Health cash plans can be a cheap alternative to medical insurance and are ideal for routine procedures such as physio treatment, opticians and dental appointments. Although we can try to use the NHS as much as possible, it is sometimes hard to get fast treatment without going private.
Health Cash Plans
Starting from £7.27 per month*
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If you have an emergency wisdom tooth, serious back pain or need to see an optician, a health cash plan can give you access to a private dentist, optician or physio and only cost just a few pounds per month.
Health Cash Plans are a great choice for:
- Self-employed individuals
- Those with high deductibles
- Individuals seeking additional coverage
- Families with children
You may choose an individual cash plan for you and your family members or you may find that it is part of an employee health cash plan which is often a lot cheaper for the more staff members you add to the policy.
*£7.27 per month, based on 3-9 employees: https://www.healthshield.co.uk/our-solutions/health-cash-plans/classic/
*Individual health cash plans from £7.63: https://www.westfieldhealth.com/individual/health-cash-plan
Medicompare Offers Health Cash Plans That May Include:
- Dental incl. check ups, X-rays, fillings, crowns, bridges, oral hygiene and teeth whitening
- Physiotherapy incl. osteopathy, chiropractors, acupuncture, homeopathy
- Optical incl. site tests, fitting fees, sunglasses, swimming goggles and contact lenses
- Foot incl. pedicures, chiropodists, podiatry
- New child – single payment paid on birth or adoption (policy must be active for at least 12 months)
- Hospital visits incl. overnight stays.
- Tests incl. allergy and blood tests
How Does a Health Cash Plan Work?
- Step 1: Purchase your policy on a monthly basis, using a direct debit.
- Step 2: Arrange the treatment with your dentist, physiotherapist or optician and pay the provider once you have been treated. Make sure you keep the receipt.
- Step 3: Send the receipt to your plan provider and you can reclaim the money you have spent. Simple.
How Much Does a Health Cash Plan Cost?
The best health cash plans vary between providers and our partners at MediCompare start from as little as £7.27* per month and this can be as little as £4.77* if you add more than 10 employees with one of our partners. The levels can vary based on your requirements and you also typically have the option to add your partner and children too. Anything that you do not use gets added up and can be utilised at a later date and multiplied by 6.
Please find some example policies below:
Note that policies and prices are reviewed annually and are subject to change
Your premium will depend on the level of cover you require, with the more you pay, the higher the benefit level. Your age will have quite an impact on how much you will pay with those older expected to pay for more. You must be aged between 18 to 65 to be eligible for a plan, however, if your cover has started and you turn 66, the insurer will usually let you continue as per usual.
You can also specify what you would like your payment to go towards. For instance, if you have good eyesight, there may not be a need to see an optician so regularly. Therefore, you can allocate a certain amount for a particular area such as a bad foot or back e.g £300* per year for the physiotherapist and £200* per year for the chiropodist. However, this will be from your dedicated allowance and you will not be able to borrow from the other condition if you reach your limit.
Can I Get Family Health Cash Plans?
Yes, in most cases, children under the age of 18 are automatically included in a family health cash plan – and depending on the provider, partners may be included for free or a small fee on top. Claiming for children might be restricted but it may still contribute towards treatment, depending on the case.
Policies for couples are also available and you may receive a discount by having a joint plan. Even if you are are taking out an individual policy for yourself as one person, it may automatically include cover for your spouse and partner too. See also family health insurance.
What Are the Benefits of a Health Cash Plan?
- There is typically no medical examination required prior to getting a health cash plan so you can get the assistance you need regardless of your age or physical condition. It also means that you do not need to wait for a medical appointment and for the results to be sent to anyone.
- Similarly, there is no referral required* beforehand from a GP or Consultant to see if you are eligible for a medical cash plan, speeding up the process.
- By comparison, a health plan allows you to spend what you can afford and you are using it for a specific purpose coming up such as a dental appointment. Plus, you can get covered for basic procedures at your physio or dentist which private medical insurers may not insure in the first place.
- Further benefits include some plans coming with cashback so that you can receive a discount or money back into your debit account once your policy has gone through. Also, some employers may simply add it to your work package as some kind of ‘perk.’ So it is worth speaking to your employers or HR if this is the case.
What Is the Difference Between a Health Cash Plan and Private Medical Insurance From Medicompare?
A health cash plan is a more short term type of cover used for smaller treatments such as a dental procedure, physio or one-off hospital visit. It may be purchased as an individual policy or as a perk from your employer and the pricing could range from £50 to £200 per year*.
Medical insurance covers you for larger claims, which for many is protection and peace of mind in case you were to fall ill or be in an accident. This may include claims relating to diagnostic treatment, surgical procedures and more sophisticated examinations (i.e MRI). The average cost of private health insurance in the UK last year was £1,500** for a whole year of coverage, but this figure drops significantly the younger and healthier you are.
In terms of availability of appointments, being private may in some cases allow you to be seen faster than if you went through the NHS, with some people able to get appointments with private dentists and physios on the same day through the private sector and you may be able to choose your Consultant.
Health plans do not always allow you to queue jump or choose the practitioner that you may want, unless there is availability.
What Is Not Covered in a Health Cash Plan?
Most insurers only provide cover for new medical conditions – and therefore you are typically excluded from getting treatment for recurring illnesses or pre-existing conditions. You may need to provide proof from a GP or Consultant stating that your condition is new and not pre-existing. Some insurers may have a rule that you need to wait 2 to 3 years before being able to claim on a pre-existing condition again.
Those aged over 65 years old are not always eligible to apply unless they have an existing policy which they can continue when they are 66, 70 and so forth. See over 60s health insurance.
Semi-professional and professional athletes are not covered by these short term plans because they are more prone to recurring injuries that require dental, optical or physical treatment. See sports team insurance. You may also not be eligible for treatment if you partake in extreme sports.
Before rushing into a medical cash plan, it is also worth exploring other options such as private health insurance. The reason for this is because although a cash plan sounds cheap and a short term fix, there may be a waiting period of several months before it comes active (3-6 months in some cases). Depending on the insurer, a private medical plan can be ready to go within one month.
Finally, Keeping receipts is essential to claiming back your treatment costs. You may also need to provide proof to the insurer that the practitioner is fully licensed and you have an actual condition, as this is a measure used to reduce fraud. You have to be proactive with your claiming because you will continue to be charged on a direct debit.