In this review of Freedom Health Insurance, we introduce you to this increasingly popular family-run provider before digging into their leading policy, Freedom Elite. Learn how they're different and the lengths they goto to provide exceptional customer service.
Freedom Health Insurance was founded in 2003 and since then has grown in popularity owing to its simple, transparent and flexible approach to private medical insurance. As a specialist health insurer, they cater to individuals, families, and businesses and pride themselves on having a friendly and knowledgeable team ready to go the extra mile for customers.
Freedom takes customer service seriously and sets out several promises to customers, new and old, to ensure they get the help they need as quickly as possible. In today’s world, where we all spend countless hours a year on hold, it’s refreshing to see that Freedom prioritises things, such as answering calls within five rings. That’s not just a sales promise either; they carry that through to customer services and claims, promising to process claims and pay them quickly - looking after you and the medical professionals providing your treatment.
Freedom Elite is Freedom’s flagship private health insurance policy designed to be both comprehensive and flexible. The core policy covers you for inpatient, and day-patient treatment and diagnostic tests, including complex tests such as MRI, CT and PET scans on referral from a specialist. In addition to that, and quite uniquely to Freedom, they include cover for many pregnancy complications and offer a maternity NHS cash benefit. While many of you reading this will likely wish to add extra cover to your policy, it’s good to know that you’ve got an excellent base to build off of and configure to your needs.
We’ll get into some of the benefits of Freedom Elite’s health insurance in a bit more depth later in this review, but for now, here is a quick summary of things you should know:
We have to be honest that there aren’t many disadvantages of Freedom Health Insurance, with the only ones of note being:
In this section of our review of Freedom Health Insurance, we dig into their policy, highlighting the best bits and explaining how they differ from others in the market.
Freedom Elite gives you excellent cover for inpatient and day-patient treatment with all of the following included:
With Freedom Elite, you get exceptional cancer cover in your core policy before considering additional options. Freedom covers the cost of cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, stem cell therapy and a bone marrow transplant in full. The only notable exclusion is that the investigation into and diagnosis of the cancer isn’t included unless you opt for their additional outpatient cover (which many of you likely will).
As you can see, if you have a Freedom Elite policy, you will have access to the very best cancer treatment should the worse happen.
In line with others in the industry, the only things they won’t cover you for are experimental treatments, unlicensed drugs and preventative treatments when you’re symptom-free.
True to their name, Freedom’s Elite health insurance gives you access to nearly any private hospital in the UK. The only exceptions are HCA hospitals in Central London. With Freedom, you’ll have access to all of the following:
There are no specialist psychiatric hospitals on Freedom’s hospital list. However, if you’ve opted to add mental health treatment to your policy and want to be treated in a psychiatric hospital, your choice is considered on a case by case basis.
If you want to include HCA hospitals, you can; you just need to pay an additional premium to have them on your policy. HCA aside, Freedom’s hospital list is one of the most generous in the market, and the same is true when it comes to the consultants you can access.
With Freedom, you get unrestricted access to any consultant or specialist in the UK. That’s a big plus and a huge selling point, as many of you will likely buy health insurance because it gives you more choice over who provides your treatment. This freedom isn’t always the case, with many larger insurers often restricting your choice in return for slightly lower premiums.
Freedom gives you a choice between two levels of outpatient cover, either cover in full or to a limit of £1,500 per year. Taking out this option means that you'll benefit from receiving a diagnosis as promptly as possible and gain access to some outpatient treatments, including physiotherapy.
Mental health cover is only available on Freedom health insurance’s Elite plan as an optional extra. If you add mental health cover to your policy, you’ll be covered for up to 45 days of inpatient or day-patient treatment for acute mental health conditions. You’ll also be able to access outpatient treatment, including consultations with a specialist and treatment with a psychologist, psychotherapist or cognitive behavioural therapist.
Specialist psychiatric hospitals aren’t included on Freedom’s hospital list but can be approved on a case by case basis. If you need treatment in a specialist unit, you’ll need to contact them for approval on your chosen hospital when you make your claim.
Freedom Elite covers you for dental surgery required due to several conditions; however, much like most of the market, it's an extra if you’d like routine dental and optical appointments covered. This option includes cover for private GP costs, which could be helpful and isn’t common amongst other providers.
Freedom’s dental cover gives you up to £300 per policy year towards routine services your dentist or hygienist provides. Alongside that, they’ll also cover you for up to £600 due to a dental injury. The only thing to bear in mind is that a compulsory excess of £50 per insured person for each period of insurance applies.
The optical part of the “Dental, optical and private GP” package covers you for up to £200 towards the cost of routine check-ups and glasses and lenses if there has been a change in prescription. Similarly to the dental aspect, specific optical surgeries are included in your core policy. For example, you could claim under your core Elite policy if you needed treatment for an acute case of cataracts.
Like others in the market, Freedom offers access to a 24/7 virtual GP service which they call GP24, so if you need to speak to someone quickly, you can. However, they go further with their optional “Dental, optical and private GP” package. They’ll also cover up to £300 in face-to-face private GP consultations. This is a rare addition, and one that’s very useful when seeing a doctor in person is either your preference or a requirement of the symptoms you’re suffering.
Access to a virtual GP service is becoming increasingly popular, as it gives you the freedom to arrange your GP appointments around work and your other commitments. You can access the telephone service 24/7, 365 days a year, but the online service is only available between 8 am and 10 pm and closes on Christmas Day.
The virtual GP service can provide private prescriptions (chargeable separately) and refer you for further treatment. You can access your notes online and choose to share them with your GP. There’s also a messaging service and access to health information online.
One of the key aspects where Freedom stands out is that they include some pregnancy cover, which most health insurance doesn’t.
Freedom includes cover for pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, post-partum haemorrhage and retained placenta, and any other complications resulting from those conditions. The only exclusions are:
Freedom Elite provide a maternity cash benefit of £150 if you have a baby at least ten months after the start of your policy. We can understand how they’ve done the maths on that.
Like any insurer, Freedom has a fair number of exclusions, and you should always review their policy documentation before taking out a policy to familiarise yourself with them. Here are some of the key exclusions worth bringing your attention to now:
Freedom health insurance offers both moratorium underwriting, where anything you've received treatment or advice for in the past five years is automatically excluded. You can also opt for full medical underwriting, where you share your medical history upfront. Around 95% of health insurance in the UK is written on a moratorium basis, but that doesn't mean it's always the best, especially for those with more complex medical histories. For that reason, we'd suggest it's something you raise with your health insurance broker, as they will be able to help you make an informed decision.
Freedom health insurance offers a few ways to save money on your policy through discounts and other incentives.
Firstly, they guarantee that your premium won't increase during the first two years of your policy, even if you've made a claim albeit terms and conditions apply. They also operate a community-rated pricing rather than a traditional no claims discount, aiming to keep premiums stable even if you need to make a claim.
If you have the money, you've got the option to pay for the whole year in advance, and if you do, you'll receive a 6% discount on your premium.
You'll only pay for the first child if you take out health insurance for yourself and your family. This applies to any children who live with you up until the age of 29, which could represent a significant discount if they haven't flown the nest yet.
In February 2022, we obtained pricing from Freedom Health Insurance for their Elite policy for six age groups in ten locations across the UK. Needless to say, there wasn't any pricing variation across the UK. As you would expect, the cost of the policies increased as they became older. We opted for a £250 excess and outpatient cover limited to £1,500 per year for this research. We didn't choose their Dental, Optical and Private GP option, nor did we opt for mental health cover.
*Prices true as of February 2022. We opted for a £250 excess, £1,500 in outpatient cover and excluded mental health, dental and optical cover.
Being a relatively small company, Freedom hasn’t amassed the number of reviews of others in the market. However, those they have received have been largely positive. They currently hold a 4.6 out of 5-star rating from customers on Feefo and a 4 out of 5-star rating from Defaqto.
Customers on Feefo often speak in superlatives about Freedom, with reviews citing them as providing a “brilliant service”, an “efficient and friendly service”, and being “really helpful and supportive”.
If you want to know more about Freedom Health Insurance, you have a few options. You can head to their website, speak to an insurance broker or download some of their policy documents below. Whichever you choose, we always recommend you request a comparison quote and talk to a health insurance broker before making a decision; they’ll be able to help you decide on the best provider for you and give you advice and information that isn’t always obvious.
Download the policy documentation:
Freedom are, without doubt, one of the best health insurers in the UK at the moment, and for many of you, they may well be the best choice. Therefore, we’ve given them a 4.5 out of 5 stars in this review. Families, especially those living in places where it’s traditionally expensive to get health insurance, can expect to benefit the most. However, they're also a brilliant option for those who want more "freedom" over where you're treated and by whom. To find out how they compare against other leading providers, be sure to read our regularly updated guide.
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.
No, Freedom is an independent family-owned business that isn’t part of Axa PPP.
No, Freedom are the only leading health insurer that doesn’t change their pricing based on your postcode.
Yes, Freedom Elite includes cover for cancer treatment in their core policy. However, tests and diagnosis of said cancer are only included if you take out their optional outpatient cover.
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*Based on 461 quotes between 01/22-01/23