How much is private health insurance?


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Having private health insurance is a great way to safeguard your future from unplanned and unwanted medical diagnoses. Having health insurance allows you to access top-rated private medical care at a time of record-high NHS waiting lists, giving you faster treatment in a private facility.

Some buyers may be hesitant about the prospect of private health insurance, in particular due to high costs; the UK is currently seeing soaring energy bills, inflation, and a cost of living crisis. But with hospitals and medical facilities already overrun and understaffed, medical insurance is the best way to ensure optimum care when something goes wrong.

So, how much is private health insurance? In this article, we’re going to be looking at a range of factors that can influence the cost of your premium, including your age, postcode, and the type of cover you’re going for.

How much does private health insurance cost on average?

There’s no one fixed price when it comes to calculating the cost of private health insurance. In general, factors such as your age and postcode will usually be the most influential when determining the final cost.

How is the cost of private health insurance calculated?

The cost of private health insurance is usually calculated by your postcode, age, and the type of cover you’re choosing. Whether your premium is calculated via full medical or moratorium underwriting, the price of your health insurance is likely to be quite similar.

Full medical underwriting

Full medical underwriting involves filling out a medical application given to you by the insurance company and responding to various medical questions. From there, the health insurance company will request any exclusions - if any - before your policy starts. The insurance company may request access to your medical records if they need further information.

Moratorium underwriting

Moratorium underwriting is a form of underwriting that can allow those with certain pre-existing medical conditions to obtain health insurance and eventually receive cover for their condition. If you’ve had symptoms of, been diagnosed with, received advice or taken medication for, or been otherwise treated for a preexisting condition in the last 5 years, these will be excluded from your cover for the first two years.  However, if you go 2 years clear of any symptoms, treatment, medication, or advice for that medical condition, you may be eligible for cover. All insurance providers are different and will have different moratorium policies, so make sure to check each one individually.

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What influences the cost of private health insurance?

So, what factors into the calculation of your health insurance premium? In general, you can expect the following factors to play a role in the overall cost of your policy:


One of the most important determinant factors in calculating your insurance premium will be your age range. As bodies age, they’re more likely to experience illness, develop joint or back pain, and are more likely to develop other chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. For this reason, over 50 health insurance tends to be higher in cost than an insurance policy for someone in their 20s or 30s.

Family Planning

Most health insurance policies won’t cover pre-natal or maternity care, so you won’t be able to add a maternity policy if you’re considering starting a family in the near future. However, some insurance providers may cover any complications that may occur during pregnancy.


While it might seem discriminatory, your postcode can actually play a significant role in the cost of your health insurance. This is because certain postcodes in the UK have a wider range of treatments and care available in comparison to others; this is often referred to in the UK media as the “health postcode lottery.”

Basic plan or comprehensive plan

Your overall costs will also largely depend on the type of cover your opt for. Most health insurance companies offer basic cover policies, while also offering more comprehensive plans that include everything from specialist cancer care to full outpatient treatment. The more comprehensive your plan, the higher your premium is going to be.

Pre-existing conditions

In general, most health insurance companies won’t cover pre existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions refer to illnesses or injuries that are either chronic, or that you developed before obtaining your health insurance. These include mental conditions, diabetes, asthma, allergies, chronic back pain, high blood pressure and more. In short, any continuing illness or disease won’t be covered by your policy. Note that if you develop a chronic condition whilst being on the policy, you will not be covered for the day-to-day maintenance of that condition. However, you may be covered for any acute flare-ups.

What does private health insurance cover?

The illnesses and conditions covered by your health insurance policy will largely depend on the type of cover you choose. Here’s an idea of what you can get on a basic, mid-market, and comprehensive healthcare plan:

Basic Plan

With a basic plan, you’ll typically be covered for all in-patient treatment and diagnostic scans. You may have limits on how many procedures you can have in any one given year, or a financial limit on what you can claim for. As always, it depends on your chosen cover.


Mid-market policies tend to be slightly more comprehensive, with fewer limitations on how often you can make a claim. You’ll be covered for inpatient and outpatient treatment, consultations, non-routine tests, and you’ll also usually be covered for some specialist treatments.

Complete and comprehensive cover

With a comprehensive cover plan, you’ll usually have access to full inpatient care and outpatient care. This means you’ll have access to hospital accommodation, fees covered for specialist care (such as specialist surgeons, consultants) as well as cover for diagnostic tests, including scans, CTs, MRIs and X rays.

Do keep in mind that these are not always going to be reflective of actual policy: the specifics of your cover will always depend on the insurance company and your agreed-to premium.

Is private health insurance worth it?

At a time of soaring utility bills and a cost-of-living crisis in full-swing, it’s a given that not everybody has the extra income to pay for health insurance. However, if you’ve ever considered switching your medical care to a private facility, health insurance is a must. When paying out of pocket, even the simplest private health procedures can cost thousands of pounds, not to mention the extra costs incurred via any necessary inpatient or outpatient care. Having health insurance in place allows you to avoid these high costs while still receiving a high standard of care.

Bottom Line

Overall, the cost of private health insurance will vary from person to person, with factors such as age, postcode, and the type of cover you choose all playing a determinative role in the annual cost of your premium. If you’re planning on getting health insurance in the UK, shopping around for a quote and visiting various providers is the best way to find a plan that suits both your medical and financial needs.

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