Skip to Content

Health insurance

✓ Fast access to private healthcare
✓ 5 Star Defaqto rated health insurance
✓ Rewards for healthy living

Get a health quote

 

What is health insurance?

Health insurance gives you access to private healthcare and helps cover the cost. This can be anything from physiotherapy to treat an injury, to major heart surgery and cancer treatment.

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

Our core health cover

The benefits of health insurance

  • Fast access to high-quality healthcare

    Stethoscope icon

    This means you're diagnosed and treated quickly.

  • Specialist treatment and drugs

    Drugs and treatment icon

    Some treatments in the UK aren't always funded by the NHS. Private health insurance can help pay for the costs of specialist drugs and treatment.

  • Choice and privacy

    Hospital icon

    Health insurance offers easy access to hundreds of private hospitals in the UK. 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 health 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 health 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 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
  • Lifestyle factors (for example whether you smoke or not)
  • What your chosen excess is – the higher your excess, the lower your premium will be.
Our core health cover starts from £35 a month.
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, physiotherapy and surgical procedures.
Health insurance in the UK doesn't usually cover chronic or pre-existing conditions.

What's covered? 

Most health insurance plans cover:

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

What's not covered?

Policies differ between insurers, but usually the following aren’t covered:

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
Emergency treatment or visits to your NHS GP
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.

Why choose our health insurance?  

  • Full Cover Promise

    Tick icon

    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

    Access video appointments and 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.

  • Rewards for healthy living

    Rewards icon

    Get discounts to help make healthy living easier, and be rewarded for getting active. Plus, you could get an Apple Watch.

Discounts and rewards with our health insurance

  • Apple Watch logo
  • Caffe Nero
  • ODEON Vue logo
  • Virgin Active Logo in White
  • Garmin white logo
See all discounts and rewards
Want to get a quote?

It only takes two minutes.

Get a health insurance quote
Need advice?

Call us on 0808 274 1902. Our team are on hand to answer your queries. See opening hours.

Request a callback

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 health cover starts from £35 a month)
  • 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 health 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.
1 Full Cover Promise may be available from other insurers at an extra cost.

Back to top