WPA health insurance review

12 min Read Published: 09 Jan 2024

WPA health insurance reviewWPA is a not-for-profit health insurance provider based in Taunton, Somerset. It can be traced back to 1901 when the Reading Working People's Hospital Contributory Fund was created and workers could pay a portion of their wage each week to the fund and access it if they were faced with ill health. 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.

However, should you prefer it, you can get an instant health insurance quote* and even speak to a health insurance specialist. For a limited time, you will receive £100 cashback when you buy your health insurance this way - the offer ends on 31st July 2024.

What does WPA health insurance cover?

WPA offers several health insurance products that provide private healthcare solutions to not only individuals but families and businesses too.

WPA Business health insurance

WPA offers two types of business health insurance. These are:

  • WPA business health insurance for smaller businesses (2 to 150 employees)
  • WPA business health insurance for larger businesses (150 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.

WPA Individual and Family health insurance

WPA offers three types of personal health insurance policies. These are:

  • WPA Complete Health
  • WPA NHS Top-Up Personal health cash plan
  • WPA Providental Dental cash plan

WPA's Complete Health insurance plan allows you to choose between three different levels of cover and can accommodate multiple family members within a plan.

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WPA Complete Health health insurance

WPA offers its Complete Health policy that includes several core benefits that can be enhanced by adding optional extras from a list of additional benefits. We explain what is included in each of the WPA flexible health insurance policies below, including a detailed breakdown of the features.

How does WPA Complete Health insurance work?

WPA offers a flexible approach to building a health insurance plan to include benefits at levels of your choice. Choosing the "Core" option of cover is the basic starting point of health insurance and gives you a foundation of health insurance to build upon or buy as it is. You can choose to just take the core cover but you may wish to consider some of the additional benefits offered too. While these will add to the cost of the health insurance policy, they do include important options such as cancer care and mental health treatment - adding these will be reflected in the price you pay.

WPA Complete Health insurance core benefits explained

Core benefit Cover explained
Out-patient consultations with a specialist
  • Up to £250 per year
  • Complex scans including MRI, CT & PET scans
  • Out-patient procedures
  • Pre-admission tests
Hospital treatment
  • Private hospital stays as a day-patient or in-patient
NHS hospital stays (non-cancer related)
  • £150 per day/night for less than 3 nights NHS stay
  • £200 per day/night for 3 or more nights NHS stay
  • £150 per day for outpatient NHS complex scans or procedures
Heath and wellbeing benefits
  • Remote GP services
  • Health and wellbeing helpline
  • Counselling for you and your family members over the age of 16
Nursing at home
  • Up to 4 weeks of care
Hospice donation
  • £70 per night up to £700
Parent and child 
  • Up to 10 nights
Out-of-pocket expenses
  • £10 per day

WPA Complete Health insurance optional extras explained

Optional extra benefits at an additional cost Cover explained
Cancer care
  • No financial caps
  • All tests and treatments from diagnosis to palliative care
  • Unlimited follow-up care
  • Personalised support from case managers and medical advisors
Enhanced out-patient cover
  • Increase the core amount of £250 benefit to £500, £1,000 or unlimited
  • Include blood tests, x-rays and ultrasound scans up to £500, £750, £1,000, £1,500 or unlimited
  • Include therapies such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, homoeopathy and acupuncture up to £500, £750, £1,000, £1,500 or unlimited
Mental health treatment
  • Up to 28 days/nights of hospital treatment (requires an out-patient option to match)
  • Structured counselling through extended therapy
Overseas emergency treatment
  • Up to 35 days per trip (maximum of 180 days and £250,000)
  • Up to 70 days per trip (maximum of 180 days and £500,000)
Winter sports - UK treatment
  • Cost of treatment for winter sports injuries (only treatment in the UK)
Cash extras 2 levels of cash benefits to choose from:

Level 1 Level 2
General dental treatment £200 £400
Optical treatment £150 £250
Health screening £200 £400
Audiology £100 £200
Dental care
  • £250 per dental emergency treatment up to 4 courses in the UK or abroad
  • Up to £20,000 for dental injuries
Premium hospital access Access to 18 specialist, premium hospitals in London

What is not covered by WPA Complete Health insurance?

As with all health insurance, there will be some things that are not covered and WPA is no different. The WPA Healthcare policy will not payout for:

  • Pre-existing conditions (depending on the type of underwriting you choose)
  • Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
  • Dental problems (except limited cash benefits)
  • Cosmetic/aesthetic treatments
  • Long-term/chronic conditions
  • Allergic conditions
  • Varicose veins for the first two years of joining (if joining on a Full Medical Underwriting or Moratorium Underwriting basis)
  • Treatment for unborn babies/foetuses/embryos
  • Any birth defect or congenital abnormality (if identified at or within the first 90 days of birth or before joining the Policy)
  • Treatment outside the UK (unless covered by optional extra benefits selected)
  • Cash benefit claims that are submitted more than six months after the treatment took place

WPA NHS Top-Up Personal health cash plan

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.

WPA 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
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
Health and Wellbeing helpline Available on all levels of cover
Remote GP services including helpline, video consultations, private prescriptions and specialist referrals 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 Cover explained 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 Cover explained 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 Providental - dental-only plan explained

You can opt to buy a plan that only covers you for dental claims with WPA called Providental which comes at two levels - Level 1 and Level 2. Here we explain how the WPA Providental plan works and what you can choose to be covered for.

WPA Provident Plan - what is covered?

WPA Provident dental plan benefits Level 1 Level 2
Routine dental treatment - includes examinations, x-rays, scale and polish, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges and dentures. 30-day qualifying period 100% of costs for NHS treatment only 75% of treatment costs up to £250 for NHS or Private treatment
Dental emergencies - acute pain, swelling or a dental haemorrhage requiring an emergency appointment privately or with the NHS. £250 per episode covered up to limits based on the level of cover chosen. 14-day qualifying period 75% of treatment costs up to £500 75% of treatment costs up to £1,000
Dental injuries - £250 for an emergency appointment and cover for follow-up treatment for injuries caused by external blow to teeth, face or jaw. 14-day qualifying period £10,000 £20,000
Restorative treatment - as a result of treatment for oral cancer. 14-day deferment applies £10,000 £10,000
NHS hospital cash benefit - paid during stays resulting from injuries and restorative treatment following oral cancer. £200 per day/night (max - £2,000)  £200 per day/night (max - £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. WPA's Complete Health insurance is the only plan that presents comprehensive options which means it has earned a 5-star rating from Defaqto but it is likely that this is based on the extra optional benefits as well as the core benefits of the policy. 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 as well.

WPA policies with a 5-star Defaqto rating

  • WPA Complete Health insurance

WPA policies with a 4-star Defaqto rating

  • WPA Cash Plan - Level 2
  • WPA Cash Plan - Level 3

WPA policies with a 3-star Defaqto rating

  • WPA Cash Plan - Level 1

How are WPA health insurance policies priced?

Like most health insurance policies, all of WPA's health insurance plans are priced based on your age, whether you smoke and where you live geographically. Each plan has a slightly different price structure which is explained here.

WPA Complete Health insurance pricing

The Complete Health insurance plan comes with several optional extra benefits so the cost of your plan will be based on the basic price of the core cover plus the cost of any additional benefits you choose from the options on offer. The cost will also vary depending on whether you choose a level of shared responsibility or excess on the policy - we explain these options below.

WPA NHS Top-Up Personal Health Cash Plan pricing

The price of a WPA Cash Plan otherwise referred to as an NHS top-up plan starts at a set amount based on the level of cover you choose - there are 3 levels. The cost will then increase based on extra benefits that you choose from the list of optional extras so that, in much the same way as for the Complete Health plan, you can tailor the cash plan to cover what you need at a cost that suits you.

WPA Providental Dental Cash Plan pricing

WPA's dental cash plan is priced based on which level of cover you choose. There are two levels to choose from and the second is more comprehensive than the first so it will cost more. Unlike the healthcare plans, you cannot tailor the cover beyond choosing which level of cover you would like.

Cashback Offer

Get the best value health insurance

Our partner Howden Life & Health will help tailor cover for you and your family.

  • Compare all the top UK providers
  • Up to £100 cashback for new customers
  • Free Will available
  • Quick free quotations

Get a quote*

WPA Complete Health insurance 'Shared Responsibility' and 'Excess' options explained

Shared responsibility and Excess options allow you to reduce the cost of WPA health insurance (not the cash plans) by electing to pay an amount towards the cost of your medical care if a claim is made.

You can choose an 'excess' that you will pay towards the cost of any medical claims - you can select £0, £100, £250 or £500 as a set excess value. Alternatively, WPA customers can choose to take the 'shared responsibility' option which means that you will make a co-payment towards the cost of medical claims. If you choose this option instead of the excess, you can select to pay £0, £150, £250, £500, £1,000, £3,000 or £5,000 towards the overall cost of your medical claim bill.

In either case, the amount that you opt to pay towards your medical costs will apply once per person for each year that you claim despite the number of claims that you make. On the other hand, you will be required to pay the co-opting or excess payment again if your claim runs over more than one policy year.

How much does WPA Complete Health insurance cost?

To help you choose the right level of cover, WPA offers the Complete Health insurance quotations based on a 'Core', 'Mid-Range' and 'Comprehensive' so that the quotes are selected based on a range of benefits. You can tailor the cover further by choosing different levels of outpatient cover, excess or shared responsibility in terms of co-payments.

Core cover includes: Mid-range cover includes: Comprehensive cover includes:
  • £250 Out-patient consultations
  • In and Day patient hospital treatment
  • Remote GP Services
  • Health & Wellbeing Helpline
  • NHS Hospital Cash Benefits
  • £100 Excess
  • All core cover benefits
  • Comprehensive Cancer Care
  • £1,000 Out-patient diagnostic tests
  • £500 Therapy
  • Cash Extras at Level 1
  • £100 Excess
  • All core and mid-range benefits
  • Unlimited out-patient consultations and diagnostics
  • Unlimited Therapy
  • 28 days/nights per year Mental Health in-patient
  • £2,500 Mental Health Out-patient / Therapy
  • 70 days overseas emergency treatment
  • Winter sports
  • Cash Extras at Level 2
  • Access to premium hospitals
  • £100 Excess

In the table below we provide an example of the monthly cost of a WPA Complete Health insurance policy.

Cost of WPA Complete Health insurance cover

Monthly Premium^
Age at the time of application Core Cover  Mid-Range Cover Comprehensive Cover
30 years old £25.62 £57.17 £105.54
40 years old £34.23 £76.60 £137.79
50 years old £48.20 £106.91 £188.10

^ The monthly premium assumes that the applicant is a non-smoker and lives in the south-east of England 

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.

Where best to buy WPA Health insurance?

WPA offers some 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. 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 the broker calls you back. If you arrange your health insurance this way you will receive £100 cashback (offer ends 31st July 2024).


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