Updated: December 14, 2022
Private Medical Insurance for Families
Looking for private family health insurance? In this guide we'll look at benefits, different types of cover, and how to find a policy to suit your budget
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Author: Richard Angliss - Finance Expert
Updated: December 17, 2019
Many serious health conditions can be prevented if caught early, so giving your family top-notch private health care is often a worthwhile investment. But that insurance policy will only pay out if it’s the right match for your family’s needs, and you’ll want to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to.
In this article, we look at the reasons why families take out private health insurance (also known as private medical insurance), what it covers, how your children are affected, and much more.
Click a link below for more information or read on for a comprehensive overview:
If you’re looking for family insurance cover, digging deeper into policy details and getting expert advice can help you find your best match deal. Make an enquiry today and we’ll match you with an expert for a free, no-obligation chat.
What is family private health insurance?
This is a type of private health insurance which is designed to cover all your family. You can use it to get faster treatment and/or specific treatments for you and your loved ones, which the cover pays for or pays toward. It’s designed to treat acute conditions (those which come on suddenly) as opposed to chronic conditions (persistent or long-lasting).
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Why is it beneficial to have?
Family medical cover will provide private healthcare for the whole family, ensuring all members can receive quick, top quality treatment when they need it. This type of cover can give you and your family many more medical benefits and services than what’s available on the NHS. Waiting time for specialist treatment is strongly reduced, and you’ll have access to a wider choice of treatments and more comfortable practices or hospital accommodation.
Of course, taking out private health cover will add to your regular expenses, so you may want to talk with a financial advisor. They can take your entire financial situation into consideration and advise you on how to keep costs down as well as find the most competitive deals available thanks to their access to the whole of the financial market.
What type of cover is best for the whole family?
It depends on your personal circumstances, how much cover you want, and how much you’re willing to pay. You can opt for basic, medium or comprehensive coverage, which we highlight in the sections below. Regardless of which level of cover you opt for, getting a single private medical insurance policy for the whole family can make things simpler as you’ll only have one plan for everyone
If you’re unsure of which level of private medical cover you need, make an enquiry to be put through to an insurance advisor with reliable expertise for your situation.
If you opt for basic private health insurance cover, the policy will typically cover inpatient treatments and costs for your family and yourself.
With a medium health insurance policy, you’ll not only get in-patient treatments and costs covered, but outpatient care as well.
For complete peace of mind, a comprehensive health insurance policy can cover your family for inpatient and outpatient treatment, costs and care – they typically cover extra treatments such as mental health support, acupuncture, chiropody, and physiotherapy.
This could be an alternative cheaper option to private cover. It usually provides you with more limited healthcare options than regular insurance cover and it’s designed to pay out a lump sum for routine medical costs like a trip to the dentist.
How much does private family health insurance cost?
It’s hard to gauge an ‘average cost’ for a family, whether small or large.
This is because so many factors come into play, including:
- Are you a single parent, or wanting to include your partner?
- The ages of your family members
- The medical history for each individual
- Whether anyone in your family smokes or drinks
- The level of cover you want
- Where you live
- Your occupation: Is it high-risk?
- Whether you want to pay annually or monthly
- How much excess you opt for
- The hospital and clinic list your insurance gives you access to
- Whether you add a waiting option to your policy. For example, choosing to only get access to private cover if you can’t receive NHS treatment within 4 weeks.
The price will also vary depending on which health insurer you choose, and each insurer will price up their policies differently depending on the factors above. In order to get an idea of how much a policy is going to cost you, it’s best to compare policies and contact a whole-of-market insurance expert for a free chat.
However, as an example, let’s say that a private health insurance policy for a non-smoking young woman with no previous medical conditions costs around £40 a month with £0 excess. Adding a partner or child over 18 will likely double the price of your policy, although dependents under 18 won’t increase your policy as much.
For example, a couple could pay around £80 for a joint private health insurance policy, and children with no known medical conditions could cost £9 each. So a family of three could cost £89, a family of four £98, a family of five £107, and a family of six £116.
Does the cost vary depending on a child’s age?
As a general rule, the younger your children are, the cheaper your UK private health insurance. However, once your child turns 18, their insurance will cost the same as an adult’s.
Babies and young children can also be covered under a private health insurance plan, so you’ll have the peace of knowing that your baby will have fast access to a wide range of top quality treatment and not suffer through potentially long NHS waiting periods.
How to find cheap family health insurance
To keep the costs of your private family medical cover low, compare deals and prices from across all UK insurers.
Or make an enquiry for independent and impartial advice from an expert advisor who can help you get the right policy that covers all your needs.
The advisors we work with also specialise in reviewing any existing insurance policy you may have to help you find cost savings options.
Practical steps you can take to keep costs low
Here are a couple things you can do to help push your private insurance costs down:
- Select a policy that allows you to pick and choose the cover you need
- Pay annually instead of monthly to cut costs
- Quit smoking and choose a healthy lifestyle – premiums are reduced for people who prioritise their wellbeing.
- Consider a cash plan instead of full insurance cover
- Ask your employer for private health insurance – some employers can get a cheaper deal on private insurance than what’s available to the individual.
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Is there private health insurance just for children?
Yes, you can take out individual insurance cover for each child. This could help your child get access to a wider range of treatment options and get faster access to specialist services. Whether it’s for routine check-ups or you want more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment insurance, there are great options for getting private health insurance for your child.
Each insurer will offer a range of private UK clinics and hospitals to choose from, so you’ll need to carefully check policy options to make sure the selection suits you.
Most insurers won’t cover emergency healthcare or pre-existing conditions, but if you’d like to have your kids privately insured in case of an emergency, an insurance expert can help you find the best niche offers on the market.
It’s worth checking with an expert before you apply for a policy for dependents to make sure it includes all symptoms or illnesses you’d like to have covered.
How much is private health insurance for a child?
The price will vary from lender-to-lender, but one way to lower the monthly or annual costs of your child’s insurance is to select a policy with higher excess.
Higher excess increases the amount you are willing to pay out of your own pocket if you make a claim in exchange for lower monthly premiums.
However, some insurers may charge you more if your child has pre-existing medical conditions, while others would only increase costs if you request cover for these conditions.
Online insurance comparison tools can help you get a range of basic quotes for your kid’s insurance. Or for a more accurate idea of price based on your personal circumstances you can speak with one of the insurance brokers we work with. Make an enquiry to get started.
Private health cover for a single-parent family
Single-parent families are sometimes less likely to opt for private health insurance, but knowing you’re well-looked after with medical cover can go provide peace of mind.
The terms for getting private healthcare as a single parent are generally the same as they are for other families: you can choose from a wide range of policies, from hospital cover to a policy that includes all the extras.
The upfront cost of paying for glasses, dentists, or any physio or special needs can be huge, but you can choose a policy that covers general treatment, or cover for extras.
Focusing on the features you most care about and matching it to your child’s age and activities could leave your family better off with no big surprise bills to deal with throughout the year.
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With benefits like quick access to specialist treatment and around the clock health advice, private health insurance will have your family covered. There are plenty of opportunities for finding a policy that will suit your family’s needs and ensure you’re prepared for whatever life throws at you.
You can discover more about private family medical insurance by getting in touch with one of the insurance advisors we work with.
Make an enquiry or give us a call on 0808 189 0463 to get started.
With the NHS taking care of your health care needs for free, you may be wondering if it’s really worth getting private health insurance, particularly if you don’t have much extra disposable income.
Private health insurance offers fast access to better facilities and specialists, which you’d usually have to wait weeks or even months for with the NHS. You’ll also get the most advanced treatment together with more personal care.
For most regular check-ups and healthcare needs, this may be an unnecessary extra, but when it comes to major illnesses such as cancer or heart disease, getting the best care makes a world of difference.
If you’re unsure about getting family insurance, it’s best to speak to an expert advisor who can look at your entire situation and help you decide what’s best for your budget and family.
If a parent or a child passes away while your policy is still active, then you will need to inform your provider. They will then review your policy and make amendments where needed.
If you want to protect your family further, combining a health insurance policy with life insurance cover could give you extra peace of mind. Make an enquiry to find out more.
Yes, it’s definitely possible. Many insurance providers offer ‘over 50’s’ policies, and while you may have to pay more for your own policy, the cost of adding children under 18 to your policy shouldn’t be too expensive.
For example, a 51-year-old man with no previous medical conditions could get a private health insurance policy for around £62 per month. If he were to add a 3-year-old child to his policy, the cost could rise to £71 a month – that’s just £9 extra per child.
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About the author
Richard Angliss has made a career in financial services which stretches over 40 years.
His early career was spent learning about the various financial products and applying them to prudent advice, working for one of the largest life assurance and investment firms. After that he joined the financial services arm of a very well-known firm providing independent advice to their 8 million customers.
For the last 20 years he has been involved in building software solutions that help Advisers and clients work together to achieve good financial outcomes and helping to set up three independent advisory firms. He also has written many articles for financial services publications and provided commentary for newspaper journalists.
At an early stage in his career he realised the great satisfaction that comes with being able to help people achieve their goals and protect their families. “Regulation of financial services has hugely impacted on ensuring people get appropriate advice. The issue these days is access to that advice and just as importantly regular reviews to make sure that everything stays on track”.
With the growing development of online resources such as Online Money Advisor he sees a great future for people to access advice to make their pension and investment work harder for them. Plus, of course, to ensure they have insurance products in place that will be required when unforeseen events happen.
He knows getting that balance right is crucial to prudent financial planning and the wellbeing of individuals and their families.