Health insurance: what is covered?

Different health insurance plans offer different benefits. Think about your needs, and choose a policy that offers the right cover for you.

Most policies include cover for:

  • Treatment in private hospitals
  • Private consultations
  • Access to a Digital GP app
  • Physiotherapy for muscle, bone or joint conditions
  • Out-patient care such as scans, tests, x-rays and hospital appointments where you aren’t admitted

When considering the best health insurance policies, you need to think about what is important to you. For example, more comprehensive policies may give some of these additional benefits:

  • In-patient and day-patient treatment is core to all Comprehensive policies. Out-patient treatment can vary a lot
  • NHS hospital cash benefit
  • Parent accommodation

When you compare health insurance, you might need to consider the needs of family members too. Some providers offer discounts if you insure your family

Learn about choosing health insurance

Questions to ask when comparing health insurance cover

1. How quickly can you get seen by a private consultant?

2. Will you need to see your GP first?

3. Does the insurance provider offer access to a GP who can refer you more quickly if you need specialist help?

4. Are there limits to the amount of cover you can claim each year?

5. Does the provider offer ongoing treatment for mental health issues?

6. Will you get a discount on cover if you insure your family?

What’s excluded?

The best health insurance plans will make it really clear what is and isn’t included in your cover.

Most policies don’t cover:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Maternity care
  • Treatment for pre-existing conditions
  • Treatment for long term, or chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes

Learn more about health insurance exclusions.

How does private medical insurance work?

View guide

What does Bupa cover?

Bupa health insurance covers all the things we’ve discussed above but there are also some things we do a bit differently.

One addiction treatment plan only.

Subject to your benefit limits.

††As of December 2020, this analysis is based on an internally conducted review of the consumer health insurance market using publicly available information from the major insurers in the UK consumer health insurance market. Combined, Bupa, AXA Health, Aviva and Vitality hold approximately 90% of the Gross Written Premium income of UK Private Medical Insurance providers. Refers to standard mental health cover when this is included in the selected consumer health insurance product.

See PDF How we compare: Individuals (PDF 1MB)

‡‡Direct Access telephone services are available as long as the symptoms are covered under the policy. If your cover excludes conditions you had before your policy started, we’ll ask you to provide evidence from your GP that your symptoms are not pre-existing for a period of up to two years from policy start date (or five years in the case of mental health) Always call us first to check your eligibility.

†††With Bupa full cancer cover, there are no limits on how long your treatment lasts or how much it costs, for as long as you have Bupa health cover. If you set a maximum benefit limit, either for each policy year or the full length of time that you’re with us, we’ll cover eligible costs until you reach your limit. You must use a hospital or health centre from the Bupa network and a consultant that we recognise and charges within Bupa rates (a fee-assured consultant).

Customers who live in the Isle of Man, or have a Bupa Standard, Bupa Premium or Bupa Your Choice policy, do not have access to Digital GP provided by Babylon, but can access GP24, provided by HealthHero. Some corporate schemes don't include access to Digital GP or GP24, please check your scheme documents or give us a call.

Digital GP services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Digital GP services are provided by Babylon Healthcare Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 09229684. Registered office: 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DD

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.