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Family health insurance

Cover your loved ones with family insurance

  • Compare quotes from top health insurers, including Bupa, Axa and Aviva

  • Compare quotes in minutes and get cover for your family

  • Get support from award-winning broker, Howden Life & Health

What is family health insurance?

Family health insurance covers the cost of private healthcare for your whole family. You can add up to 7 people to your policy, including 2 adults and 5 children.

It gives you the peace of mind that if you or a family member needs medical treatment, you can get it without long NHS wait times. You can also sometimes access treatments and medicines that aren't available on the NHS.

What levels of health insurance are available?

There are 3 levels you can choose from. The one you choose depends on what you and your family need.

Treatment only

Treatment only is the most basic level available. As the name suggests, it only covers the cost of treatment. You have to seek diagnosis through the NHS. Depending on the provider, it might also exclude treatment for anything other than cancer.

Treatment and limited diagnosis

Treatment and limited diagnosis covers treatment, including cancer treatment, and a limited amount of diagnostics. This can include consultations and x-rays, but has a cap on the number of diagnostic tests you can get.

Treatment and full diagnosis

Treatment and full diagnosis provides full cover for diagnostic tests, treatment and cancer cover. Comprehensive policies might also provide cover for mental health conditions or dental treatment.

Why choose family health insurance?

In the UK, we're lucky to have access to the NHS, so you might not think it's necessary to pay for health insurance. But private healthcare has some benefits:

  • You and your family can avoid lengthy NHS waiting lists
  • Private UK hospitals with better facilities, and access to a private room
  • Consultations with private GPs, sometimes available 24/7
  • Quicker diagnosis through private testing
  • Access to additional treatments and therapies that aren't offered by the NHS

A family health insurance policy can also be cheaper than buying individual policies for the different members of your family. If you're looking to cover just you and your partner, try joint health insurance instead. This gives you the same benefits as family health insurance, just under a smaller policy.

What does family health insurance cover?

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Depending on the level of cover you choose and the provider you're with, your policy could cover:

  • Inpatient treatment at UK hospitals
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Consultations with private GPs
  • Diagnostic screening, scans and tests
  • Access to therapies, treatments and drugs not available on the NHS
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Your policy is unlikely to cover:

  • Emergency treatment - for this, you still need to use A&E
  • Experimental and unproven treatments
  • Health issues that develop due to drug abuse
  • Infertility treatment and routine pregnancy care
  • Deliberately self-inflicted injuries
  • Cosmetic treatment
  • Ongoing, chronic or pre-existing conditions

What our health insurance expert says

"In the UK, we're fortunate to have access to the NHS, but sometimes you might want to go down the route of private healthcare instead. This could be to avoid long waitlists or access treatment that's not available on the NHS. A family health insurance policy is an easy way to make sure all your loved ones are covered and can access this care if needed. Insuring everyone under one policy makes it easier to manage"
Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
Home & lifestyle insurance expert Confused.com logo

What affects the price of health insurance?

  • The age of the 2 adults on the policy. The older you are, the more at risk you are of needing medical care. So, if the adults named on the policy are older, you might pay more.
  • The number of people you want to add to your policy. The more people you add, the more you're likely to pay.
  • Where you live. Depending on your location, private hospitals might charge more for care. For example, private hospitals in London tend to be more expensive.
  • The medical history of all policy members. If you or any of your family members named on the policy have any pre-existing conditions, you might have to pay more for cover.

  • The smoking history of all policy members. Smoking increases the chance of developing certain illnesses, such as cancer. So, insurers see you as higher risk and increase your costs.
  • The level of cover you want. A more basic policy typically costs less than one that provides comprehensive cover.
  • Any optional extras you add to your policy. Optional extras come at an added cost. So, the more you add, the more your insurance costs overall.

What extras can I add to my family policy?

Some health insurance providers might include extra features as part of a more comprehensive policy. However, if they don't, it could be worth considering adding them.

Mental health support provided by your GP or a helpline that you can get access to.

24/7 access to virtual GP appointments, allowing you to speak to a GP whenever you need.

Complementary therapies like physiotherapy or chiropractic care.

Dental or optical cover, providing either full or partial cover for any treatment you get.

How can I get cheaper health insurance?

  • Work out what level of cover you need. Generally, treatment only policies are cheaper than treatment and full diagnosis policies, because they cover less. So, if you're happy to rely on your NHS GP for diagnosis, you could choose a lower level of cover.
  • Consider increasing your excess. This is the amount you pay towards any claims. Increasing your excess can lower your insurance prices. Just make sure you set it at a level you could afford to pay if you needed.
  • Choose optional extras carefully. Each optional extra you add costs you more. So, only adding extras you think you and your family needs means you don't pay as much.
  • Follow an active, healthy lifestyle. Leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of certain conditions, resulting in cheaper insurance.
  • Reduce the number of hospitals you can access. Choosing a smaller number of hospitals you can be treated at can reduce your prices.
  • Add a maximum NHS waiting period. Agreeing to use the NHS if wait times are less than 6 weeks can reduce your prices. This is because it reduces the chances of you seeking private healthcare.

Compare health insurance quotes

What do I need to get a quote?

We just need to know a few things about you and the cover you want:

  • The number of people you want to add to your policy. You can add up to 6 additional people to a family policy.
  • The level of cover you want. You can also choose to see quotes for all cover types if you're unsure which is best for you and your family.
  • What you want to set your policy excess at.
  • How long you've lived in the UK.
  • How long you've been registered with a GP.
  • If you have any existing health insurance policies. If you do, you can choose to switch your policy, transferring from your existing insurer to a new one. Or, you can start a new policy.
  • The age, location, and smoking history of all named policy members.

Why choose Confused.com?

  • We're 100% independent. This means we're not owned by an insurance company, so we show you the best prices available at the time, no matter who they're from.
  • We're FCA regulated, as are the 13 health insurance providers on our panel. This means we follow strict operational guidelines to make sure we always do things the right way for you.
  • We follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure all the information we provide is accurate, honest and impartial.
  • We understand how important privacy and security is, and we promise to look after your personal data. Read more about our security and privacy policy.

We compare quotes from up to 13 trusted health insurance companies

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What are the different types of health insurance?

Page last reviewed: 26 October 2023

Reviewed by: Matthew Harwood

The Confused.com medical insurance service is provided by Howden Life & Health Ltd of Hadley House, Endsleigh Park, Cheltenham, GL51 4AE registered in England & Wales company number 3040737. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 176392 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Our service is free and compares a wide range of trusted household names. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives commission from Assured Futures Ltd which is based on a percentage of the total annual premium if you decide to buy through our website. We pride ourselves on impartiality on independence - therefore we don't promote any one insurance provider over another.