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Health insurance gives you access to private consultancy at a hospital of your choice, at a time that suits you and your family. GoCompare helps you compare health insurance policies, get a variety of quotes and find the cover that supports your ongoing health and wellbeing.Amanda Bathory, health insurance editor
Are you looking for health insurance cover?
If injury or illness befalls you, health insurance covers private treatment with preferred doctors, consultants, hospitals and clinics, for pre-agreed conditions and ailments.
Insurers sometimes refer to health insurance as ‘private medical insurance’, or ‘PMI’, but in most cases, the product is the same, although what’s covered will vary from policy to policy.
What’s included in health insurance?
The benefits will vary from policy to policy, but the right one for you will offer you the most flexibility and support when you’re in need.
Look out for these benefits:
- In-patient treatments, such as routine health checks, tests and surgery
- Out-patient care, such as overnight stays
- Cash benefit if private treatment takes place in an NHS ward or facility
- The use of diagnostic equipment
- Cost of appointments, plus the consultant's time
- Prosthetics and wigs
But what's covered will vary from policy to policy, so carefully compare the benefits and exclusions to find the right one for you.
Do I need health insurance?
Health insurance can work in tandem with the free care provided by the NHS, which all UK citizens are entitled to, to give patients control over how they’re treated.
Self-employed workers, or those with debilitating conditions that don’t receive statutory sick pay, may benefit from health insurance because it fast-tracks treatment.
Some insurers also offer a medical advice phone line so you have the option to speak to a nurse.
Will health insurance cover every illness and injury?
If you're taken ill with a new condition, or have an accident, the benefits of health insurance will usually help you. If you have a pre-existing condition, getting affordable cover can be tricky, but it’s not impossible if you shop around.
Changing providers mid- or following treatment can also be problematic, as the illness or injury may become a pre-existing condition in the eyes of your new insurer.
Bear in mind that health insurance is very different to a healthcare cash plan, which reimburses appointments and certain treatments at the dentist, optician or physio.
Ready to get a health insurance quote?
We’ll help you at each step, but have this information to hand:
- Your name, age and address
- If you smoke, and if you’ve quit, how long ago
- If you’d like to add a partner or children to the policy
Your quotes are based on your answers, so be honest and accurate, as inaccuracies could invalidate your policy.
Which health insurer should I pick?
On the pulse
- As of November 2015, there were over 3.3 million people on NHS England waiting lists
- According to PwC, sick leave costs UK businesses £29 billion a year
GoCompare helps you compare policies from well-known and trusted healthcare insurers, including AXA PPP, Aviva, Simply Health, PruHealth and many more.
To make your decision, you can compare the price, features and benefits of each health insurance policy, side-by-side, and get up close and personal with insurer and package in the ‘key facts’.
When you feel confident with your choice you can buy online, or we’ll give you a number to call the insurer about your chosen product.
Need to know more about health insurance?
You’ll find a plethora of helpful guides in our Health insurance first aid kit including cancer and heart disease, family health insurance, disability care, long-term care and health care for self-employed workers.
We've investigated how smoking and vaping may affect your eligibility, and how your mental health can affect a premium.
And as dreary as they sound, medical history declarations, moratoriums, out-patient treatment, in-patient treatment, day-patient treatment, pre-existing conditions and excesses, are all key parts of a health insurance quote, so we’ll help you get to grips with those, too.