MTTM Podcast Episode 400 – Private healthcare on a budget

2 min Read Published: 15 Jan 2023

Episode 400 - In this week's episode Andy and I discuss the various private healthcare options that are available. We explain where you should look to see if you are already covered, the key differences between the various types of cover and roughly how much it is likely to cost. We also explain the best way to buy the cover that is right for you and your family.

Join the MTTM Community group, a friendly community that allows like-minded listeners to ask questions and chat.

You can also listen to other episodes and subscribe to the show by searching 'Money to the Masses' on Spotify or by using the following links:


Summary - Episode 400

Listen to previous episodes of the podcast for a deeper dive into private medical insurance, including Episode 235 on what it is, who should get it and its cost, Episode 292 on ways to cut health insurance costs, Episode 295 on the benefits of different protection products especially with something as serious as a cancer diagnosis, and Episode 338 on when to claim and the claims process.

Get free access to a private GP

  • Many people are worried about long wait times for GP appointments with the NHS, but they may already have access to private GP appointments through work benefits or life insurance policies, or even group income protection and group health insurance policies.
  • Check with your employer's HR departments to see if there are any available benefits that include virtual GP access, which can be accessed via a telephone call or video call. Accessing a virtual GP may require registering with an app and downloading it, so it is important to do this ahead of time to be prepared for when a family member is unwell.
  • If you have a partner, check their employment benefits as they may cover the entire family, including children, and provide access to virtual GP services.
  • Using a virtual GP service could lead to faster treatment and prescription services, especially during weekends when the NHS GP services are closed. Bear in mind that the medication is not provided on the NHS so you will have to pay for children's prescriptions.

Get diagnosed more quickly than on the NHS

  • For those who want access to virtual GP services and faster diagnoses, there are low-cost diagnostic policies like Benenden health which costs just £11.90 per person per month.
  • These policies often have a 6-month wait period to prevent people from immediately claiming for a diagnosis after taking out the policy. The Benenden health insurance product also covers medical treatment. But there are exclusions for many types of surgery. This certainly isn't a replacement for a full private health insurance product but private health insurance is much more expensive.

Private health insurance

Private health insurance can be divided into 3 categories: budget, intermediate, and comprehensive. Major health insurance providers include AXA Health, Bupa, Vitality, and Aviva.

Benefits of health insurance include private consultations, diagnostics, treatments, therapies, and post-treatment care. Comprehensive policies may also include inpatient and day patient care, specialist fees, and cash payments for NHS referrals. Some policies provide access to drugs and services not available on the NHS.

It is important to speak to an independent private healthcare expert to ensure that you chose the most cost-effective policy to suit the needs of you and your family. Their advice is free.