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
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
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
Our health insurance has been rated 5 Star by Defaqto. This means it’s verified as a trusted product.
Discounts and rewards
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
Access to private healthcare
This means you're diagnosed and treated quickly.
Private health insurance can help pay for the costs of specialist drugs and treatment.
Choice and privacy
You can choose where you are treated, and who by.
How does health insurance work?
- 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.
- Pay your premium
This is the cost of your medical insurance plan. It’s usually taken as a monthly Direct Debit.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Current health
- Lifestyle factors (for example whether you smoke or not)
- What your chosen excess is – the higher your excess, the lower your premium will be.
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.
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?
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.
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.
“I looked at myself as bulletproof”
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.
Health insurance FAQs
How is private medical insurance different from the NHS?
Anyone with health insurance can still use all services offered by the NHS.
Is it worth getting private health insurance in the UK?
- 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.
What does private healthcare cost in the UK?
You can manage the costs of private healthcare with private medical insurance. By paying a monthly premium, you can access private healthcare more affordably.
Do I need to have a medical before I take out health insurance?
- Give the insurer your personal details
- Pick your level of cover
- Answer some basic questions.
Can I add people to my health insurance plan?
What's a health insurance premium?
How can I reduce my health insurance premiums?
Will my health insurance premiums change?
Need help understanding health insurance and if it’s right for you? Read our most popular guides below or browse all health cover guides.
Health insurance for diabetics
Is diabetes covered under health insurance and is medical insurance for diabetics more expensive? Find out in this guide.
Health insurance and cancer
Read our guide on health insurance cancer cover to find out how it works and your options.
Health insurance for self-employed
Self employed? Find out what health insurance could mean for you.