Health cash plans explained
With a health cash plan, these insurance policies help to cover the costs of routine healthcare (this includes things like seeing your physiotherapist, going to the opticians, or a regular checkup with your dentist, even things like homoeopathy, day surgery or chiropody!). They work differently to most kinds of insurance available, as it is not supposed to cover you for unforeseen circumstances, but rather for regular or ongoing healthcare needs.
Health cash plans can be a cheaper way of covering the necessary costs involved with routine healthcare, and work completely different to a private medical insurance policy.
How do health cash plans work?
Each month, you pay a premium, with the exact amount depending on how much cover you require. When you end up receiving the treatment you pay for this upfront with your healthcare provider but you will get this money reimbursed by your insurance provider.
Why do I need a health cash plan?
Not only can you get reimbursed for the amount that you have spent on routine healthcare, but a number of insurance providers who give health cash plans provide a number of bonuses too. This includes things such as offering great wellbeing and health benefits such as:
- Gym membership discounts
- Second medical opinion services
- 24-hour GP services
- 24-hour counselling services
- Discounts at opticians
- Cover available for dependent children you have
All of these potential benefits may be possible, but it is best checking beforehand with the insurance provider you are considering going with, as it may not necessarily be the case that your health cash plan comes with these benefits.
How many children can be added to a health cash plan?
This will depend on the health cash plan insurer as well as the particular plan you have taken out. Nevertheless, in the majority of policies, you will typically find that they allow you to add to the plan up to five children. In some cases, this will mean you get a separate allowance for each child on the plan (usually lower than for the adult named on the plan), or the insurer will give a certain amount of cash to share between children.
Can I use NHS services and have a health cash plan?
Yes, there are a number of things on the NHS such as alternative therapies, dental treatments and so forth that come with charges (as we are sure you are aware of already!). Having a health cash plan can help you to recuperate these costs. For the small cost of a health cash plan annually, you can save a considerable amount of money on routine treatments.
How much can I claim back with a health cash plan?
The exact amount will be dependent on both the provider and the amount of cover you have decided to opt for in your policy. However, it works generally like this: pick a plan with a £250 dental plan cover, and you would be able to claim up to this amount each year on dental treatments.
What is the cost of a health cash plan?
The exact cost of a health cash plan will be dependent on the type of cover you choose. It can be as little as £5 per month, or it could be around £70 a month.
How do I make a health cash plan claim?
Making a health cash plan claim is easy to do. With most insurance providers, it is a simple process that can be quickly sorted out online, or even through an app. This means you do not have to worry about being out of pocket for too long. Just make sure that you keep all your receipts from your health expenses when making a claim, and check with your provider to see if there is a time limit in which you can make a claim, as you don’t want to end up making the mistake of losing out on money when you could have claimed it!
Is there an age limit or medical required with a health cash plan?
You should always verify this with the insurance provider in question prior to taking out a plan, but the majority do not have an upper age limit or a medical in order to be able to receive a policy.
Are health cash plans the same as private medical insurance?
Health cash plans and private medical insurance (also known by the acronym PMI) are not one and the same thing, but two different products entirely. For example, with a health cash plan, you will need to pay up front and find the providers or therapists on your own. They also do not necessarily cover the full cost of long-term treatment, if you end up needing it. Nor do they provide a ‘queue jumping’ possibility that you may find with private medical insurance plans. On the plus side, a health cash plan does not require you to get a referral from your GP first, as is the case with PMIs.
Is there a waiting time with a health cash plan?
It can be the case that there is an excess period of three to six months that is in place when you start the policy, prior to being able to claim on it. However, in some cases, especially if there is a promotion, the excess can be dramatically reduced or removed entirely.
Are there exceptions when it comes to a health cash plan?
There may be. For example, some health cash plans will only cover you for specific things, such as only covering the costs of optician visits or dental appointments. This is why you should always check the terms and conditions prior to taking out an insurance policy to make sure that the plan fits your needs.