Child health insurance

  • Avoid NHS waiting lists and access treatment quicker
  • Enjoy private rooms and top quality healthcare from leading UK consultants
  • Enjoy a whole year of Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies*
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What is private health insurance for children?

Child health insurance is designed to cover the cost of the treatment needed, should your child become ill. Private health insurance isn’t a replacement for the NHS – your child still has the right to free NHS treatment.

While plans differ, having child health insurance could mean:

  • faster access to medical care for your child
  • access to treatments and tests that aren’t available on the NHS
  • treatment in comfortable private hospitals and clinics
  • support and accommodation for you while your child is being treated

Child health insurance is not a replacement for NHS care, and certainly doesn’t stop you from using NHS services for free – it just means that in certain situations your child is covered for private medical care.

Reducing your list of chosen hospitals and upping your excess could help lower your premium.

Our partners at Assured Futures can offer expert advice to help you find the right level of cover for your child’s care.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of child health insurance policies are there?

There are various kinds of child health insurance – it’s quite a complex area. Child health insurance is generally available for children aged up to 18 or potentially 24 if in full-time education.  Here are a few of the options you might have:

  1. Inpatient-only plans. These only cover your child for treatment in a hospital.
  2. Plans that include outpatient treatment. These more comprehensive plans will also cover private care for your child as an outpatient.
  3. Child health cash plans. If your child visits a dentist or other medical professional, you can get a cash sum towards the cost of the visit or treatment

With all plans, the care your child is covered for will have conditions and limits. Be sure to consider carefully before you buy and check the T&Cs.

Can I add extra cover to my child’s health insurance policy?

Yes, if a certain type of treatment isn’t already included in your child’s health insurance policy, you might be able to add it for an extra cost.

For example:

  • Dental care
  • Eye care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Homeopathy
  • Mental health support

What doesn’t child health insurance cover?

Before you buy health insurance for your child, check the terms and conditions for any exclusions. For example, many policies typically exclude cover for:

  • Chronic conditions
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Organ transplants
  • Injuries caused by dangerous sports or activities
  • Hearing aids
  • Mobility aids
  • Cosmetic treatment

How much does child health insurance cost?

Because policies vary so much in terms of what they cover, it’s hard to give an exact figure. The amount you’ll pay can also depend on how old your child is, which area of the UK you live in and the level of cover you want.

But policies don’t have to be expensive. Our comparison service will help you find deals from a range of providers, allowing you to compare prices and features to find the right deal. If you need help in understanding the different choices available, please call 0808 141 1244 to speak to a friendly adviser who can talk you through your options.

You could also try to get a cheaper child health insurance policy by:

  • Paying a higher excess – this will bring down the cost of the premium, just make sure you can afford to pay the excess if you need to make a claim.
  • Reducing your chosen hospital list – cutting down your choice of private hospitals might lower your premium or get you a discount.
  • Adding a ‘six-week clause’ – some policies only let you claim if you can’t get the same treatment on the NHS within six weeks. This could help you get a cheaper premium.

Does my child need private healthcare?

With a private healthcare plan, your child will be entitled to a greater number of diagnosis and treatment options. They’ll be able to receive specialist treatments that are unavailable through the NHS, while also having access to private hospitals and facilities that allow you to shortcut lengthy waiting lists. Some private facilities also include accommodation for family members, removing the stress of separation when your child needs care.

Private healthcare for children offers you peace of mind in the knowledge that, should something happen, your child will be looked after by medical experts in a timely manner. With private health insurance for children, your child will be able to benefit from these facilities and treatment options without the unexpected cost. Don’t worry though, even with a private healthcare plan, your child will still be entitled to receive free NHS care.

What else do I need to know about health insurance for children?

Here are some of the key things to be aware of when choosing a policy:

You can’t go private for everything. For example, accident and emergency treatments aren’t covered – though, of course, the NHS will still provide the care your child needs.

Pre-existing conditions are usually excluded. For example, if your child has asthma when you buy the policy, asthma treatments won’t usually be covered.

You child can usually only use certain hospitals and treatment centres. When you buy a policy, you will typically choose a list of hospitals and treatment centres where your child will be covered. The broader the selection, the higher your premium will be.

Insurance providers set maximum amounts for procedures. If you choose a specialist whose charges are higher than the limit for a particular procedure, you’ll have to cover the difference in cost.

Your child might not always be treated in a private hospital. Depending on the policy you choose, your child may be put in a private patient unit within an NHS hospital, or end up on an NHS ward rather than in a private room.

One way to get protection for your child is to buy a family health insurance policy. You can buy a family policy and add your children on, so everyone is covered.

If your employer offers medical insurance as an employee benefit, you may find also that you can add your child or partner to that policy for an extra cost, alternatively you may wish to insure them separately.

Find out more about family health insurance.

How to compare child health insurance quotes

You can get a quote for just your child/children or a family health insurance policy that includes your children and/or your partner using our comparison tool.

Mubina Pirmohamed

Insurance expert

What our expert says

Have a good think about the level of cover you want for your child before making a decision. There might be things you want to exclude like illnesses and conditions covered by the NHS. This might also help lower your premium. Remember, your private health insurance is designed to work alongside the NHS, so you can get the right care for your child from both healthcare systems.

What do I need to get a quote?

Once you’re ready to get a quote, we’ll need a few details about you and your child, including:

  • Your child’s age
  • Any pre-existing conditions
  • Type of cover you want
  • Any extra cover you want to add
  • Maximum excess
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^For the period 1st June to 31st August 2021, 8944 people responded to the recommend question. 8,226 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 92.0% are likely to recommend.

**Correct as of March, 2022.

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