Best Private Health Insurance 2024

Chris Steele
Founder and Editor
Chris is our resident private health insurance and healthcare expert. He has over a decade of experience writing about private medical insurance and treatment. He's Chartered Insurance Institute qualified and is regularly quoted by the national press.
Chris Steele
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Updated on
Jul 18, 2024

Find out who the best private health insurance providers are based on customer reviews and our expert ratings, along with getting a better understanding of how private healthcare works.

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The best private healthcare providers in June 2024

Based on our in-depth expert analysis of private health insurance policy benefits, independent customer reviews and industry awards, the best private healthcare companies in June 2024 are:

  1. WPA (Our rating: 9.6/10)
  2. The Exeter (Our rating 9.5/10)
  3. Bupa (Our rating 9.4/10)
  4. Axa Health (Our rating 9.4/10)
  5. Saga (Our rating 9.3/10)
  6. Vitality  (Our rating 9.2/10)
  7. Freedom (Our rating 9.2/10)
  8. Aviva (Our rating 9.1/10)
  9. National Friendly (Our rating 8.8/10)

Click here to read our detailed reviews of these providers and their market-leading health insurance policies or request a free comparison quote.

What is private health insurance?

Private health insurance is designed to pay for private medical treatment of future medical conditions. However, what is and isn’t covered by your policy is often dictated by how much you pay, your insurer and your medical history.

All health insurance policies, even the most basic, will cover the cost of having “acute” medical conditions treated in a private hospital where you are admitted for a day or more. Chronic conditions (like asthma and diabetes) are always excluded, albeit some insurers may cover acute flare ups of chronic conditions.

More comprehensive private health insurance policies usually include a level of outpatient cover, which gives you access to specialist consultations, tests and scans leading to a diagnosis. Without outpatient cover, you’d either need to receive your diagnosis via the NHS or self-pay for private consultations and tests.

This guide explains the details you need to know about private health insurance, including how it works, what to look out for, and who the best providers are in June 2024.

Is health insurance worth it?

In April 2024, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released findings from a recent survey, which showed that NHS waiting lists are potentially much bigger than previously feared. An estimated 9.7 million adults are waiting for a hospital appointment, test, or to start receiving treatment via the NHS. By comparison, official figures from the NHS as of the end of January 2024 showed that 6.3 million people were waiting for 7.6 million appointments (some people are on more than one waiting list).

So, the ONS suggests that an additional 3.4 million people are waiting for treatment compared to NHS figures. Putting that into context, that's roughly the populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Nottingham, and Manchester combined! 

Those with health insurance at a time when the NHS is struggling, regardless of whose figures you look at, will say yes, health insurance is worth it

Bar chart showing the difference between NHS and ONS figures on the number of people awaiting treatment via the NHS
ONS Jan-Feb 2024 Figures, NHS January 2024 Figures

Which private health insurance companies have the best customer reviews?

Customer service is a vital aspect of any service, but even more so with private health insurance. Unlike other types of insurance, where the chance of you claiming and needing to speak to your insurer is relatively low, there's a high probability you will claim on your health insurance at some point. Yes, you should also factor other things in when comparing health insurance providers, but customer reviews should be high on your list of considerations. Here is our regularly updated table of health insurers' customer reviews:

Which private health insurance company has the best customer reviews? Last updated 3rd July 2024
Rank Health Insurance Company Customer Rating Review Count
1 WPA 4.6/5 3,115
2 Vitality 4.2/5 41,781*
3 Bupa 4.2/5 24,438
4 Axa Health 4.2/5 11,531
5 The Exeter 4.2/5 843*
6 Freedom 4.2/5 165
7 Saga 4.1/5 38,759*
8 Aviva 4.0/5 36,173*
9 National Friendly 3.6/5 189*
SOURCE: Trustpilot and Feefo 03/07/2024

*This company collects reviews for numerous services, not just private medical insurance; this score and count is based on all their reviews. To better understand their performance for health insurance, visit their profile on TrustPilot and filter using the word "health".

Picture with the words "Best private health insurance" with a family holding hands.

Top 9 private health insurance companies UK 2024

Here are our private healthcare experts' top 9 private health insurance companies and policies in 2024:

1. WPA

Our Rating: 9.6/10

WPA and their Complete Health plan is our private healthcare experts' top pick for 2024. WPA stands out due to their incredibly flexible private health insurance plans, a choice between a traditional no claims discount or a pooled risk scheme, and outstanding customer service levels according to their members.

About WPA

WPA is a non-profit organisation that solely provides health insurance and nothing else. They've been supporting members since 1901 and pride themselves on offering freedom to choose when, where and who provides your treatment.

Complete Health

At the end of July 2023, WPA bid farewell to their 14-year-old Flexible Health policies and launched a new product called Complete Health.

Speaking with WPA, they tell us that Complete Health is designed to make it easier for people to create a policy around their specific requirements, and they're offering considerable flexibility to do that.

Pros and cons of WPA health insurance

  • Choice of scheme: You can have a traditional no claims discount or a pooled risk scheme, where your individual claims won't affect renewal premiums.
  • Flexible out-patient options: WPA breakdown out-patient cover between consultations, diagnostic testing, and therapies with generous options in each area, so you can cost-effectively tailor your plan.
  • Near unrestricted consultant access: Use any medical specialist so long as they are registered with WPA.
  • Excellent hospital list: One of the best standard hospital lists in the market, with only a handful of exclusions, typically in Central London.
  • Complex product: The number of options makes the policies complicated and more difficult to compare against other insurers.
  • Pooled risk is expensive in London: Opting for pooled risk over a no claims discount for Londoners tends to be costly.
  • No guided option: you can't reduce your premiums by opting for a guided consultant list.

How does WPA compare to other health insurance providers?

Compared to other health insurance products, WPA offers more flexibility in how your plan can be configured. Uniquely, you get the choice between a no claims discount (NCD) and "pooled risk", an option not offered by other insurers. Their NCD policies are competitively priced, but the pooled risk options tend to be costlier, especially in London.

Customer Reviews

WPA currently has the best customer satisfaction of any provider in our health insurance review, scoring an impressive 4.6/5 from 3,115 reviews and rated Excellent on Trustpilot as of 3rd July 2024. WPA only offers health insurance, so you can be confident that all their reviews are relevant. Customers frequently praise WPA, saying they are "quick to respond", "they keep you informed", "always prompt" and are "incredibly supportive". You can read all of WPA's reviews on their Trustpilot profile.

2. The Exeter

Our Rating: 9.5/10

The Exeter, with its Health+ product is a very close second on our list of the best private health insurance providers and policies in 2024. Where The Exeter excels is its incredibly fair approach to how claims affect your no-claims discount, alongside an excellent, comprehensive core product and great customer reviews.

About The Exeter

The Exeter has mutual status, which means it is owned by its members (customers) and, without shareholders, can re-invest profits to benefit members and advisers. Alongside its health insurance products, The Exeter also offers life and income protection insurance.

Pros and cons of The Exeter health insurance

  • Fair approach to no claims discount: The most generous regarding how claims impact your no claims discount.
  • Annual health check: including a blood analysis and follow-up with a private GP.
  • Option to protect your NCD: Pay more premiums and protect your no claims discount.
  • Free prescriptions: If a prescription is issued following consultation with The Exeter's virtual GP, it'll be free.
  • No option for dental or optical cover: The Exeter doesn't offer cover for routine dental or optical appointments.
  • No option for travel cover: You can't extend your policy to cover you while overseas.

How does The Exeter compare to other health insurance providers?

The Exeter Health+ stands out against other top health insurance plans with the excellent level of cover offered in the core product, along with giving you the flexibility to choose between a hospital list or a competitively priced guided option. In addition, they are incredibly fair when it comes to how your claims affect your no claims discount. Unlike other providers, where a payout as small as £1 can see you drop three no-claims discount levels, The Exeter would have to pay out over £2,000 for the same to happen.

Customer Reviews

The Exeter has a rating of 4.2/5 from 843 reviews on Trustpilot and is currently rated "Great" by its members (3rd June 2024). As a reminder, The Exeter offer other products alongside their health insurance, so the reviews they've received won't all be for Health+. You can read all of The Exeter's reviews on their Trustpilot profile.

3. Bupa

Our Rating: 9.4/10

Bupa is synonymous with private health insurance in the UK, and its Bupa By You Comprehensive product is one of the best you can buy in 2024. Bupa offers several unique benefits, but perhaps the biggest draw is Bupa Direct Access, which allows you to bypass your GP if you think you may have Cancer, are dealing with mental health issues or have minor aches and sprains.

About Bupa

Bupa is perhaps the best-known private health insurer in the UK, but you may not realise that Bupa doesn't have shareholders and can, therefore, re-invest profits back into the business. Bupa is a global company with a presence on most continents and far from just offering health insurance; Bupa provides healthcare through an international network of hospitals, outpatient clients, dental centres, and care homes.

Pros and cons of Bupa health insurance

  • Bupa Direct Access: You can talk to Bupa before seeing a GP for suspected Cancer, mental health issues or minor aches and sprains, and they may refer you to a specialist, avoiding GP waiting times.
  • No upper age limits: Bupa will accept customers of any age, making them one of only a few options for those over 80.
  • Mental health cover as standard: Unique to Bupa, they provide mental health cover in their core product (out-patient mental health services subject to your chosen out-patient limit)
  • Hospital list + Guided Care option: You get the best of both worlds. Choose a hospital list and then decide whether you'd like Guided Care.
  • No protected NCD option: You can't protect your no claims discount with Bupa.
  • Claims over £50112: If Bupa pays out more than £501 in a policy year, you'll move down three levels on their no claims discount structure.

1. Claims relating to these benefits won't impact your no claims discount level: Dental Cover Add-On, NHS Cash Benefits, Anytime HealthLine, Family Mental HealthLine, telephone assessments with the Direct Access Service

2. Where a policy covers more than one person, Bupa calculates everyone's no claims discount separately.

How does Bupa compare to other health insurers?

Bupa By You Comprehensive compares well against leading providers with numerous unique benefits. Bupa Direct Access is an excellent inclusion, which, according to Bupa, can reduce the time it takes to get specialist help for suspected Cancer from weeks to days. Alongside that, their approach to hospital and consultant choice stands out. With Bupa, you choose a hospital list and get the choice between guided or non-guided consultant access, which is unique in the market.

Customer Reviews

Bupa currently has a rating of 4.2/5 from 24,438 reviews on Trustpilot, predominantly for its health insurance product. This volume indicates consistent "Great" service, as customers praise Bupa for being "transparent about what is covered", handling "payments quickly", and providing "very quick" and "zero hassle" appointment booking. While not perfect, most reviews are positive. All reviews are available on Trustpilot.

4. Axa Health

Our Rating: 9.4/10

Axa Health's flagship health insurance policy, Personal Health, combines an excellent hospital list with generous standard out-patient limits (add-on) and great reviews from thousands of customers. It's a modular private health insurance product that can be configured to meet your needs, with more options and add-ons than most.

About Axa Health

Axa Health was formed in 2020 when three existing brands, Axa PPP Healthcare, Health-on-Line and Axa ICAS Limited, were merged into a single brand. Axa Health is part of one of the largest and most recognisable insurance groups in the world.

Pros and cons of Axa Health insurance

  • Generous out-patient limit (add-on): Axa's Standard Out-patient Option offers up to three specialist consultations annually and unlimited diagnostic testing and practitioner appointments without a monetary limit.1
  • Excellent hospital list:Access to over 36,500 specialists and 250 private hospitals and private wings of NHS hospitals.
  • Option to protect your NCD: Minimise the impact of claims on your discount by paying a bit more in premiums.
  • No limit on out-patient therapies (add-on): Unlimited access to physiotherapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths and chiropractors.
  • Claims impact on NCD2: Claims of any value reduce your no-claims discount (NCD) by three levels, which is less generous than other providers. However, not all claims affect the NCD, and there's an option to protect it.

1. No limit on diagnostic tests or practitioner charges when a specialist refers you (includes dieticians, nurses, orthopedists, speech therapists and audiologists)

2. Claims relating to these benefits won't impact your no claims discount level: Claims lower than your access amount, cash benefits such as NHS cash benefit, cashback for opticians and dentists charges, claims under the Therapies Option, claims for speech therapy, claims for Doctoer@Hand or visits to a private GP.

How does Axa Health compare to other top providers?

Axa Health competes well with top UK providers, offering an excellent hospital list, generous out-patient cover, and customisable options like access to complimentary therapies access and private GP consultations. However, their approach to no-claims discounts could be better, though protection is available. They give you a choice between a traditional hospital list, with a choice of any specialist in their directory, or a guided option, where they provide you with three specialists to choose from and support you in booking an appointment via their Fast Track Appointment Service.

Customer Reviews

Axa Health has a 4.2/5 rating from 11,531 Trustpilot reviews, specifically for their health insurance. Customers praise their comprehensive cancer coverage and efficient service, with comments like "covered all of my cancer treatments & multiple operations - no quibble", "Exceptionally happy", and "Effective, simple and quick". While some reviews are less favourable, most view Axa as "Excellent". All reviews are available on Trustpilot.

5. Saga

Our Rating: 9.3/10

Saga, the over-50 specialist, offers several private healthcare plans under the name "HealthPlan" with several levels, including Super, Secure, and Saver Plus. All three plan levels offer access to the same benefits, its just Secure and Saver Plus have limits applied to some aspects.

About Saga

Saga specialises in offering services to the over 50s, from holidays and cruises to car, home and health insurance. Saga has recently switched its underwriter from Axa PPP Healthcare to Bupa Insurance Limited.

Pros and cons of Saga Health Insurance

  • No upper age limit: Saga doesn't have upper age limits on their health insurance products.
  • Mental health cover: included in Super, Secure and Saver Plus plans.
  • Direct access to MSK and Mental health: No need to see a GP first for muscular skeletal concerns or mental health.
  • Unlimited cancer cover: Following diagnosis, you get unlimited cancer treatment and care.
  • Claims impact on NCD1: Claims above the value of your excess will see you move back two levels on their NCD scale.

How does Saga's HealthPlans compare to other top providers?

Saga's HealthPlans Super, Secure and Saver Plus all include excellent levels of cover and many benefits that the over-50s will find attractive. While underwritten by Bupa, Saga will continue to offer a no-claims discount to members, which contrasts Bupa's offering.

Customer Reviews

Similar to some of the leading providers in this guide, with Saga offering so many products and services, it's next to impossible to get a bearing on what customers think of their health insurance. Add to that the recent change to the underwriter, meaning many reviews will relate to an entirely different claims experience; we want to reserve judgment on this aspect. Saga does have excellent reviews on Trustpilot, but these are for all of their services, with the health insurance reviews, good and bad, often relating to the previous underwriter.

6. Vitality

Our Rating: 9.2/10

With its "Shared Value Insurance" business model, Vitality Health and Life doesn't merely provide insurance but a programme of incentives and discounts to help members live healthy lives to everyone's benefit. Their flagship health insurance product, which this review focuses on, is called Personal Healthcare.

About Vitality Health and Life

With its pink livery and discount mascot, Vitality is hard to ignore. Since entering the UK health insurance market in 2004 (as Pruhealth), they've brought innovation and offered a fresh approach to private medical cover.

Pros and cons of Vitality Health Insurance

  • Insurance that rewards you - If you live a fit and healthy lifestyle, you'll be rewarded with lower premiums and other benefits.
  • CBT and counselling - you can refer yourself for up to 8 sessions of talking therapy per year.
  • Self-referred physio - get six sessions per policy year without needing to see a GP first.
  • Excellent cancer cover - included in the core product, with cancer screening too.
  • Claims and lack of engagement can be costly - if you don't maintain healthy habits or make claims, your renewal premiums can rise quickly.
  • No community rated option or NCD - the only choice is the ABC pricing model.

How does Vitality Personal Healthcare compare to other leading policies?

Vitality's flagship private healthcare plan is a very good option if you already lead a healthy lifestyle, stay active and do your best to look after yourself. Vitality is particularly strong when it comes to preventative and early interventions, all aimed at minimising the risk of major illnesses and injuries by seeing them sooner rather than later. If you're not that active or need to claim, you'll likely see hefty price increases at renewal, which could have been avoided with other providers and things like a protected no claims discount.

Customer Reviews

Vitality currently has a rating of 4.2/5 on Trustpilot from 41,781 reviews (6th June 2024). However, these reviews aren't purely for their health insurance plans, and filtering by the keyword "health" highlights numerous less-than-favourable customer reviews. Given that it's not easy to identify which reviews relate to which services, we recommend you visit Trustpilot and have a look for yourself.

7. Freedom Health Insurance

Our Rating: 9.2/10

Freedom Health Insurance is a company that specialises in private medical insurance, and as their name suggests, they pride themselves on giving clients more choice and flexibility. Their flagship product, Freedom Elite, provides an excellent level of core cover, with plenty of ways to enhance your plan.

About Freedom Health Insurance

Freedom Health Insurance is one of the new guards of health insurance providers. It was founded in 2003 in Poole (not far from us). As a specialist health insurer, they can focus their efforts on providing the best products and services to their clients.

Pros and cons of Freedom Elite Health Insurance

  • Pricing is not affected by postcode: Freedom is the only provider in the market that doesn't charge different rates based on where you live.
  • Excellent hospital list: Access to over 240 private hospitals and private wings of NHS hospitals.
  • Community-rated scheme - your individual claims (within limits) won't affect your renewal premiums.
  • Face-to-face GP appointment (add-on): Cashback on up to £300 worth of private GP consultations a year.
  • No NCD option - Freedom doesn't currently offer the option to have a no claims discount.
  • No guided option - Freedom doesn't allow you to restrict your consultant access through a guided option for a reduced premium.

How does Freedom compare to other top providers?

Freedom's Elite health insurance is a strong product with plenty of benefits, especially if you want more flexibility over who and where you are treated. Looking at Freedom's policy documentation, their limits on things such as alternative therapies and mental health aren't as generous as others we've reviewed. It's great that they are one of the only providers offering a "community rated" type scheme, but it is a shame there isn't an option for a traditional no-claims discount, as we know many are more comfortable with that model.

Customer Reviews

Freedom, like all the insurers, has reviews in numerous places, including Trustpilot (48), Google (29) and Feefo (165). While the Feefo volumes look reasonable, only 14 reviews have been left in the past year, so it's difficult to draw conclusions about the wider client experience. We recommend looking at the numerous review platforms to draw your own conclusions.

8. Aviva

Our Rating: 9.1/10

Healthier Solutions is Aviva's private health insurance policy for individuals and families in the UK. The core product is strong and includes most you'd expect from a flagship private healthcare product, with the ability to tailor it to your requirements with various additional options.

About Aviva

Aviva is one of the largest insurers in the UK that offers a range of financial service products, from insurance and investments to pensions and retirement planning. Regarding insurance, Aviva covers almost everything an individual or family might need.

Pros and cons of Aviva Health Insurance

  • No upper age limit: Aviva doesn't have upper age limits on their Healthier Solutions product.
  • Out-patient mental health included: Up to £2,000 of cover for GP-referred out-patient mental health treatment in the core product (less if out-patient limit applied).
  • Renewal price guarantee: As long as you don't claim in your first year, Aviva commits to keep your premiums the same at your first renewal.
  • Stress counselling helpline: 24/7 telephone access to counsellors who can support you with any emotional issue.
  • Claims impact on NCD1: If your claims exceed £250 in a year, you'll move down by three levels on Aviva's no-claims discount scale. You can, however, opt to protect your no-claims discount for an additional cost.
  • Video GP limited to 5 sessions: While you may not need more, this is less generous than other insurers.

1. Claims relating to these benefits won't impact your no-claims discount level: Hospice donation, baby bonus, stress counselling helpline, GP-referred treatment by a speech therapist for children.

How does Aviva Health Insurance compare to other top providers?

Aviva is one of the leading providers in the market, with a clear focus on making health insurance affordable to more individuals and families through a range of discounts and premium reduction options. Including out-patient mental health cover in the core product is a big plus, especially for working adults and those with children. It's also good that they accept new customers in later life, giving those who might struggle to get a policy elsewhere another good option.

Customer Reviews

Aviva currently has a rating of 4.0/5 on Trustpilot from 36,183 reviews; however, as these are for the company as a whole and the many products and services they provide, it's hard to see what health insurance customers are saying.

Filtering the reviews on Trustpilot using the word "health" reveals numerous one-star reviews about their health insurance, but it may be that other positive reviewers didn't use that word and, therefore, are not included. If customer reviews are important to you, visit their Trustpilot profile and filter the results using words you think health insurance clients will use.

9. National Friendly

Our Rating: 8.8/10

National Friendly are perhaps one of the lesser-known UK private health insurance companies we've selected to review.

National Friendly My PMI

National Friendly's private health insurance plan is called Optimum. They promise a fair and friendly approach to medical insurance; on the whole, we agree that they deliver on that promise. Their straightforward policy information details what's covered and what's not, and they go further than any other to keep your premiums at a manageable level.

One of the biggest draws of a National Friendly UK health insurance is that any claims you make won't affect your renewal premiums in the first five years. The only increases you can expect will be due to your age and medical inflation, not your personal claims history. National Friendly also stack up well when it comes to their hospital list. They offer one of the most comprehensive lists on the market, with very few exclusions.

Customer Reviews

National Friendly, like many of the other health insurance companies, collect independent reviews via Trustpilot and currently has a score of score of 3.6 out of 5 stars, However, that is only from 189 reviews, making them perhaps less representative of their service than other providers with thousands.

How do we review which private healthcare policies get the best rating?

myTribe's ratings for UK health insurance policies are calculated based on a specific list of policy features alongside other factors, such as customer service levels and reviews, clarity of information, attitude to claims and more. Here is a list of some of the key elements we consider:

  • Maximum total cover (per year)
  • Cancer cover levels
  • How claims affect discounts and premiums
  • Consultant/specialist choice and limitations
  • Hospital lists
  • Customer reviews - volume and overall score
  • Helplines and support
  • Virtual GP services
  • Physiotherapy cover
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • CT, MRI, and PET Scans
  • Defaqto rating
  • Dental and optical cover
  • Travel cover
  • Exclusions
  • And many more


How does health insurance work in the UK?

If you're new to health insurance and want to better understand how it works, here is our introductory video which explains the basics:

What to look out for when choosing the best medical insurance

In this part of our guide we cover some of the core questions people have and explain some of the subtleties you should look out for when comparing private healthcare providers. 

Benefits of private health insurance

Generally speaking, you can expect all of the following benefits from a health insurance policy:

  • Be treated sooner in a private healthcare setting, bypassing NHS waiting lists
  • Access to private consultants and specialists
  • A private room if you're admitted to hospital
  • More choice over who provides your treatment
  • Various rewards, discounts and member incentives

What does private health insurance cover?

Private health insurance covers the costs associated with treating acute medical conditions, meaning those which, generally speaking, are curable. Chronic diseases are excluded, as are pre-existing conditions you've suffered from in the past five years if you opt for moritorium underwriting. While there are many benefits of health insurance, there are limitations too, and it's not designed to replace the NHS but work alongside it.

Basic policies vs comprehensive policies

Even the most basic policies will cover the cost of being treated in a private hospital where you require a bed for a day or overnight. However, you'll need to be diagnosed via the NHS first before receiving your treatment privately with entry-level policies. 

Comprehensive policies typically include outpatient cover, often limited to a monetary value per year. With these policies, all you need is a referral from your GP, and then everything from then onwards will take privately.

All providers and their policies will be different, so take your time when choosing the right one for you. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified broker before deciding as they understand all of the policies and can provide you with individual advice.

If you're looking for a lower cost policy, read our recently updated guide to cheap health insurance in the UK

Optional extras

While comprehensive policies will cover numerous private healthcare treatment and diagnosis options, you can also look to enhance your cover with a range of extras; typically including:

  • Therapies Cover - such as physiotherapy (although many will include post-op physiotherapy sessions in their core product)
  • Mental Health Cover - many policies include access to helplines, but you'll usually pay more for access to more extensive treatment options.
  • Dental and Optical Cover - you can get help towards the cost of routine appointments and check-ups.
  • Travel Insurance - if you want your private health insurance to extend beyond the UK.
  • Unrestricted consultant choice - some providers, such as WPA, National Friendly and Freedom, don't have too many limits on who can treat you, but others do. 
  • Access to more hospitals - all medical insurance providers operate their own hospital lists, and if you want to extend those, you can pay to do so.

What's excluded?

All private healthcare insurance companies will have some exclusions, and it's always best to refer to your policy documentation to see what yours excludes. However, generally speaking, you can expect the following to be excluded on most policies:

  • Monitoring of and treatment of long-term (chronic) conditions
  • Emergency treatment
  • Cosmetic treatment
  • Self-harm, alcohol abuse and drug abuse
  • Childbirth, birth control and infertility
  • Treatment that takes place outside the UK

Please note: There are some circumstances where specific exclusions may be covered. For example, some insurers may contribute or cover the cost of cosmetic surgery, which is required due to an operation. If you have questions, please speak to your broker or the insurer or review their policy documentation. 

The average cost of private healthcare

In June 2024, we obtained 900 quotes from the top health insurance companies for fictional people of varying ages living in different locations across the UK. The following table shows the research results, with the average cost for a comprehensive policy with the eight top health insurers in the UK.

How much does a good health insurance policy cost?
Age Average Monthly Premium
20-years-old £41.21
30-years-old £54.13
40-years-old £67.32
50-years-old £87.53
60-years-old £126.62
70-years-old £202.51

*Average based on quotes from eight leading health insurers in 10 UK cities in June 2024. We opted for a comprehensive policy, with a £250 excess (or as close as possible), outpatient cover limited £1,000 per policy year where possible, and we included alternate therapies cover. We opted for a guided consultant list where availiable, excluding mental health, dental, optical and travel cover.

Disclaimer: This information is general and what is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Please speak with a financial adviser or do your own research before making a decision.

This article was written by:
Chris Steele
Founder and Editor

Chris is our resident private health insurance and healthcare expert. He has over a decade of experience writing about private medical insurance and treatment. He's Chartered Insurance Institute qualified and is regularly quoted by the national press.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I buy health insurance?

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There are a couple of ways you can buy health insurance in the UK. Firstly, you could research all of the providers and policies and then contact them directly for quotes. The second way, which we and many others do, is to speak to a health insurance broker who can perform a market review for you and help you select the best policy for the best price. Brokers are paid by the insurers, so the service they provide to you is free, and you’ll get the same price going through one as you would going direct.

Who is the No 1 Health Insurance Company In the UK?

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WPA are our experts' top health insurance company for 2024, with excellent policies and outstanding customer service.

Who are the primary providers of private medical services in the UK?

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There are a number of excellent private hospitals groups in the UK, which of those you can access under your health insurance will vary, however. In short, these are the main providers:

  • Nuffield Health - One of the best known Private Healthcare providers in the UK, Nuffield Health is a not-for-profit charity, which invests its income back into improving the nation's health. They currently have 31 hospitals and over 100 fitness and wellbeing clubs across the UK. They work with the NHS, private medical insurers, employers and the public to provide private health and wellbeing services.
  • Spire Healthcare - Spire Healthcare has 39 private hospitals across the UK and provides a large range of treatments, from cancer and cardiac care, through to diagnostic scans, tests and investigations. An award-winning provider, Spire Healthcare are committed to providing high-quality care to the UK.
  • BMI Healthcare - BMI Healthcare started in 1970 and today has 54 private hospitals and clinics throughout the UK. Offering over 500 different medical treatments, they have centres of excellence for cancer, spinal, orthopaedic, neuro and cardiac care. 
  • HCA - HCA operates six world-class private hospitals across London and the Christie Private Care Hospital in Manchester. Due to location and their first-class facilities, healthcare at these hospitals tend to cost more than with some of the other providers mentioned and often isn’t covered by health insurers’ standard hospital lists.
  • Ramsay Healthcare - Ramsay Healthcare has a network of 33 private hospitals in England and Wales, which provide a comprehensive range of clinical services to over 200,000 people per annum and employ over 5,000 people.

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