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Health insurance

✓ Fast access to private healthcare
✓ 5 Star Defaqto rated health insurance
✓ Discounts and rewards for healthy living.

Get a health quote


What is health insurance?

Health insurance gives you access to private healthcare in the UK and helps cover the cost. This can be anything from private GP appointments to cancer treatment. 

Health insurance is also called medical insurance, private medical insurance or private health insurance. They're all the same thing.

Our core cover gives you peace of mind that you can access private healthcare whenever you need it. But, you'll also get support, tools and rewards to help with your health and wellbeing. From mental health and menopause support, to discounts on popular health and fitness brands, and rewards for being active.      

Why choose our health insurance?  

  • Full Cover Promise

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    If you're admitted to hospital, we'll pay your consultant and anaesthetist fees in full. We promise to pay for this as long as the treatment is eligible, and the consultant is recognised by us. We’re the only health insurer in the UK to offer this guarantee as part of our core cover1.

  • Online doctor appointments

    Vitality GP icon

    Appointments within 48 hours and access to a 24/7 medical helpline with Vitality GP. Get direct referrals to a consultant, private prescriptions and more. 

  • 5 Star rated health insurance

    Vitality's health insurance is 5 Star Defaqto rated

    Our health insurance has been rated 5 Star by Defaqto. This means it’s verified as a trusted product.

  • Discounts and rewards

    Rewards icon

    To make healthy living easier, you’ll get discounts on popular health and fitness brands. And when you get active, you can earn weekly rewards.

The benefits of health insurance

  • Fast access to private healthcare

    Stethoscope icon

    This means you're diagnosed and treated quickly.

  • Specialist treatment

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    Private health insurance can help pay for the costs of specialist drugs and treatment.

  • Choice and privacy

    Hospital icon

    You can choose where you are treated, and who by.

How does health insurance work?

You pay monthly health insurance premiums. When your GP refers you to a specialist, you make a claim with your insurer. You'll be able to choose who treats you, and at which hospital. 
  1. Choose your medical insurance plan 
    Choose your insurer and your excess amount. This is the amount you agree to pay towards your treatment if you make a claim. The higher your excess, the lower your premiums.

  2.  Pay your premium 
    This is the cost of your medical insurance plan. It’s usually taken as a monthly Direct Debit. 

  3. See a GP when you're unwell
    This can either be your NHS GP or a private GP, like Vitality GP. If you need to see a specialist or get treatment, they'll refer you. 

  4. Contact your insurer and make a claim
    When you contact your insurer, they can find a consultant for you. They will ask about your symptoms and when they started. 
    They will assess your claim. When it’s approved, you can receive treatment.

  5. Your private healthcare bill is paid
    Once you've received your treatment, the hospital will send your insurer the invoice. In some circumstances you may need to pay your excess. For example, if your treatment cost £1,000 and your excess is £250, the insurer will cover £750, and you’ll pay £250.

What does health insurance cost in the UK?

Monthly premiums vary from person to person. Premiums are calculated based on many factors, like your:
  • Age
  • Current health
  • What your chosen excess is – the higher your excess, the lower your premium will be.
Our core health cover starts from £1.25 a day.
Get a health insurance quote

What does health insurance cover?

Private medical insurance helps cover the cost of private medical treatment. This includes hospital stays, medicines, and surgical procedures.
Health insurance in the UK doesn't usually cover long-term conditions like diabetes or any you had before you bought your plan.

What's covered? 

Acute conditions 
These are conditions where symptoms develop quickly and treatment is short-term. Examples include hernias and joint injuries.
Private hospital stays
Specialist consultations
✓ Diagnostic tests
✓ Cancer treatment 
✓ Oral surgery

Our core cover includes the above, but also includes:
Weight loss surgery
Corrective surgeries
✓ Discounts and rewards for healthy living
 Mental health support
 Menopause support.

You can boost what's covered in your plan by including cover options for an extra cost. For example, Out-patient Cover, which gives you access to physiotherapy for non-surgical conditions.

What's not covered?

Long term, chronic conditions
Conditions where symptoms appear slowly and can worsen over time. For example, diabetes.
✕ Pre-existing conditions
Any treatment you receive outside the UK
Pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions
Cosmetic treatment
Organ transplants
Any treatments or practices that are experimental, unproven or unregistered
✕ Any treatment for learning and behavioural problems, or dementia.

Discounts and rewards with our health insurance

  • Apple Watch logo
  • Caffe Nero
  • ODEON Vue logo
  • Virgin Active Logo in White
  • Garmin Logo Without Delta-white-high-res
See all discounts and rewards

How our health insurance claims process works

If you feel unwell or develop a condition, here's what you should do to make a claim on your health insurance:

  • When you join Vitality you’ll get access to our Member Zone. To make a claim you’ll need to log into Member Zone and visit the A-to-Z of conditions and choose the condition for your symptoms
  • Where relevant, try the self-care options first because they don't count as a claim
  • If you need treatment, we'll tell you where to go to check your plan benefits and excess, and how to request care from us
  • If we approve your claim for care, we'll give you a care number - you can always view this in Care Hub. Care Hub is where you can access and manage everything to do with your healthcare plan; from booking online GP appointments, to viewing bills and payments.
  • When you go to any appointment, remember to give them your care number, so they can bill us direct
  • If you need to pay any excess, we'll let you know. You can then log into Care Hub to view your bills and make any payments
  • If you need hospital treatment, or extra treatment, please contact us again.
Athos’ story

“I looked at myself as bulletproof”

Athos, Vitality Sales Director, is a keen runner. In fact, he’s run 12 ultramarathons.

But when he developed sore lungs and often became out of breath, his family started to worry.

Through his Vitality health insurance he was able to see a cardiologist within days. Athos was then diagnosed with a serious heart condition and needed a triple heart bypass.

Here’s his story and how he got his life back on track.
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Need advice?

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Health insurance FAQs

Private medical insurance works alongside the NHS. It focuses on providing quicker access to treatment, with more choice about who treats you, and where.

Anyone with health insurance can still use all services offered by the NHS.
This depends on your individual circumstances. It’s worth considering private health insurance if you:
  • Can afford to pay monthly premiums (our core cover starts from £1.25 a day)
  • Want quick access to healthcare 
  • Want to ensure you are protected from any sudden, large private medical bills.
The cost of private medical care varies depending on the consultant, hospital, and treatment. For example, a hip replacement done privately costs on average £15,000 (Vitality data, 2020).

You can manage the costs of private healthcare with private medical insurance. By paying a monthly premium, you can access private healthcare more affordably.
No. If you don't have any pre-existing medical conditions, you just need to:
  • Give the insurer your personal details
  • Pick your level of cover
  • Answer some basic questions.
If you do have a pre-existing condition, the insurer may need additional information from your GP.
Yes, you can add your husband, wife or partner, and your children to your health insurance plan.
A health insurance premium is what you pay for your health insurance plan. You’ll pay for your premium by monthly or annual direct debit. It’s reviewed once a year and can change, depending on your age and whether you make a claim. Your insurance premium also includes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). 
You can pick a higher plan excess. The higher the excess, the lower the premiums. This is the same with most insurers.

With our core cover, you can help reduce the amount your premium will increase at renewal. To do this, engage in our Healthy Living Programme to improve your Vitality status. More on how you could control your costs
Yes, your premium will change each year based on your age and medical inflation. The amount you’ve claimed can also affect your premium.

If you don’t claim, your premium only rises in line with age and medical inflation.

Helpful guides

Need help understanding health insurance and if it’s right for you? Read our most popular guides below or browse all health cover guides.

1 Full Cover Promise may be available from other insurers at an extra cost.

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