WPA health insurance review

30 min Read Published: 23 Jun 2021

WPA health insurance reviewWPA is a not for profit health insurance provider based in Taunton, Somerset. It can be traced back to 1901 when a group of workers in Reading founded a fund to cover the cost of healthcare for its workers. It merged with the Bristol Hospital Fund in 1939 and became the Western Provident Association in 1949 or WPA as it is better known today.

In this article we take a look at WPA health insurance, explaining how it works, who should buy it and how much it costs. We also explain the best way to buy a WPA health insurance policy and guarantee the best price.

What does WPA health insurance cover?

WPA offers a number of health insurance products providing private healthcare solutions to not only individuals but families and businesses too.

WPA offers two types of business health insurance. There are

  • WPA business health insurance for smaller businesses (2 or more employees)
  • WPA business health insurance for larger businesses (250 or more employees)

If you are a business owner and are looking at adding health insurance to your employee benefits package, we would recommend speaking to a business and group protection specialist* who can talk you through the available options at a time that suits you.

In addition, WPA offers four types of personal health insurance policy. These are:

  • WPA Flexible health
  • WPA Multi-family healthcare
  • WPA NHS top-up - Personal
  • WPA NHS top-up - Dental

WPA's family health insurance policies are particularly popular, providing cover for larger families over multiple households if necessary. We explain each of the WPA personal health insurance products in more detail below.

WPA 'Flexible health' health insurance

WPA offers three levels of flexible health insurance policy; essentials, premier and elite. In terms of what each of the policies offer - and to make them easier to understand - they can broadly be defined as basic, intermediate and comprehensive health insurance plans. We explain what is included in each of the WPA flexible health insurance policies below, including a detailed breakdown of the features.

WPA flexible health - Essentials

WPA's flexible health 'essentials' policy is a surgery only policy with an annual benefit cap of £50,000. This is the most basic type of policy that WPA offers and is designed to cover the cost of elective, eligible treatment for a condition that has already been diagnosed. It is designed to complement the treatment you would normally receive on the NHS (rather than replace it).

WPA flexible health essentials core benefits

WPA flexible health 'Essentials' core benefits Details
Hospital treatment Benefit for elective in-patient surgery
Critical care (levels 2 and 3) Intensive care treatment and high dependency units
Drugs Drugs and dressings
Specialists' fees Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
In-patient and day-patient therapy Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Post-operative consultation and tests One follow-up consultation and tests that occur within 90 days of the surgery
Prosthesis Both passive and active
Out-patient consultations and diagnostic tests Covered for £150 in the six weeks leading to surgery
Out-patient therapy Covered for £200 within 90 days of surgery
Out-patient pre-admission tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
NHS in-patient or day-patient cash benefit (less than 3 nights) £150 per night/day
NHS in-patient cash benefit (3 nights or more) £200 per night/day
Remote GP services Access to a private GP with video consultations, private prescriptions and specialist referrals
Health and wellbeing helpline Telephone counselling covering health and wellbeing, debt and more
General dental treatment Covers 75% of cost up to a £100 maximum
Optical treatment Covers 75% of cost up to a £100 maximum

 

WPA flexible health essentials optional extras

In addition to the core benefits, customers can add 'Advanced cancer drugs' as an optional extra. See below for more information

WPA flexible health essentials optional extras Details
Targeted cancer therapies Up to £50,000 towards advanced anti-cancer treatment when given with curative intent and where not available on the NHS. There is a 14 day deferment period and is only available up to the renewal following your 66th birthday.

WPA flexible health - Premier

WPA's flexible health 'premier' policy is described as a 'mid-range' policy with enhanced cover as standard. This type of health insurance policy provides a decent level of health insurance and is a good fit for those who want enhanced cover without having to pay the higher premiums associated with the most comprehensive types of policy. Even though the cover is described as 'enhanced', pay particular attention to what is covered in the table below as many of the out-patient benefits have a low level of cover. Those wishing to bolster the benefits available on the premier health insurance policy can do so by adding one of the many optional extras, explained in the tables below.

WPA flexible health premier core benefits

WPA flexible health 'Premier' core features Details
Hospital treatment Benefit for elective in-patient surgery
Critical care (levels 2 and 3) Intensive care treatment and high dependency units
Drugs Drugs and dressings
Specialists' fees Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Diagnostic tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Complex diagnostic scans Including MRI, CT and PET scans
In-patient and day-patient therapy Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Post-operative consultation and tests One follow-up consultation and tests that occur within 90 days of the surgery
Prosthesis Both passive and active
Out-patient consultations and diagnostic tests Combined limit of £350
GP referred diagnostic tests Combined limit of £350
Out-patient specialist referred therapy Combined limit of £350
Out-patient GP referred therapy Up to 10 sessions. Combined limit of £350
Out-patient self-referred therapy Up to four sessions of Chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy. Combined limit of £350
Out-patient pre-admission tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Complex diagnostic scans Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
GP referred diagnostic scans One MRI or CT scan
Out-patient procedures Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Pre-admission tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
NHS in-patient or day-patient cash benefit (less than 3 nights) £150 per night/day
NHS in-patient cash benefit (3 nights or more) £200 per night/day
NHS Out-patient complex diagnostic scans and NHS out-patient procedures MRI, CT and PET scans - £150 per day
Remote GP services Access to a private GP with video consultations, private prescriptions and specialist referrals
Health and wellbeing helpline Telephone counselling covering health and wellbeing, debt and more
Structured counselling Up to six sessions of structured counselling following a referral from the health and wellbeing helpline
Nursing at home Up to 4 weeks
Private ambulance transport Transport to, from or between private hospitals
Parent & Child accommodation Up to 10 nights hospital accommodation
Out of pocket expenses £10 per day
Hospice donation £70 per day/night (up to a maximum total of £700)

 

WPA flexible health essentials optional extras

WPA flexible health premier 'Out-patient' optional extra Details
Extra out-patient consultations and diagnostic tests Combined limit increased from £350 to £1,000
GP referred diagnostic tests Combined limit increased from £350 to £1,000
Out-patient specialist referred therapy Combined limit increased from £350 to £1,000
Out-patient GP referred therapy Up to 10 sessions. Combined limit increased from £350 to £1,000
Out-patient self-referred therapy Up to four sessions of Chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy. Combined limit increased from £350 to £1,000
General dental treatment Up to £200
Optical treatment Up to £200
Health screening Up to £200

 

WPA flexible health premier 'Cancer care' optional extra Details
Cancer care diagnosis Consultations with a specialist including second opinions, diagnostic tests, scans and biopsies
Cancer care surgery Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Cancer care radiotherapy / chemotherapy Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Targeted cancer therapies Advanced anti-cancer treatment when given with curative intent and where not available on the NHS.
NHS hospital cash benefit Maximum annual benefit of £6,000
NHS in-patient or day-patient cash benefit £200 per day/night
NHS out-patient for complex diagnostic Scans or NHS out-patient cancer treatment or NHS out-patient procedures £150 per day

 

WPA flexible health premier 'Dental care' optional extra Details
General dental treatment £250 or £450 if 'Out-patient' optional extra is also selected
Dental emergencies £250 per course of treatment up to a maximum of £1,000 per policy year
Dental injuries Up to £20,000 per policy year
Restorative treatment following oral cancer Up to £10,000

 

WPA flexible health premier 'Overseas emergency treatment' optional extra Details
Overseas emergency treatment 70 days per trip, maximum 180 days and £500,000. Does not include the USA

 

WPA flexible health premier 'Premium hospitals' optional extra Details
Extended hospital choice Includes additional 'Premium' hospitals (primarily based in central London)

WPA flexible health - Elite

WPA's flexible health 'elite' policy is the most comprehensive policy that it offers. It comes with everything that is included in the 'premier' plan as well as a number of the premier plan optional extras, including out-patient, cancer, dental and overseas care. The only optional extra benefit it does not include - and which will need to be selected as an optional extra if required - is the premium hospitals option.

WPA flexible health elite core benefits

WPA flexible health 'essentials' core features Details
Hospital treatment Benefit for elective in-patient surgery
Critical care (levels 2 and 3) Intensive care treatment and high dependency units
Drugs Drugs and dressings
Specialists' fees Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Diagnostic tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Complex diagnostic scans Including MRI, CT and PET scans
In-patient and day-patient therapy Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Post-operative consultation and tests One follow-up consultation and tests that occur within 90 days of the surgery
Prosthesis Both passive and active
Out-patient consultations and diagnostic tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
GP referred diagnostic tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Out-patient specialist referred therapy Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Out-patient GP referred therapy Up to 10 sessions.
Out-patient self-referred therapy Up to four sessions of Chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy.
Out-patient pre-admission tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Complex diagnostic scans Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
GP referred diagnostic scans One MRI or CT scan
Out-patient procedures Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Pre-admission tests Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
NHS in-patient or day-patient cash benefit (less than 3 nights) £150 per night/day
NHS in-patient cash benefit (3 nights or more) £200 per night/day
NHS Out-patient complex diagnostic scans and NHS out-patient procedures MRI, CT and PET scans - £150 per day
Remote GP services Access to a private GP with video consultations, private prescriptions and specialist referrals
Health and wellbeing helpline Telephone counselling covering health and wellbeing, debt and more
Structured counselling Up to six sessions of structured counselling following a referral from the health and wellbeing helpline
Nursing at home Up to 4 weeks
Private ambulance transport Transport to, from or between private hospitals
Parent & Child accommodation Up to 10 nights hospital accommodation
Out of pocket expenses £10 per day
Hospice donation £70 per day/night (up to a maximum total of £700)
Optical treatment Up to £200
Health screening Up to £200
Cancer care diagnosis Consultations with a specialist including second opinions, diagnostic tests, scans and biopsies
Cancer care surgery Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Cancer care radiotherapy / chemotherapy Up to a level that WPA consider to be reasonable
Targeted cancer therapies Advanced anti-cancer treatment when given with curative intent and where not available on the NHS.
NHS cancer-related hospital cash benefit Maximum annual benefit of £6,000
NHS cancer-related in-patient or day-patient cash benefit £200 per day/night
NHS cancer-related out-patient for complex diagnostic Scans or NHS out-patient cancer treatment or NHS out-patient procedures £150 per day
General dental treatment Up to £450
Dental emergencies £250 per course of treatment up to a maximum of £1,000 per policy year
Dental injuries Up to £20,000 per policy year
Restorative treatment following oral cancer Up to £10,000
Overseas emergency treatment 70 days per trip, maximum 180 days and £500,000. Does not include the USA

WPA flexible health premier elite optional extras

WPA flexible health elite 'Premium hospitals' optional extra Details
Extended hospital choice Includes additional 'Premium' hospitals (primarily based in central London)

WPA Multi-family healthcare health insurance

Multi-family health insurance is a type of health insurance policy that provides health insurance for the whole family. It covers different generations across multiple households. In order to qualify there must be a minimum of two families living at different addresses.

The benefits of taking out multi-family health insurance include:

  • Multi-family discount - Much cheaper when compared to taking out individual health insurance plans
  • No upper age limits - Join the plan at any age
  • Know exactly what you are covered for - Plans are subject to medical underwriting giving policyholders clarity on what they are covered for
  • Shared responsibility - Policyholders can select a co-payment that suits them giving them greater flexibility on cost

There are three levels of multi-family health insurance available; standard, enhanced and comprehensive. Largely speaking, the benefits that are available are the same as the benefits available on the personal flexible health insurance policies mentioned in detail above. Each plan is slightly different, however, and in order to keep this review concise, we have picked out the keep points of each plan below.

WPA Multi-family - Standard

Shared responsibility options - Policyholders can choose a co-payment option of £250, £500, £750, £1,000, £1,500, £3,000 or £5,000

Limits - Out-patient treatment limited to £350

Optional extras - Overseas treatment, Premium hospitals

Not included - Dental, Optical or Health screening

WPA Multi-family - Enhanced

Shared responsibility options - Policyholders can choose a co-payment option of £250, £500, £750, £1,000, £1,500, £3,000 or £5,000

Limits - Out-patient treatment limited to £1,000 or £1,500. Dental, optical and health screening limited to £200

Optional extras - Overseas treatment, Premium hospitals

Not included - N/A

WPA Multi-family - Comprehensive

Shared responsibility options - Policyholders can choose a co-payment option of £250, £500, £750, £1,000, £1,500, £3,000 or £5,000

Limits - Unlimited out-patient treatment. Dental limited to £450, optical and health screening limited to £200

Optional extras - Premium hospitals

Not included - N/A

NHS top-up plans

In addition to its flexible health and multi-family health insurance plans, WPA offers two cash 'top-up' plans. The NHS top-up personal health cash plan and NHS top-up dental cash plans provide money back when you receive healthcare or dental treatment via the NHS. Your children are included for free and there is no medical examination required. You need to be under 65 to take out a WPA NHS top-up cash plan.

NHS top-up personal health cash plan benefits

There are three levels of cover available, providing three levels of benefit which we summarise below.

NHS top-up personal health cash plan core benefits

NHS top-up personal health cash plan - 75% or 100% reimbursement options Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Routine dental treatment £65 £100 £150
Eye tests and prescription glasses etc £65 £100 £150
Therapies (Physiotherapy, osteopathy etc) £200 £300 £400
Specialist Consultations £150 £200 £250
Private GP consultation(s) £50 £100 £150
Additional Benefits - 100% reimbursement option Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
New Baby (On the birth or adoption of a new child) £50 £100 £200
Hospital Stay (Payment for each day/night spent in an NHS hospital - maximum of 20 nights) £20 per day/night £35 per day/night £50 per day/night
A&E Attendance (Each visit to an A&E department) £20 max one visit £40 max two visits £60 max three visits
NHS Car Parking Overall maximum of £300 when receiving cancer treatment or £50 for other treatment Overall maximum of £300 when receiving cancer treatment or £50 for other treatment Overall maximum of £300 when receiving cancer treatment or £50 for other treatment
Health and Wellbeing helpline Available on all levels of cover Available on all levels of cover Available on all levels of cover

NHS top-up personal health cash plan optional extras

There are a number of optional extras that can be added to the NHS top-up personal health cash plan and we have detailed the options below.

NHS top-up personal health cash plan optional extras - up to the maximum benefit limits displayed Details Claim Limit
Scans and screenings A choice of a health screen or benefit towards an MRI/CT scan. Only 1 health screen every 2 consecutive cash plan years covered £200
Dental injuries Restorative dental treatment needed as a result of an external blow to the face, teeth or jaw £10,000
Cancer therapies Targeted/Biological therapies not available on the NHS, including drugs and the cost of administering £50,000
Cosmetic surgery Reconstructive plastic surgery to upper body (arms, face, neck and breasts) following an accident or injury £20,000
Essential European cover Supplementary EHIC cover up to £100,000 when in the European Economic Area (EEA) £100,000
Personal accident If a member has an accident or injury leading to the loss of sight, loss of a limb or the loss of the use of a limb £15,000

The additional cost of the optional extras vary depending on the benefit and range from as little as £0.55p extra per month for personal accident cover, right up to £10.55 extra per month for cancer therapies cover (smoker premium)

NHS top-up dental cash plan core benefits

There are two levels of cover available providing different levels of benefit which we summarise below.

NHS top-up dental cash plan Details Level 1 Level 2
General dental treatment Routine dental treatment that takes place in a general dental practice with your dentist or hygienist. 100% of costs (NHS treatment only) 75% of treatment costs up to £250 (NHS and private treatment)
Dental emergencies Incidents of acute pain, swelling or a dental haemorrhage requiring an emergency dental appointment, whether treated by a private or NHS dentist. 75% of costs up to £500 (maximum two episodes) 75% of costs up to £1,000 (maximum four episodes)
Dental injuries Includes a dental emergency benefit of £250 for an emergency appointment abroad and then planned dental treatment under the care of a specialist in a hospital setting. Up to £10,000 Up to £20,000
Restorative treatment as a result of oral cancer Planned treatment under the care of a recognised specialist in a hospital setting for restorative dentistry required as a direct result of the treatment received for an oral cancer. Up to £10,000 Up to £10,000
NHS hospital cash benefit Payable for Dental Injuries and Restorative Treatment as a direct result of Oral Cancer. £200 per day/night up to a maximum of £2,000 £200 per day/night up to a maximum of £2,000

WPA Defaqto ratings

Defaqto is an independent financial information business that was formed in order to help financial institutions and consumers make better-informed decisions. Defaqto uses a star rating system to analyse between 30 and 100 policy features and benefits from every health insurance provider on the market. Each policy is then scored out of 5. Below we have listed the Defaqto star ratings for each of the WPA policies. It is interesting to note that none of the WPA health insurance policies attracts a 5-star Defaqto rating. Those looking for a health insurance plan with a 5-star Defaqto rating may wish to check out our Axa Health, Bupa and The Exeter health insurance reviews.

WPA policies with a 4-star Defaqto rating

  • WPA flexible health insurance - Elite
  • WPA flexible health insurance - Premier
  • WPA multi-family health insurance - Comprehensive

WPA policies with a 3-star Defaqto rating

  • WPA multi-family health insurance - Enhanced
  • WPA multi-family health insurance - Standard

WPA policies with a 2-star Defaqto rating

  • WPA flexible health insurance - Essentials

How much does WPA health insurance cost?

In the table below we provide an example of the monthly cost of a WPA flexible health insurance policy. The costs are based on a healthy 30-year-old living in the south-east of England and with a co-payment of £500 selected. We explain how the WPA co-payment works later in this article.

WPA flexible health insurance Essentials (No co-payment) Premier (£500 co-payment) Elite (£500 co-payment)
Standard monthly cost £10.88 £25.28 £72.29
Extra out-patient (£1,000) Not included £14.60 Included
Cancer care £2.08 £7.32 Included
Dental care Not included £9.88 Included
Overseas treatment Not included £1.01 Included
Premium hospitals Not included £2.80 £5.13
Total cost including optional extras £12.96 £60.89 £77.42

In summary, WPA policies are relatively cheap and the policies tend to come out on top on price comparison websites. The policies are likely to suit most people, however, there are alternative policies from other providers that provide a better level of cover if you want to spend a little bit more. We explain where to buy the best health insurance policy below.

WPA health insurance - Co-payment options

WPA allow customers to select a co-payment for its Premier and Elite health insurance plans in order to keep costs down. Co-payments - or 'Shared responsibility payments' as WPA refers to them - work in a similar way to a policy excess. Customers effectively share 25% of the cost of each eligible treatment up to the agreed level per policy year.

The following co-payment options are available:

WPA flexible health - Premier co-payment options

  • £250
  • £500
  • £750
  • £1,000
  • £1,500
  • £3,000
  • £5,000

WPA flexible health - Elite co-payment options

  • £500
  • £750
  • £1,000
  • £1,500
  • £3,000
  • £5,000

Where best to buy WPA Health insurance?

WPA offers a number of flexible health insurance products which include a selection of optional benefits that can be added in order to tailor the cover. While flexibility and product choice should be commended, it does make the process of obtaining a quote and understanding exactly what is included, a little bit tricky. In fact, if you are considering buying WPA health insurance we would recommend that you speak to an independent health insurance specialist as they will be on hand to guide you through the process. Additionally, an independent specialist may be able to recommend a more suitable policy from an alternative health insurance provider or perhaps alert you to a similar policy that may be cheaper elsewhere.

We have partnered with one of the UK's leading private health insurance specialists* in order to provide you with the most comprehensive quotations at the cheapest possible price. They have access to the whole market meaning you can be confident that the policy you buy is the cheapest policy available on the market. All you need to get started is to click on 'Get health insurance quote'*. You can choose to build your own quote or alternatively request that an adviser from Assured Futures call you back.

 

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