Senior Health Insurance, covers those in retirement, for private medical treatment for acute conditions. It allows you the peace of mind that, should you need it, you will have access to medical treatment in private hospitals and skip the NHS waiting lists.

It allows affordable access to the latest and best treatments and medicines, with more flexibility and in superior comfort. Later in life we are all more likely to need more medical treatment and we therefore find a lot of our clients are seniors. 


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What is Senior Health Insurance?

Also known as Private Medical Insurance (or PMI), individual health insurance is an insurance policy which covers you for private medical treatment, should you need it. When you take out a policy, you and the insurer agree that should you fall ill or suffer an injury, the policy will attempt to return you to the same level of health you had when you took it out.

Health Insurance has many benefits – the key being private treatment for covered conditions, rather than waiting weeks or months on the NHS. It doesn’t pay out a lump sum – instead it usually pays directly for diagnostics and treatment at a private hospital.

What Makes up a Health Insurance Policy? 

A senior Health Insurance policy is usually made up of two key elements; core cover, which comes as standard, and added-extras which cost more, but enhance your cover. Policies are very flexible and only need include the things which are important to you. This makes the options endless and it can become confusing. Our experts are on the end of the phone locally if you would like to chat through your options. 

Core Cover 

Core cover is the basis of any policy; what's included, before you add any optional extras. This can vary between policies, but will often include the following:

Benefit Description
In-patient Cover

Cover for when you’re admitted to hospital and stay overnight. Cover includes hospital accommodation charges, specialist fees such as consultants, surgeons and anaesthetists, diagnostic tests and scans such as CT, PET or MRI, plus X-rays or physiological tests. Some insurers also offer additional benefits, such as physiotherapy, as part of their in-patient cover.

Day-patient Cover Covers you when you’re admitted to hospital and discharged the same day and includes the same benefits as in-patient cover.
Out-patient cover

Covers you when you visit a hospital and return home the same day without being admitted – in other words, you’re not given a hospital bed. Out-patient cover includes the cost of consultations, diagnostic scans/tests and some minor surgical procedures. Some insurers also include physiotherapy in their out-patient cover.

You can choose to have a fully comprehensive option which includes out-patient cover in full, remove this cover or limit it. If you choose to limit your outpatient cover, there are usually a range of limits you can set, usually from £500 to £1,500.

Cancer Cover Most private medical insurance policies will offer cancer cover within their core cover. It is one of the most valued benefits of private medical insurance policies.
Digital GPs and health support Most policies offer Digital GPs and telephone support within their core cover offering, to allow you access to prompt and convenient health advice.

Optional Extras

The following optional add-ons can enhance your cover:

Travel: This includes standard travel insurance features, such as cover for missed or delayed flights, loss of travel money and passports, legal protection, and some winter sports. More importantly, you will be covered for any medical emergencies while abroad.

Dental: Get cover for general dental treatments – crowns, fillings, accidental damage and dental emergencies. Alternatively, you can opt for a more general level of cover, which will pay for some general dental costs.

Optical: Optical cover can help pay for the cost of eye tests, glasses or contact lenses (usually provided if there has been a change in prescription). Alternatively, you can opt for a more general level of cover, which will pay for some general optical costs.

Mental Health: You can add the optional to covers you for the diagnosis and treatment of most mental health issues. Cover varies from insurer to insurer, but usually includes access to in, day and out-patient treatments.

Therapies: This covers the cost of physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatment. Some insurers include other holistic therapies.

What Conditions Does Individual Health Insurance Cover? 

If you’re fit and healthy, Health Insurance covers most acute medical conditions. Commonly covered conditions include:

  • Cancer including palliative care, diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc.
  • Heart disease including aftercare cover
  • Stroke aftercare
  • Sports injuries unless you’re a professional sports person
  • Mental health issues including counselling and psychiatric care
  • Complementary therapies such as physiotherapy and osteopathy
  • Alternative therapies including acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, etc.

More on Cancer Cover 

Cancer cover is usually included within the core cover of all policiesIt is one of the most valuable benefits of health insurance policies; according to Macmillan’s latest research, cancer is the disease we fear the most in the UK. Health insurance allows you the peace of mind that should you be affected by the disease you can have access to breakthrough cancer treatments and superior comfort and choice throughout treatmentIt is important to compare cancer cover between policies as what is included within the core cover can vary. However, most policies will include the following within the core cover: 

  • radiotherapy 
  • chemotherapy  
  • surgery  
  • consultants’ fees  
  • out-patient treatment 
  • home nursing  
  • cash benefits if treated by the NHS 

Optional Extras 

In addition to the core cover, senior health insurance usually offers several optional extras - to enhance the cover to suit you, at additional cost. They usually include the following:  

  • Extended outpatient cover
  • Dental and Optical cover
  • Mental health cover
  • Travel cover
  • Therapies cover (such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic)

What does it not cover? 

Health insurance is not intended for covering emergencies or chronic conditions. Chronic conditions are long term illnesses which you won’t recover from, such as asthma or arthritis. Typical things which are not regularly covered by a health insurance policy are: 

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Treatment for Alcoholism or Substance addiction
  • Chronic/long-term conditions
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and childbirth

If You Have Health Insurance, Can You Still Access the NHS? 

Health Insurance is intended to complement the services provided by the NHS, not replace them. The NHS provides a good service for millions of people in the UK today – those who want a faster, more convenient level of treatment for themselves and their families choose health insurance.

Some things aren’t covered by Health Insurance, and are better taken care of by the NHS – including A&E and maternity services. The NHS handles these elements, while Health Insurance takes the strain off the system by treating acute conditions quickly and effectively.

Individual Health Insurance gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing, should you become ill, you can receive private treatment quickly, to return you to your normal level of health as soon as possible.

Senior Health Insurance Underwriting

When you take out a Health Insurance policy there are various ways the policy can be underwritten. It is important to consider which works best for you.

Full medical underwriting

Full medical underwriting (FMU) requires you to provide your complete medical history – and that of all policyholders – when you take out your policy. The information you provide may mean the insurer excludes certain conditions from cover for the lifetime of the policy.

Moratorium underwriting

Moratorium underwriting doesn’t require you to disclose your medical history. However, for the first two years of your policy you won’t be covered for anything you’ve had symptoms, treatment, medication, diagnostic tests or advice on in the five years before your policy start date.

If, after a two-year consecutive period, you meet certain criteria (usually this includes remaining symptom, treatment, medication or advice free from that condition), then it will become eligible for cover.

Moratorium underwriting offers the potential for pre-existing conditions to be covered after a two-year period. Usay Compare can set up a moratorium policy over the phone to provide you with immediate cover.

More on underwriting.


After 12 months, your policy will come up for renewal. You can renew with the same provider, or switch to another insurer. We compare our panel of the UK’s leading insurers to find you the best deal, even if you didn’t take your original policy out with us.

If you already have Health Insurance, you may be able to switch your policy to a new provider to save money without compromising on cover. Each insurer has its own switch eligibility criteria, which generally include: no claims in the past 12 months, no ongoing symptoms, treatments, or diagnostics, and nothing planned or pending. Some insurers have other criteria, but we can guide you through the switching process.

Switching means any conditions covered by your existing policy may also be covered by your new policy, ensuring continuous cover.

Why Compare Health & Life Insurance with us?

Here at Usay Compare, we can help you to compare prices and cover from the market leading UK health and life insurance companies such as Aviva, AXA and Bupa. Our service is completely free of charge and we are totally independent and impartial.

Our team of friendly, expert advisers are on the end of the phone, ready to guide you easily through the whole process. They will get to know your unique individual requirements, do all the hard work comparing prices and policies for you; then advise on the best and most cost-effective quote.

Secure the best policy at the best price.

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Health Insurance Guides

Below are our in-depth guides to help you decipher the various Health Insurances available and learn more about how they work. Don't forget our advisers are always at the end of the phone to offer free, expert advice should you prefer to speak to someone in person.

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