Guide to Cash Plans

Affordable private healthcare insurance can help people meet the costs of certain medical treatments and protect themselves and their families.

A cash plan offers increased flexibility when it comes to paying for private medical treatments. Find out more about how health cash medical insurance plans work.

What is a Health Cash Insurance Plan?

This form of private medical insurance offers you cash back when you pay towards medical treatments, such as physiotherapy treatments, optical, dental appointments etc.

In return for your monthly premium payments, you can claim back money for medical diagnostics, consultations, and treatments, up to an agreed limit.

Once you have paid for the treatments, you retain the receipt and send it to your health cash plan provider, to claim your cash back.

It is designed to help consumers budget for their private health care, by offering flexible options to keep premium costs down. It is still possible to go through the NHS for healthcare (like with any other private medical insurance plan). These policies can be used to assist you with private treatment costs.

Find out more about the different types of Private Medical Cover available in this guide.

What you pay towards your premiums, like with other private health insurance policies, will be determined by your age, health status and whether you’re covering your partner and family’s costs or just your own. Your premiums will also be determined by the level of cover you opt for.

Find out more about Private Medical Insurance in our FAQs section.

What is Covered in Health Cash Insurance Plan?

  • Hospital Cover – You can access private medical in-patient care. Some plans will even offer cover for some pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Dental Costs – You can find cover for appointments, x-rays, hygienist fees, fillings, crowns, bridges
  • Complementary Therapies – Physiotherapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, osteopathy
  • Health and Wellbeing – Many of these insurers offer dedicated health and wellbeing support, with helplines customers can call at any time. Or, some may provide health evaluation tools customers can use to improve their overall health.
  • Cancer Drugs – Certain treatments and drugs for cancer, which are not found on the NHS, can be accessible to you if you take out an inclusive health cash insurance plan.
  • Home Nursing – Some providers offer ‘pay and claim’ cover for home care and nursing expenses.

When choosing a health cash plan, many providers offer you flexibility in cover. Think about the kinds of treatments and services that might be relevant to you, as well as the largest limit you would like to claim for treatments, before you take out a plan.

Let’s Look at a Health Cash Plan Insurance Example;

Lucy took out a Health Cash Plan which costs her £12 a month in premiums. After a hiking holiday, Lucy developed some problems with her right foot and she needed to see a podiatrist several times, to get it fixed. Through her plan, she was able to claim back £250 from her treatments.

What are the Benefits of a Health Cash Plan?

  • Alternative Therapies- With some health cash plans, you can book alternative therapy treatments, without the need for a GP referral. So, you may be seen faster.
  • Cash Back – The costs of undergoing medical treatment can rapidly spike, even if you are going through the NHS. With some cash plans, you may be able to receive cash back for things like hospital car parking, which can be hugely beneficial to families struggling to make ends meet in times of illness.
  • Cover for Dependents – With these plans you can also claim back costs for your children (in many cases they must be under the age of 18). However, their level of cover, in some cases, might be lower than what the policyholder could claim for themselves.
  • Savings on Medical Care – If you wear glasses, for example, take regular dental check-ups and need treatments for a minor health problems, then these policies could save you a lot of money on treatments.
  • Cover for what you Need – If you are healthy and not very accident prone, for example, you may just want cover for things like dental care. With many health cash plan providers, you can find policies that are affordable and cover just the medical treatments you need.
  • Flexible Premiums – Many providers of health cash insurance plans will allow you to change your level of cover. However, you will need to check if this is a feature of your plan before you buy.
  • Discounts – Some providers are in partnership with gyms and health centres. You may be able to get free, or subsidised gym membership, as well as other incentivising offers.

What are the Pitfalls of a Health Cash Plan?

  • Not Private Medical Insurance – This product should not be mistaken for a conventional medical insurance policy, as the protection offered is not the same. Under these agreements, you find the treatments your need, pay for them and claim the money back. Health insurance, on the other hand, gives you access to queue jumping, and the whole cost of treatment may be covered under your policy. Although please note, some health cash plans will offer some payment towards services, such as partial funds towards covering the cost of a child’s stay in hospital.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions – If you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as epilepsy, you may have to pay more towards your policies.
  • Limit on Claims – With some plans, you may be given a limit on the amount of money you can claim back. However, you can opt for a more expensive policy, if you would like to extend these limits.
  • May be Cheaper to Pay Separately – In some instances, if you are very healthy, you may not require the level of cover you are paying for. If this is the case, it may be cheaper for you to pay for your medical treatments outright, rather than paying towards monthly premiums.
  • Older People May Be Excluded – Many of these policies run until aged 65 (66 in some cases). This means that if you are older, you may need to look for alternatives to health cash plans.
  • Excess Periods – Some providers may make you wait a certain length of time before claims can be made. This may be up to three months, or it could be something closer to six months. This is known as a ‘health cash plan qualifying period’.

What are the Alternatives to Health Cash Plans?

  • Private Medical Insurance – If you are looking for comprehensive cover, you may want to look at more standardised private health insurance policies. They may be more expensive in premium payments, but they are designed to cover more eventualities.
  • Income Protection Insurance – If you have a mortgage and dependents, you might want to look at insurance options which cover your income, if you fall ill and are unable to work. See more in this guide.
  • Critical Illness Insurance – These policies protect you and your family if you come down with a serious illness. This will often come in the form of a cash lump sum. Once the claim is made, your policy ends. See more information here.
  • Accident Sickness and Unemployment Insurance – These policies are designed to offer insurance to those suffering from certain illnesses and injuries. However, these have the added benefit of protecting your finances in times of unemployment.

If you would like to find out more about health cash plans, get in touch with an independent insurance broker. They can offer you a free, no-obligation quote and advice to suit your unique circumstances.

Quick friendly service. I was quite confused about what my family and I required but the policy options were quickly clarified and I got a great price and top service. Emily Thompson, Bath

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