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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and medical insurance

If you’ve got a health insurance policy, you might be wondering how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting things. We answer some common questions and concerns. 

If you’ve got a health insurance policy, you might be wondering how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting things. We answer some common questions and concerns. 

Kamran Altaf
From the Life team
4
minute read
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Posted 18 MAY 2020

Coronavirus: a guide to health insurance 

Please note: The information in this article was correct at the time of publication on 18 May 2020 but because of the impact of COVID-19 things are changing rapidly. We aim to keep this page updated. But check with your insurance provider or potential provider directly to confirm any details.

Can I claim on health insurance if I get coronavirus?

You probably won’t need to, as the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 recover quite quickly and while they might feel very unwell, won’t always need to go to hospital. However, you should contact your provider to check if you wish to make a claim. If you do need treatment because of coronavirus, you should call 111 or 999, depending on the situation. Then follow the guidance you’re given about what you should do.  

What if I have a different health issue during the COVID-19 pandemic – will my insurance cover me?

Health insurance providers are continuing to give guidance and support to their customers, particularly to help people who are reluctant to go out to access healthcare. For example, some providers are offering:

  • remote consultations both for medical and mental health issues 
  • the opportunity to see a GP from home via a digital provider 
  • communication with a nurse 
  • access to phone services for mental wellbeing 

If you have a current health problem and you’re feeling worried, check with your provider to see what they’re offering. Start by looking at their websites for further guidance. 

Can I still get an NHS cash benefit payment if I go into hospital with COVID-19 or something else?

Yes, you can still get an NHS cash benefit payment. All health insurers pay the NHS benefit to customers unfortunate enough to have Covid-19 and who need hospital admittance – or any other overnight NHS hospital admission.

Many providers have increased the amount they’re paying during the pandemic. The benefit amount ranges from £100 to £500 per night, depending on the insurer. The £500 maximum is enhanced during this time, with a limit ranging from £2,000 to £10,000 for the length of the policy.

If you’re in a position to claim, check with your provider to see what limits you can claim for your particular policy. 

I heard that private hospitals are helping the NHS in England. What are they doing?

NHS England has agreed a deal with the nation’s independent hospitals to expand its capacity. 
The deal, which is the first of its kind, includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England, nearly 1,200 more ventilators, more than 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff. In London, for example, this includes over 2,000 hospital beds, and more than 250 operating theatres and critical care beds. 
Under the agreement, the independent sector will reallocate almost all of its entire national hospital capacity to the NHS.

Private hospitals will only be reimbursed costs – meaning that no profit will be made for doing so.

Because of this move to help the NHS, some providers are warning that they’re reviewing all planned procedures and consultations over the coming months. The provider or hospital will contact any patients where the consultant feels it’s necessary to reschedule an appointment to a later date. Patient safety will, of course, be what drives these decisions.

See Government health advice for dealing with COVID-19

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