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What is joint health insurance?

Joint health insurance, also known as couples health insurance, is designed to ease the worry of health problems affecting your and your partner’s lives. The idea behind health insurance is to give you an alternative to the NHS when you need medical attention.

Say you develop a serious back problem and your GP refers you to hospital, but you can’t be seen for at least a couple of weeks. If you have health insurance, you can call your provider to see if you can get a private appointment more quickly. They may also have access to more specialised medical experts or treatments.

With joint health insurance, the policy covers both you and your spouse or partner. You can also opt for family health insurance and add your children to the policy.

How does joint health insurance work?

As with other types of insurance, you pay a monthly premium. Then, if you or your partner needs private medical treatment for something covered by your policy, you can make a claim that could cover the cost of your treatment. As with car and home insurance, you pay an agreed excess when you make a claim – this is your contribution to the cost of treatment.

Is joint health insurance cheaper than two separate policies?

It can sometimes be cheaper to get joint health insurance, although this isn’t guaranteed. It’s a good idea to compare joint health insurance quotes to see what the options will cost you.

One benefit of joint health insurance is that there’s likely to be less administration than there would be with two separate policies. But on the other hand, it may be harder to tailor a joint health insurance policy if the two of you feel you have different needs.

If you’d like advice on the right type of policy for you, you can speak to an expert at Assured Futures. Call the helpline on 0808 141 1334. Or you can compare health insurance quotes now to see your options.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of joint health insurance?

One of the main benefits of joint health insurance is that you only have the one policy. Having one bill to cover both of you and one point of contact for your insurance provider simplifies the process.

You might also find that one joint policy could work out cheaper than buying two separate policies.

What conditions will joint health insurance cover?

A joint health insurance policy doesn’t cover you and your partner for every medical condition and procedure. You should always check the policy terms and conditions for exclusions. For example, health insurance policies might not cover:

  • pre-existing conditions
  • chronic conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis
  • outpatient treatment
  • diagnostic tests.

However, if you do have a pre-existing condition, it’s worth noting that some policies will insure you as long as you’ve had no symptoms for five years.

You might also be able to add extras to your policy, such as:

  • eye care
  • dental care
  • physiotherapy.

The most important thing is to find a policy that suits your needs, at a price you’re happy with.

Will we both need medical checks?

You don’t necessarily need to have a medical exam to take out joint health insurance. However, you will be asked questions about:

  • your lifestyle habits
  • whether you smoke and drink alcohol
  • any pre-existing medical conditions you and your partner may have
  • your current state of health and medical history.

It’s important to be honest when answering questions. Non-disclosure could mean that your policy could be invalidated.

My partner has a pre-existing medical condition. Will this affect my cover?

As you’re both covered under a joint policy, the cost will most likely go up if one of you has a pre-existing medical condition. This is also the case if one of you smokes or is older.

It’s still possible to get a policy that covers pre-existing medical conditions. However, you may find that the pay-out will be restricted.

If you or your partner has a pre-existing condition, compare joint health insurance and separate policies to see which option is cost-effective for you both.

Can I start a policy while my partner is pregnant?

Yes. But be aware that pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions aren’t covered by private health insurance. A few birth complications could be covered, however you should confirm this with your insurance provider.

How much does joint health insurance cost?

We can’t give you a full answer to this question because it depends what you’d like the policy to cover. Most policies will cover essential treatments, but you might prefer a full range of specialist therapies and complementary medicines to be available.

When you compare joint health insurance quotes, you can look at the different options - from basic cover, through to mid-range and comprehensive cover.

How can I reduce the cost of joint health insurance?

  1. Take steps to be healthy. If you exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, you might be able to get a cheaper policy. Some providers offer discounts if you can show that you take steps to be healthy.
  2. Opt for a higher excess. You could reduce the cost of your cover by choosing a higher voluntary excess, thereby lowering your monthly payments. But you’ll need to make sure you can afford to pay the excess should you make a claim.
  3. Exclude certain hospitals. If you restrict the type of hospital where you can get treatment, you could get a discount. For example, you could choose to exclude the more expensive London hospitals.
  4. Choose a cash plan. Another, often cheaper, type of medical insurance is a health cash plan. This could pay you a cash sum when you visit a medical professional, like your optician or dentist. Just check the terms and conditions before you buy to confirm when you’ll receive the payment.

What is joint health insurance first to die?

While you might have come across this term during your research, it doesn’t actually exist. However, there is a type of policy called joint life insurance first to die: this a joint policy that pays out when the first member of a couple passes away. The idea is to support the person left behind with any debts, funeral costs or mortgage payments. But it's not a health insurance plan.

So how do I choose joint health insurance cover?

It’s easy – just get a quote with us. We’ll ask you a few questions, then provide you with a list of joint health insurance quotes. We’ll give you plenty of details about what they offer and the features they include. All you have to do is choose one that’s right for you and your partner.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quote, you’ll need to answer some questions about yourself and your partner, including:

  • your age
  • your work
  • whether you smoke or have smoked in the past 12 months (including nicotine replacement products)
  • any pre-existing conditions
  • level of cover
  • maximum excess you want to pay.

Once we have the information we need, we’ll show you a list of joint health insurance quotes to compare.

Author image Mubina Pirmohamed

What our expert says...

“Some health insurance providers give you the option of the NHS six-week wait list. This means that you’ll only be able to claim for inpatient treatment if the NHS waiting list for that treatment is longer than six weeks. This could help to reduce the cost of your premium as well as protecting your no claims bonus.”

- Mubina Pirmohamed, Insurance expert

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[1] Correct as of March 2024.

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