Who do you need health insurance for?
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The cost of your health insurance depends on several factors including:
- Your age,
- Where you live,
- Whether you smoke,
- The type of policy you choose.
Your health insurance policy is unique to you and the cost will also depend on the level of cover you want. For example, you can choose the level of excess you want to pay. You can also choose how much allowance you will have for some types of treatments or appointments.
Before you take out health insurance, it’s important to understand how it works. Health insurance covers you for conditions that start after your policy has begun.
You will usually pay a monthly fee. Then you can make claims for any private healthcare you receive if it is covered by your policy.
One of the main benefits of private healthcare is that you’ll often get access to treatment faster than on the NHS. Health insurance may also be able to get you access to new drugs or specialist treatments.
Most health insurance covers you if you need to stay in a private hospital for the day or overnight. Some policies will also cover out-patient treatment. This is where you don’t stay in hospital for the day or overnight. You might have scans, tests, or hospital appointments as an out-patient.
Bupa covers more mental health conditions than any other UK insurer†. Many of our policies offer a digital GP service. And many of our customers can get Direct Access to specialists. This means they can call us about some symptoms as soon as they are worried, before they speak to a GP.
The best policies are clear about their exclusions. Most don’t cover emergency treatment, maternity care or cosmetic surgery. Policies usually don’t cover treatment for ongoing conditions like arthritis or asthma. They also don’t cover conditions that you had before your cover began.
Your health insurance policy will begin from the moment you’ve chosen your policy and set up your Direct Debit. Once you’re set up. we’ll send you your cover documents. Here you’ll find details of what is and isn’t covered. All our policies are different, so it’s important to check yours thoroughly.
An excess is the amount you’ll have to pay towards treatment when you make a claim.
The excess you choose can have a big impact on the cost of your health cover. So, it’s important to understand how it works.
If you choose to have a higher excess, your policy could be cheaper. But, if you do choose a higher excess, you’ll have to contribute more when you make a claim.
With our health cover, your excess is payable just once per policy year.
For example, imagine your excess is £250. If you made a claim for £500 in the first month of your policy year, you would pay £250 towards this. We would pay the remaining £250. After this, you wouldn’t need to pay excess again until you started a new policy year.
Not every private health insurance policy will have the same kind of excess, so it’s important to consider all the excess options available. Both of our health insurance policies, Treatment and Care and Comprehensive offer flexible excess options. You can choose £0, £100, £150, £200, £250 or £500.
There are a few ways to lower the cost of your health insurance cover. It’s important to remember that a cheaper plan might not provide all the cover you need.
You could choose a higher excess to reduce the monthly cost of your health insurance. However, this would mean that you would have to pay more if you needed treatment. Some health insurance comes with savings if you’re a couple or if you insure your family.
Several factors influence the cost of your health insurance. Lifestyle choices, like smoking for example, may increase your monthly premium. So, if you choose to stop smoking, it’s important to tell us, as this may reduce the cost of your cover.
Health insurance is designed to cover conditions that develop after your cover has started. This means you wouldn’t be covered for conditions you had before your cover started. Insurers often call these pre-existing conditions.
You also wouldn’t be covered for issues that relate to your pre-existing conditions. Although in some circumstances your insurer may cover some symptoms. Always ask your insurer if you need help understanding what your policy covers.
When you take out health insurance with us, we’ll ask you about your medical history. We’ll then be able to confirm what your policy will and won’t cover. It's important to understand what won’t be covered on your policy.
Your policy also may not cover any ongoing or incurable conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis. Insurers often call these chronic conditions.
A chronic condition is a condition that:
- Needs ongoing or long-term monitoring through consultations, examinations, check-ups and/or tests
- Needs ongoing or long-term control or relief of symptoms
- Has no known cure
- Comes back or is likely to come back
- Continues indefinitely
- Requires your rehabilitation or for you to be specially trained to cope with it
Depending on your policy, you may be able to claim for chronic condition flare-ups. Always check with your insurer if you’re unsure whether you’re covered.
No – there isn’t an age limit for taking out health insurance cover. To be fair to everyone, age is one of the factors we use to calculate the cost of your policy.
The benefits of taking out health insurance when you get older are the same as with any age.
Whatever your age, if you are looking to take out health insurance, simply get a quote online.
It’s important to compare health insurance policies before you decide on the right one for you. You can choose between individual, couples or family health insurance.
The best health insurance providers will make it clear what’s available and what isn’t, to help you decide on the best policy. It’s important to look at exactly what’s covered, and what isn’t, before you take out health insurance.
You can compare health insurance planson our website, or you can call us on 0808 115 4494 to find out what we can offer you. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
Yes – you can add your partner (providing you both live at the same address) or dependents onto your policy at any time.
If you’d like to add someone onto your Bupa health insurance policy, call us on 0808 115 3157. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
†As of September 2023, this comparison to other products in the market is based on Bupa’s and Defaqto’s interpretation of the differences between Bupa By You health insurance and other health insurance products offering mental health cover. The comparison excludes any special offers or promotions which may temporarily alter the cover offered. Cover comparison information is for personal use and guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation by either Bupa or Defaqto about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of the comparison. Neither party accepts any liability for errors, omissions, direct or consequential loss in relation to this comparison.
Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.
Page last reviewed: 22/06/23