Affordable Health Insurance


Private Medical Insurance is often dismissed by those who are not properly informed, as being too expensive, or out-of-reach financially for them, but the reality can be quite different and the potential savings versus paying direct for private treatment can be huge. Here at Usay Compare, we believe there is a policy to suit every budget, and we are experts at finding it for you.

Policies can vary a great deal as to the extent of the treatment covered. They are flexible and can be tailored to include access to the exact private healthcare package that suits you. This is great for achieving accessible private healthcare and ensuring the best possible value; but it can cause some confusion around how affordable a health insurance policy can actually be and makes it difficult to understand them at-a-glance.

Firstly, it is important to understand exactly what health insurance is. Also known as private medical insurance, or PMI; health insurance is an insurance policy which covers the cost of private healthcare. It does not compete with the NHS; it complements it to achieve reduced waiting times and access to additional treatments and medications. It also makes the whole process more comfortable; with choice over hospitals and consultants and access to private en-suite rooms instead of wards.

Health Insurance Affordability

So what factors affect the affordability of a health insurance policy and how do you find one to suit you? There are lots of variables which affect the cost of a policy. There are basic policies which cover the essentials and much more comprehensive policies which cover ‘nice-to-have’ extras. The affordability of a policy will also depend on your own individual circumstances, such as your age, where you live, or your current health.

Whilst your circumstances are things you are unlikely to be able to change, the level of cover you choose is completely down to you. You can pick and choose the things which are important to you and those which fit your budget.

Outpatient Cover

In-patient treatment is any treatment where the patient occupies a hospital bed overnight or longer – for example someone recovering from surgery. Health insurance core cover usually always includes inpatient treatment as standard. Outpatient treatment, however, refers to things like diagnostic tests, consultations and procedures which do not require a hospital bed. Outpatient treatment can be covered in full, in part (usually up to a pre-determined value), or not at all. The most affordable policies generally Choosing a policy with full outpatient cover will be more expensive than one with just inpatient treatments covered.

Extra Treatments

Some health insurance policies offer a completely holistic approach and can include everything from physiotherapy, osteopath, chiropractic and more. This is great if you are likely to make the most of these sorts of treatments, but a waste if you won’t as they will increase your premiums. Most insurers offer these as optional extras, which are completely flexible about which you may want to be covered for and those you don’t.

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Dentistry & Optician

Some policies can include dental and optician cover within the package which obviously makes their premiums higher. Again, this is usually an optional extra which can be included or not as your own choice.


A policy excess is a chosen figure you agree to pay towards a claim. So, for example if you had treatment worth £5000 and you had a £300 excess on the policy, you would pay £300 towards the treatment and your insurer would pay the £4700.

In some cases, you’re not required to have an excess, so you wouldn’t have anything to pay when you claim. Sometimes insurers can insist upon a ‘compulsory excess’ - the minimum amount they require.

There is also what is known as ‘voluntary excess’. This is an additional amount which you agree you are comfortable to cover in the instance you need to make a claim on the policy. Some excess payments are only due once in a year, whilst others are due per claim. The higher your excess, the more affordable your monthly premiums will be.

Cancer Cover

Being covered for cancer and benefitting from access to breakthrough treatments - not necessarily available on the NHS - is a hugely valued benefit of health insurance. Most health insurance policies include full cancer cover within their core cover, but the level of cover and what’s included can vary and subsequently alter the premium. For example some policies could offer the option of chemotherapy treatment at home, or transport to and from sessions in the hospital.

Mental Health

Most insurers offer some ongoing support for maintaining good mental health as part of their basic core cover. Access to a Digital GP is common, as well as benefits like Vitality’s discounts on mindfulness apps or Bupa’s mental health support team on the phone. However, many insurers also include an optional extra mental health package. AXA’s mental health optional extra for example extends your cover to include mental health treatment as an in-patient or day-patient. Psychiatric treatment, including accommodation tests and drugs would all be included, with no limits on; specialist fees, treatment by psychologists and cognitive-behavioural therapists.


The way your policy is underwritten doesn’t have a huge effect on price but can vary it slightly. Full medical underwriting can sometimes cost less than moratorium. But you will need to disclose your current health when you apply, and if you were to have pre-existing conditions you needed to disclose, this may increase your premiums or mean those conditions aren’t covered.

How you pay

Some insurers will charge less per year if you are able to pay annually instead of monthly, making a policy more affordable still.

If you are looking for the peace of mind that health insurance can provide but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fully comprehensive premium policy, our expert advisers can help you find one to suit you and your budget. They will take all these points into account, as well as your individual requirements, and search all our insurers and policies using our bespoke comparison technology and they’re extensive experience. The process couldn’t be more straightforward, and our service is completely free, so you really do have nothing to lose.

Just fill in the quick quote form below and they will search high and low to find you the best and most affordable policy for you.

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