access to medical services, bypassing the often lengthy NHS waiting lists for consultations, tests, and surgeries.
  • Choice of Specialists: Policyholders can choose from a wide network of specialists and consultants, allowing them to tailor their healthcare to their specific needs.
  • Prompt Diagnosis: Private healthcare can expedite the diagnostic process, leading to quicker identification of medical issues and treatment plans.
  • Access to Exclusive Facilities: Private insurance grants access to private hospitals and cutting-edge medical facilities, ensuring a comfortable and modern healthcare experience.
  • Enhanced Amenities: Private health facilities often offer more comfortable, private rooms, and a higher standard of care.
  • Cover for Non-NHS Treatments: Private insurance covers elective procedures, alternative therapies, and treatments that the NHS may not provide.
  • Convenience: Policyholders can schedule medical appointments at their convenience, accommodating their busy lives and work commitments.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you have a private health insurance policy in place can provide peace of mind and a sense of control over your healthcare.
  •  

Private health insurance, with its array of benefits, complements the NHS by providing timely, personalized care and mitigating the challenges posed by waiting lists.

John’s private health insurance enabled him to skip a six-month NHS waiting list for knee surgery. He got the procedure done in a matter of weeks, allowing him to return to an active life and work sooner.

The Benefits Of Corporate Health Insurance

Corporate health insurance is a cornerstone of modern workplace benefits, demonstrating a company’s dedication to its employees’ welfare and financial security. This vital employee perk not only safeguards the physical and mental well-being of the workforce but also enhances productivity and job satisfaction. In this section, we will explore the myriad advantages that come with corporate health insurance, underscoring how it contributes to a healthier, happier, and more resilient workforce.

A healthier workforce is a happier and more productive one – Choosing employee benefits with care is of huge importance. If you are to retain your best talent, you need to ensure that you offer benefits that outshine the competition. There is no denying that corporate health insurance is at the top of the list. This is especially the case if you offer business health insurance that covers your employees family members as well. Plus, is not just about making your employees happy, as there are a number of different benefits that you will experience in the workplace if you decide to offer private medical insurance to your workforce. So, let’s take a look at the different benefits of private health insurance for employees in further detail

Recruitment and retention – As touched upon, offering private medical insurance is one of the best ways to hold onto your best talent at your business. There is no denying that your employees are the most important asset to your business. How would you cope if you were to lose your greatest talent to the competition? This is something that a lot of business owners are experiencing because they are not in tune with what is important to their members of staff. Falling only behind the pension, health insurance is deemed the second most popular employee benefit. Therefore, not only can it help you when it comes to holding onto your top talent but it also plays a significant role in attracting the most promising candidates to your business. Private health insurance for small business owners can give your company a competitive edge while also ensuring that the work environment is a happy one whereby all of your employees feel valued.

Reduced number of absences – If there is one thing that hurts productivity at any business it is a high number of absences. By introducing health insurance, you are encouraging your employees to live a healthy lifestyle. They will be more likely to attend routine checkups and to get their symptoms checked out as soon as possible, rather than leaving it to get worse and worse.

Enhanced productivity – The two company health insurance benefits that have been mentioned above come together to ensure that productivity levels are high at your business. Research indicates that healthy businesses are six days a year more productive per employee when compared with unhealthy businesses. There are many different ways that private medical insurance can help to make your workforce more productive. Of course, the most obvious way that this happens is because your workforce is going to be healthier, and when someone is healthy, they are able to work at a higher level. However, you also need to consider the fact that by introducing this type of insurance policy, you are making your employees feel valued. This, in turn, increases their loyalty to you and enhances the overall feeling in the workplace. When you have a happy and healthy workforce, you are going to have a productive workforce.

Improved engagement levels – Aside from this, research also indicates that three times as many healthy workers participate in workplace wellness programs when compared with unhealthy employees. Therefore, by offering private medical insurance, you can also expect to improve the engagement levels at your business.

 

 

Corporate Health FAQ

Is Corporate Health Insurance classed as a P11D Benefit?

In the United Kingdom, a corporate health insurance policy is generally considered a taxable benefit and must be reported on a P11D form if it is provided to an employee as part of their employment package. The value of the benefit is calculated based on the cost of the policy, and the employee may be required to pay tax on the value of the benefit.

 

How Much Does Corporate Health Insurance Cost?

The cost of UK corporate health insurance can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the size of the business, the type of policy, the level of coverage, and the health of the employees.

In general, the cost of UK corporate health insurance can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds per employee per year. Some policies may have a lower premium but higher out-of-pocket costs, while others may have a higher premium but cover a larger portion of medical expenses.

To get a more accurate estimate of the cost of a UK corporate health insurance for your business, it’s best to obtain quotes from different providers and compare the policy features and pricing. Additionally, some insurance providers may offer customized plans based on the specific needs and budget of your business.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the corporate health insurance policy only covers employees for work-related injuries or illnesses, it may not be considered a taxable benefit. Additionally, if the policy is available to all employees on the same terms, it may not be considered a taxable benefit.

It’s important for employers to understand the tax implications of providing a corporate health insurance policy to their employees and to properly report any taxable benefits on P11D forms. Employers may also want to consult with a tax professional or accountant to ensure compliance with relevant tax laws and regulations.

 

Who Are The Best UK Corporate Health Insurance Providers?

Some of the top corporate health insurance providers in the UK for 2023, according to industry publications and customer reviews, include:

AXA Health: AXA Health offers a range of corporate health insurance plans, including options for small businesses, large organizations, and international coverage.

Aviva Health: Aviva Health offers a range of corporate health insurance plans, including options for businesses of all sizes, as well as specialized coverage for certain industries.

Bupa: Bupa offers a range of corporate health insurance plans, including options for small businesses, large organizations, and international coverage.

VitalityHealth: VitalityHealth offers a range of corporate health insurance plans, including options for small businesses, large organizations, and international coverage. They also offer a wellness program that incentivizes healthy behaviour.

Cigna: Cigna offers a range of corporate health insurance plans, including options for small businesses, large organizations, and international coverage. They also offer specialized coverage for expatriate employees.

It’s important to carefully review the policy terms and conditions and compare different corporate health insurance providers to find the one that best meets the needs of your business and employees.

For more information and an in-depth guide on health insurance providers please check out our blog, What Is The Best Health Insurance

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Further Reading

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Relevant life insurance is a form of insurance that provides financial protection for an individual.

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