Health insurance for parents (2024 Guide)

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
May 8, 2024

Whether you've become a parent for the first time, been parents for a while, or are here to buy a health insurance policy for your parents, this guide aims to explain exactly what your options are and how to get the best deal. If you already know that you need Parents' Health Insurance, click the link below to request a free quote.

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What is health insurance for parents?

Private health insurance plans for parents are the same as other policies on the market in that you pay an annual premium, and if you suffer from certain illnesses while the policy is active, the insurer will pay for your treatment via private healthcare.

What's covered by parents' health insurance?

What is an isn't covered by your private health insurance will, of course, be determined by your insurance company and the policy you choose, but we can tell you broadly speaking what you can expect to be covered. It's important to point out that all private health insurance policies are for the diagnosis and treatment of acute medical conditions, meaning those that develop quickly and crucially can be cured.  Chronic conditions, meaning those that are long-term which currently have no cure, are not typically covered by health insurance plans. In some cases, testing and consultations leading up to a diagnosis of a chronic condition will be covered, but not always.

Inpatient Treatment

All health insurance policies, including those for parents, will cover at a minimum the cost of inpatient treatments in a private hospital. Inpatient treatments are those where you are admitted to hospital and you require a bed overnight. In most cases day-patient treatments will also be included in your policy, these are treatments where a hospital bed is required just for a day and not overnight.

Outpatient Treatments

Outpatient diagnosis, tests and treatments will often be excluded from basic health cover but available to include as an additional extra. As the name suggests, outpatient treatments are those where you don't need to be admitted to the hospital at all. The best private health insurance policies, or comprehensive policies as they are also known will cover inpatient, day patient and outpatient treatments.

What isn't covered by parents' health insurance?

While there are many inclusions there are of course certain things which will be excluded from your parent's health insurance policy. These include:

  • treatment for chronic conditions as we've already mentioned
  • normal/routine pregnancy and childbirth
  • emergency healthcare
  • cosmetic surgery unless it is medically necessary
  • pre-existing conditions
  • treatment in very high end central London hospitals
  • treatment for alcohol or substance abuse

Of course these are just some of the exclusions you can expect on your health insurance plan and to get a full and accurate list please consult with your health insurance broker or policy terms and conditions.

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The top providers of parents health insurance

While each provider has its own unique offerings, there are several that stand out in a crowded market as the best for parents:

We'd strongly recommend before choosing a provider you speak to a broker about your needs as finding the right policy may take a little time.

Benefits of health insurance plans to parents

There are tons of benefits to taking out a private health insurance policy, as we've covered in another recent article, but to summarise you can expect all of the following:

Faster treatment and diagnosis

If there's one thing we don't have as parents it's time and that's especially true if you find yourself unwell and needing medical treatment. As good as the NHS is, it is on the verge of being overwhelmed with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Even before the recent outbreak, the NHS wasn't on a good footing, which left thousands of parents waiting for treatments and suffering in the process. One of the primary benefits of private health insurance is that you get access to faster diagnosis and treatments, effectively jumping the queue and being seen faster.

A private room in hospital

If you're admitted to hospital and you have a parents health insurance policy, you'll not only get first-class treatments, you'll also get a private room while you're admitted. While on the face of it this may seem like a minor benefit, for many of us, the last thing we want when we're unwell is to be surrounded by other people. By having a private room you get your privacy and you can enjoy the time with your visitors all the more.

Choose where and when you're treated

If you have a private health insurance plan and you become unwell, you'll get the choice of not only when you receive treatment but where too. You can choose from an extensive list of the best private hospitals in your insurers directory across the country.

Access drugs and treatments not routinely available on the NHS

Another significant benefit of your health insurance plan is that it will give you access to drugs and medicines that might not yet be available on the NHS.

What affects the price of parents' health insurance?

Probably the most significant factor in the cost of your health insurance will be the age of the people on the policy, the older you are the more expensive the policy will be. After age, the next biggest contributor to the price of your policy is the level of coverage you opt for. If you choose a comprehensive policy with additional options like mental health cover and routine dental and optical cover, your policy will be significantly more than if you opted for a more straightforward basic policy.

Underwriting is often mentioned when you're looking at parents' health insurance policies as the type of underwriting chosen will often affect the price of the policy. Around 95% of policies in the UK are written on what's called a moratorium underwriting basis, which means that any illnesses you've suffered from in the past five years are automatically excluded. If you don't suffer from the illness for a period of 2 years then the condition will be covered by the policy. The alternative to moratorium underwriting is full medical underwriting which requires you to disclose all of your medical history upfront to the insurer. The benefit of this type of underwriting is that before you take the policy out you'll have a clear picture of what is and isn't covered, whereas with moratorium underwriting it might not be so clear.

Where you live in the UK will also play a key role in the cost of your policy. If you live in central London for instance, the insurer will know that you're more likely to use hospitals in the capital which will be more expensive than those outside. In fact, reducing your hospital list and removing hospitals in London can be an excellent way of bringing the cost of your policy down.

Finally, the excess you set on your policy will play a direct role in the annual premiums you pay. It's important to remember that an excess needs to be affordable, so please avoid making it too high as you could get a nasty surprise at point of claiming.

Compare parents' health insurance

As one of the UK's leading health insurance brokers, we're able to scour the market on your behalf and provide you with the best pricing. Our FCA approved advisors will take the time to make sure that we find the best policy not only for your pocket but also for your overall needs too. If you would like a free comparison quote, please complete our quote form and one of our brokers will be in touch with you shortly.

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.

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