What makes a good health insurance policy for my family?

If you’ve decided to take out private healthcare for your family, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most suitable deal. Here’s what to look for.

Kamran Altaf From the Health team
minute read

Can I get private health insurance?

If you don’t get private medical care through your employer, you can still get it if you pay for your own insurance.


Do I have to take out private health insurance?

Not at all. Only around 10% of UK residents have private healthcare because we’re lucky enough to have the NHS.

But if you get ill and want to be treated privately, you’ll need to have health insurance in place. Otherwise, the bills can soon add up.


How much is private healthcare?

That will depend on several factors, such as your age, your lifestyle and how many people you want to insure. Any underlying health conditions will also be taken into account. For an easy way to compare prices, tell us a little bit about yourself and we can give you a quote.


Does my family need private medical insurance?

That’s up to you. The main benefits of private healthcare are shorter waiting times, potentially nicer facilities and speedier diagnosis. Appointments are usually more convenient too.

But it’s worth remembering that the care and facilities offered by the NHS can be as good as private hospitals, and sometimes better.

Also, children get automatic priority on the NHS, so waiting times will be less of an issue if it’s them you’re worried about. And if you’re concerned about falling ill and not being able to work, it may be more helpful to have sickness insurance.

What are the downsides of private healthcare?

The main downside is, of course, the cost. Premiums are expensive and tend to rise by 3-5% per year – partly because treatment costs are rising, but also because people are living longer.

Also, it might not work for you if you have a chronic condition, since many of these aren’t covered. And if you’re seriously ill with something like cancer or heart failure, the NHS may offer better care.

What does private healthcare cover?

Policies differ between insurance providers, but there are certain features to look for. These include:

  • Inpatient treatment – A hospital bed, along with any tests, scans and surgical procedures.
  • Outpatient treatment – The cost of seeing a consultant or specialist for a diagnosis
  • Hospital accommodation and nursing care

Other add-ons may include accommodation for parents if a child is ill, the use of drugs not yet available on the NHS, or psychiatric treatment. The more options you choose, the more your premium will cost.


What doesn’t private healthcare cover?

There are a few conditions that private healthcare won’t cover. These include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • A&E visits – if you need an ambulance, you’ll still have to call 999
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Organ transplants
  • Injuries resulting from war or dangerous sports
  • Long-term conditions such as epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and hypertension

What should I look out for?

When choosing a health insurance policy, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. These include:

  • Caps on costs. Is there a limit to how much your policy will pay out? It may be that you can only claim a certain amount per year, or per condition.
  • How much is the excess? Your excess is how much you’ll have to pay before your insurance policy pays out. The higher your excess, the lower your premium will likely be, but you’ll need to be sure it’s a figure you can afford.

How easy is it to get private healthcare?

Private family health insurance is now widely available, so you should find it easy to get cover. Simply enter your details and we’ll give you a list of options, starting with the most affordable.

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