Health Insurance Costs and Household Budgets

Health insurance expense refers to premium paid to cover treatments, medical bills, surgeries, and tests. As of 2012, nearly 1.7 million households in the UK had health insurance. As per a survey, in 2013, the average health insurance premium was nearly £135 per month.

Private Medical Insurance

The main type of health insurance in the UK is private medical insurance. This insurance provides full or partial coverage of medical expenses you may pay on your own. This insurance covers the majority of tests and surgeries. Some policies may also cover fees paid to specialists and consultants.

Private medical insurance does not cover expenses paid for pregnancy, cosmetic surgery, routine checks, and pre-existing medical conditions. Nearly 5.6 million in the UK have private medical insurance. Note that the premium of private medical insurance increases as you grow older.

Example 1:

April UK has private medical insurance plans that allow access to private hospitals, such as Spire, Nuffield and BMI, across the UK. The different types of cover are foundation cover, foundation and limited outpatient cover, and foundation and full outpatient cover. Outpatient refers to fees paid to special consultants or for tests recommended by specialist consultants. All three types of policies cover fees paid for hospital accommodation, nursing care, operating theatre, physiotherapy, parent accommodation, prosthesis, private ambulance, home nursing of up to 13 weeks, and NHS cash benefit of up to £75 per night for 30 nights in a year. The policy with limited outpatient cover includes fees paid to specialist consultants of up to £500 in a year and full expenses on any MRI/CET/PT scans suggested by the specialists. These insurance plans cover total expenses of only up to £1 million per year for a single policyholder.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance covers expenses incurred on dental check-ups, x-rays, and fees paid to dental hygienists, but not cosmetic dental procedures.

Example 2:

Dencover is a specialist provider of dental insurance. It has several plans such as Dencover NHS, Dencover Silver, and Dencover Gold, each with a different maximum cover on various dental costs. Based on the plan, the products can cover check-up and routine examination costs in the range of £18.50 to £105 and hygiene treatment from £18.50 to £125. One of its products covers up to £810 for procedural work such as fillings, extractions, root canals, and dentures. Likewise, each product has a different cover for accidents, emergencies, hospital dental cover, and a once-in-a-lifetime payment for oral cancer. Premium starts from £4.99 every year.

Health Insurance as part of the household budget

Monthly household expenditure on health insurance varies by your choice of policy, cover, and components covered.

Our household budget calculator can help you in determining the share of health insurance in your overall household expenses.