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In the United Kingdom, while most residents are entitled to free healthcare through the NHS, many opt to supplement their coverage with private medical insurance. This additional insurance covers the costs of treatment from private healthcare providers. In this guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of private health insurance, including what it entails, what it covers, considerations for selecting a plan, and alternative options.

What is Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance, also referred to as private medical insurance, covers some or all of your medical expenses if you choose to receive treatment privately. It grants you the freedom to select the level of care you receive and when and how it's provided. Without it, opting for private treatment can be prohibitively expensive, particularly for serious conditions.

Coverage Offered by Private Health Insurance

The coverage provided by private medical insurance varies depending on the policy and provider. Basic policies typically cover most in-patient treatments, such as tests and surgeries, along with day-care procedures. Some policies extend to out-patient treatments, including consultations with specialists, and may offer a fixed amount for each night spent in an NHS hospital.

What Isn't Covered?

Private health insurance typically does not cover certain treatments, including organ transplants, pre-existing medical conditions, pregnancy and childbirth expenses, cosmetic surgery, injuries from dangerous sports or war, and chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and epilepsy. Mental health, depression, and sports injuries may or may not be covered depending on the policy.

How to Choose a Private Health Insurance Plan

Private medical insurance may be offered as part of employee benefit packages by employers. Alternatively, individuals can purchase it from insurers, brokers, financial advisers, banks, building societies, or even retailers. Experts at WeCovr help people like you find the most suitable plan for free on a daily basis.

Do You Need Private Health Insurance?

The decision to opt for private health insurance is personal. It becomes necessary if you prefer not to wait for NHS treatment, would rather receive treatment in private hospitals, or seek coverage for drugs and treatments unavailable through the NHS. The waiting list for hospital treatment within NHS rose to a record of nearly 7.8 million in September 2023 and continued to grow.

Rising NHS Waiting Lists Spur Demand for Private Health Insurance

The waiting list for hospital treatment rose to a record of nearly 7.8 million in September 2023. The 18-week treatment target has not been met since 2016.
NHS Waiting Lists

Pros and Cons of Private Health Insurance


  • Specialist referrals and second opinions
  • Expedited scans and reduced waiting times for treatment
  • Choice of surgeon and hospital
  • Potential access to specialist drugs and treatments
  • Private room accommodation
  • Quicker access to physiotherapy


  • NHS care may be as good as private care for serious illnesses
  • Exclusion of chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions
  • Premiums may not be always affordable for everyone

Alternative Options

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, private medical insurers have adapted their policies to accommodate changing circumstances, including refunds or premium suspensions. Individuals seeking alternatives to private insurance can consider using savings for medical costs, paying for private consultations, or exploring income protection insurance to safeguard against financial hardship during illness or injury. At WeCovr, we can provide free consultations for people interested in income protection as well as private health insurance.

Five Considerations When Buying Private Health Insurance

  1. Seek professional advice to navigate the complexities of insurance options.
  2. Explore cost-saving measures, such as policies that kick in when NHS treatment delays exceed a certain period.
  3. Assess the feasibility of switching insurers, considering changes in risk profile and medical history.
  4. Provide accurate medical history to avoid claim rejections or policy cancellations.
  5. Scrutinise policy details, including coverage limits, excess options, and exclusions, and seek clarification when necessary.

Other Types of Insurance to Consider

In addition to private health insurance, individuals should prioritise insurance that safeguards against financial hardship during illness or injury. Income protection insurance, for instance, can provide peace of mind by ensuring mortgage payments and bills are covered in such circumstances.
Navigating the realm of private health insurance requires careful consideration of individual needs, financial circumstances, and available options. By understanding the nuances of private medical insurance, individuals can make informed decisions to secure their health and financial well-being.

Why get private health insurance?

Health insurance allows you get back on your feet quicker:

✅ Avoid long NHS waiting lists of many weeks and get treated faster with private medical insurance, which can be really important for a successful recovery
✅ Get early diagnosis so you can get the treatment you need right away done privately
✅ Business owners can save on their tax bill with private medical insurance
✅ You are free to choose your surgeon or hospital to suit your needs by place and time
✅ You often get a private room with better facilities for your treatment or surgery
✅ With private medical health insurance you gain access to advanced treatments not available on the NHS

Benefits offered by private health insurance

Private medical health insurance is an insurance policy that covers the costs of private healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment. You just pay an affordable monthly premium that covers all or some of the cost of treatment for acute conditions that develop after your health insurance policy has begun.

Our mission is to put you in touch with not only the best, but the most suitable private medical health insurance companies. With even more risk on the rise for personal health today, it makes more sense than ever to have private medical health insurance cover.

👍 Many people are very thankful that they had their private medical health insurance cover in place before running into some serious health issues. Private medical health insurance is as important as life insurance for protecting your family's finances.

Important Fact!

Why increasing numbers of individuals and families opt for PMI insurance

👉 We insure our cars, houses, bicycles and even bags! Yet our health is one the most precious things we have.

People buy life, critical illness and private medical health insurance for a variety of reasons – easily one of the most important insurance purchases an individual or family can make in their lifetime. PMI insurance is still seen as a luxury in the UK. Indeed, only around 11% of the population has private medical insurance. However, an increasing number of people are taking out private medical insurance due to a number of reasons:
  • Avoid NHS waiting lists and be treated more quickly
  • Faster diagnosis (comprehensive cover)
  • More access to latest cancer drugs and treatments, some of which may be unavailable on the NHS
  • Greater choice over where and when your treatment takes place
  • Have a private room should you need treatment in hospital
Our award-winning FCA-authorised insurance partner experts are ready to provide you with a FREE Consultation.

👍 Simply get your affordable private medical health insurance plan in place for the necessary peace of mind! Just tap or click the button below to book a FREE call now! 👇

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Any questions?

Do I need Private Medical Insurance if I have Life Insurance?

Life Insurance and Private Medical Insurance cover you for two different purposes, so you will need to assess your needs but may wish to consider holding the two policies. Private Medical Insurance covers you if you get sick or need treatment and want or need to go privately. Life Insurance covers you in the case of death, giving a payout to family/those left behind.

If you prefer to get straight into treatment in the private sector without the long waiting times with the NHS, or you just prefer the private sector anyway, without having to pay it all yourself, then you would need to have Private Medical Insurance to cover it. Sometimes treatments and drugs that are not covered by the NHS can be covered by Private Medical Insurance.

It's free to use WeCovr to find health insurance - we never charge you for quotes. Health or private medical insurance is an investment that can pay for itself the first time you might need medical treatment.

It depends on your personal choice and preferences. If you are prepared to limit yourself to NHS-covered treatments only and can or want to endure long waiting times to get into treatment, then yes, NHS might work for you. Your cover there is free. If you don't want to be exposed to long waiting times or if your treatment is not covered by the NHS, then you would benefit from Private Medical Insurance.

Private Medical Insurance is an important financial product that insurance companies take a lot of care and diligence so speaking to real human beings ensures that they understand your requirements fully so that you can get the right cover.

All of our partners are carefully vetted and authorised by the FCA, which means they are held to the highest standards that the FCA expects from them and treat all customers fairly!

Our insurance partners give us a few pounds when you take out a policy with one of their experts.


Who Are WeCovr?

WeCovr is an insurance specialist for people valuing their peace of mind and a great service.

👍 WeCovr will help you get your life insurance, critical illness insurance, private medical health insurance, over-50s funeral insurance and senior life insurance quote in no time thanks to our wonderful super-friendly award-winning partners ready to assist you every step of the way.

Just a quick and simple form and an easy conversation with our FCA-authorised life insurance, critical illness insurance and private medical insurance partner experts and your valuable insurance policy is in place for that needed peace of mind!