The Details About Private Health Insurance for the Family

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Private health insurance for the family

Many people are now looking at private health insurance for their family as a means of ensuring treatment is there as and when required. It is important to clarify the range of conditions covered and the approach to pre-existing medical conditions. However, as the private health insurance industry continues to grow, there is now a wider range of services available.

When considering private health insurance for your family, it is important not to forget that NHS treatment will still be open to you all. Indeed, there may be situations where a particular illness might incorporate free NHS treatment and private healthcare covered by your insurance.

We’ll now take a look at some of the more frequently asked questions with regards to family private health insurance.

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Who Can I Cover With Private Health Insurance?

In theory, you can cover yourself, your partner and your children although there are some restrictions with regards to the age of children on your policy. These can vary between different health insurance providers, and it is certainly a question you should ask when looking for family cover.

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Are There Any Age Limits on Family Private Health Insurance?

The majority of private healthcare insurance policies will only include children under the age of 21 (or potentially under the age of 25 if they are in further education) and adults over the age of 70.

There is no one size fits all for this particular issue, so again you need to ask the question when looking at individual family health insurance policies. The market is so competitive that you are almost certain to find a policy to suit your scenario.

Will Family Health Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

The vast majority of health insurance policies will exclude pre-existing conditions, but this is not always the case. For example, some health insurance companies may cover pre-existing condition where there have been no symptoms, treatment or consultations for at least three years.

Some companies can extend this timescale to 7 years, but it shows that there is scope to include pre-existing conditions.

Do New Health Insurance Policies Require Individual Medicals?

In general, confirmation of your medical history, and honest answers to the accompanying questionnaire, should be enough for your private health insurance company to offer a policy.

There may be situations where individuals are required to have a medical, but this is not the norm.

While an insurance company will obviously take into account your lifestyle and your medical history, they will also use population statistical data to work out premiums for particular age groups, etc.

What Is Full Medical Underwriting Health Insurance?

There are two different types of health insurance which are known as “full medical underwriting” and “moratorium”. A full medical underwriting health insurance policy will take into account your medical history when calculating premiums. When looking at family health insurance, it would also take into account the medical history of others on the policy.

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What Is Moratorium Private Health Insurance?

Under a moratorium private health insurance policy, you would not be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions where there had been consultations, treatment or symptoms within the last two years.

After a “clear” two-year period you would then be eligible for full cover even if a previously pre-existing condition was to re-emerge in the future.

Would an Excluded Pre-Existing Condition Impact My Premiums?

When you take out a health insurance policy, the company would traditionally take into account your medical history. While many insurers will exclude pre-existing conditions, at least for a period of time, there is every chance they may also exclude connected conditions.

In this instance, it is probably best to take professional advice from brokers who deal in private health insurance. It is ok having low premiums but how will this impact the level of cover if some conditions are excluded (even if only temporarily).

How Do We Get Referred for Private Healthcare?

In some cases, you may be able to contact your health insurance company directly to organise a consultation, but generally, this would come via your GP. After an initial chat with your GP, they may decide to refer you at which point you would need to check to see if the treatment and cost was included in your policy.

Am I Still Entitled to NHS Treatment?

Just because you have private healthcare insurance does not mean that you have to use it for every ailment and injury. Indeed, if we take, for example, accident and emergency departments, there are very few private healthcare facilities which would offer such a service.

Therefore, in this instance, you would need to use NHS facilities. There are no restrictions or limitations on your use of NHS facilities, even if you have private healthcare.

Can We Mix NHS and Private Healthcare Treatment?

There is a general misconception that if you have any form of private healthcare treatment, this cannot be mixed with free NHS treatment. This is wrong. It may be possible to mix various elements of NHS treatment with your private health cover.

While there may be some limitations for various NHS treatment and drugs, where private insurance can prove useful, you are still entitled to the same range of treatment as everybody else - even if you are also using private healthcare.

As a Family, Are We Covered for Medical Expenses Overseas?

The simple answer is no. Traditional private health insurance will only cover the cost of treatment in the UK. However, if for example, you are taking a family holiday, then you can take out additional travel insurance which would assist with any overseas medical expenses.

As with any insurance policy, it is very important to check the detail and the terms and conditions before you sign up.

Will I Receive a Discount on Family Private Health Insurance?

The cost of family private health insurance, all things being equal, would likely be available at a discount compared to 4 individual policies. The degree of discount available will depend upon the provider and also the level of cover required. It is worth noting that the higher the excess, as with any insurance, the lower your premiums.


Family private health insurance offers peace of mind. As and when medical treatment is required, assuming the treatment is covered, you should be able to avoid often lengthy NHS waiting lists. In some cases, you can pick and choose the time and location of your treatment, but this may be impacted by a number of factors.

Quick Private Medical Insurance FAQs

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How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Private Medical Insurance?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Private Medical Insurance companies. They have already helped thousands of people get the best PMI cover, and, they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a policy unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these brokers, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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