In this article we look at health insurance that can provide cover for you and for your family. Most health insurance providers offer a 'family' policy and so we take a look at what is and isn't covered, how much it costs and the best way to buy it. In order to keep this article concise, we focus specifically on family health insurance. For a more detailed look at what health insurance is, how it works and whether or not you should buy it, check out our article 'Is private health insurance worth it?'
What is family health insurance?
Family health insurance is a type of health insurance policy that covers multiple family members under one policy. By covering multiple people under one policy, it requires less administration and so is generally cheaper than covering everyone individually. It also means less paperwork and fuss when it comes to annual renewals and dealing with claims.
What is 'child-only' health insurance and should I get it?
Before buying family health insurance it is worth considering whether 'child-only' health insurance would be more suitable. Child-only health insurance is a health insurance policy that a parent can purchase to cover their child or children. Of course, it does mean that as a parent you won't be covered but as the cost of family health insurance is heavily impacted by the parents on the policy, child-only cover can be extremely good value for money.
Where can I buy child-only health insurance and how much does it cost?
Online comparison sites won't allow you to apply directly for child-only health insurance as it is a specialist product, so you are best speaking to an independent specialist. Later in this article we explain the benefits of speaking to an independent specialist when purchasing health insurance and who we recommend.
Aviva and Axa are two of a very small number of health insurance providers that offer child-only health insurance and the quotes are unique to you and your family, based on factors such as where you live and the amount of excess you require. Prices start from around £15 per month for a newborn child and the price will go up each year on the annual renewal date. You will get notified by the insurance company in advance of each renewal and it is worth noting that the annual increases for child-only health insurance are not prohibitively expensive, especially when compared to adult health insurance.
What is covered on a family health insurance policy?
Below we have listed the benefits that are included as standard as well as additional benefits that may be offered; these vary by insurer.
What is included with a family health insurance policy (as standard)
- Hospital accommodation
- Nursing care
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Additional cover (additional therapy, psychiatric care etc) varies by insurer
Additional benefits that could be included with a family health insurance policy (varies by insurer)
- Diagnostics of allergies or intolerances
- Cosmetic surgery (Birthmarks etc)
- Ear correction (Pinning of ears etc)
- Adult accommodation while child is undergoing treatment
- Speech therapy
What isn't covered on a family health insurance policy?
Below we have listed the benefits that are not included on a family health insurance policy.
Not included on a family health insurance policy as standard
- Pre-existing medical conditions (unless moratorium application and no symptoms or treatment for at least 2 years)
- Other conditions (pregnancy, transplants, drug abuse etc) varies by insurer
Some private health insurance hospitals do not have children’s facilities. Always check the hospital list available to you (will be unique to your area) and don’t accept a reduced hospital list unless you are sure your child will be covered
It is worth noting that family health insurance does not cover any clinical trials or remedies relating to sleep disorders or musculoskeletal complaints (growing pains).
How much does family health insurance cost?
There are many factors that can impact the cost of family health insurance and they include:
- How many people are covered on the policy
- The type of cover you apply for (basic, intermediate or comprehensive)
- The age of the people insured
- The smoker status of the adults
- Location (the cost can be impacted by where you live)
- The excess you choose
As you can see, there are many factors that can impact the cost of family health insurance and some require you to make a decision, such as the level of cover and excess. It can be difficult to understand what type of cover is best which is why online comparison sites are not recommended when purchasing family health insurance.
Generally speaking, if you want health insurance (sometimes referred to as Private Medical Insurance or PMI) for the whole family (including 2 children or more) you will be better off going with a family health insurance policy. We explain the best way to buy family health insurance in the next section.
Where is the best place to buy family health insurance?
We would recommend that you speak to an independent specialist such as Assured Futures* as they will be able to guide you through the options and ensure that you are matched with the best health insurance provider for your own unique circumstances.
To demonstrate their knowledge and expertise, Assured Futures have provided 3 'good to know' tips when comparing family health insurance policy quotes.
- Consider Aviva if you have 2 or more children on the policy as you’ll only pay for your 1st child (under 20) and then every child after that is free of charge. Aviva only requires you to have one adult on the policy. Each individual that is insured retains their own no claims discount. Once the first child reaches 20, the next child becomes chargeable
- Another insurer to consider for large families is Freedom Health. They offer a family plan and rather than breaking down the price for each member, they provide a total price (which can be very good value).
- Bupa offers a comprehensive policy and covers mental health cover as standard. It also offers an 'extended hospital list' for children as a bonus on family policies
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses - Assured Futures
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