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Peter Grandby
Read time:
5 Minutes
Published on
April 21, 2020
Last updated
May 3, 2020

How Does Coronavirus Affect Health Insurance? Your Questions Answered

The global coronavirus pandemic has led to many of our health insurance customers to contact us with questions about their policies. In this article, we look to answer your questions and also provide some additional information about the benefits of health insurance during the Covid19 outbreak. 

As always, we're here to answer any questions you might have, so if there is something you'd like to ask which we haven't covered in this article, please contact us

Is my private health insurance still valid during coronavirus?

Yes, existing private health insurance policies are both still valid and proving hugely valuable to the many customers who are unable to see or speak to their GP.

Private treatments and consultations are indeed being affected by the Covid19 pandemic, due to the private healthcare sectors agreement with the NHS to work together to tackle the virus. However, it's important to remember that the benefits of private medical insurance, extend further than merely care in a private hospital setting. 

We're finding that those with private medical insurance are grateful for benefits that it affords such as:

  • Access to virtual GP services
  • Counselling and mental health support
  • Private prescriptions

For some, it may seem sensible to cancel a health insurance policy until its full benefits return, however, The Association of Medical Insurers (AMII) has warned customers against this. Executive chairman Stuart Scullion recently said, “Consumers need to protect their underwriting status and cover to ensure they do not find themselves with a new Moratorium or exclusions applied.”.

What are the benefits of health insurance during coronavirus?

With many GP surgeries offering a skeleton, telephone only service, and non-urgent operations and procedures being cancelled, waiting lists in the UK will only be getting longer. As we emerge from this crisis, the nation will tackle another in the form of a backlog of operations and procedures which were cancelled during the outbreak. By having private medical insurance, you ensure that you will be treated as quickly as possible and you'll have more of a say over when and where treatment takes place. 

With the UK part way through its fourth week in lockdown, many people are experiencing increased mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression alongside feelings of loneliness and exclusion. Employed and self-employed workers are facing a period of heightened uncertainty which again adds to mental health strain. Many private health insurance policies offer mental health support and counselling, not only for adult policyholders but for children too. These services are of course being delivered remotely but are available for those needing help and support.

If I have coronavirus, can I go to a private hospital?

No, private hospitals don't provide emergency services, and so anyone with Covid19 should use NHS services as they would with any other emergency. It may be that you end up being treated in a private hospital, due to the partnership between the private healthcare industry and the NHS, but this wouldn't be because you have private medical insurance. 

If I'm admitted to hospital with Covid19, will I get a cash benefit?

Several insurers are offering cash benefit to members who are admitted to hospital with the virus, however, it will depend on your policy and the provider's current terms.

For example, Bupa is offering customers a cash NHS benefit of £50 per night up to 35 nights, to stay in hospital with coronavirus. Vitality is offering £250 per day for up to eight days and WPA is funding private testing but not treatment of the virus.

Can I take out health insurance during the covid19 crisis?

Yes, you can. Some private medical insurers are choosing not to accept new customers at present, others are. If you would like a quote for a policy please complete our quote form and one of our team will be in contact to discuss your circumstances. 

Will the cost of health insurance go up because of coronavirus?

No, as far as we are aware at the moment, premiums aren't expected to increase because of coronavirus. You may find though that someone with a pre-existing condition such as asthma, may get a narrower choice of policies because of the crisis. 

If you have an underlying condition and you would like to discuss your options privately then please contact us by completing our quote form. 

If you are interested to learn which providers are the best in the UK, then please read our recent article Best Private Health Insurance UK.

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Peter Grandby
Read time:
5 Minutes