Reviews Of The Top 9 Health Insurance Providers (2022)

top 9 health insurance companies in the uk:

Based on customer and expert reviews, industry awards and private health insurance coverage, the following providers are currently the best private health insurance companies in the UK (in alphabetical order):

  1. enliven
  2. cheers axa
  3. bupa
  4. freedom medical insurance
  5. national friendly
  6. saga
  7. the exeter
  8. vitality
  9. wpa
  10. It’s important to note that the best health insurance plans for you will probably be different for the next person. therefore, you should always compare providers and speak with a qualified broker before purchasing a policy. To request a personal health insurance quote and review, click one of the buttons on this page.

    Reading: What the best health insurance

    our detailed review of health insurance from the best providers in the uk

    Here are our nine in-depth reviews of private health insurance from the best health care providers in the UK market. we hope they will help you better understand the key differences between insurers and their flagship policies.

    Remember that the best private health insurance (UK) for you will be different from someone else’s, and we haven’t been able to cover all the details about each of these health insurers here. When you’re ready, we recommend talking to a health insurance broker, as they can help you narrow down your options and find the right private health insurance for you.

    To get a free comparison quote and book a health insurance review, click on one of the compare buttons on this page.

    wpa flexible health: premier & elite

    wpa’s flagship policy is called “flexible health”, and you have two options to choose between “premier” or elite”. both wpa flexible health premier and elite are comprehensive policies with excellent cancer coverage and one of the best consultants and hospital lists.

    policy highlights

    Like some of the other leading insurance companies, WPA takes a community approach to how they rate their scheme. This means individual claims won’t affect the cost of your renewals and you may save money.

    something unique to wpa, as long as you upgrade your outpatient coverage, therapy coverage is included as standard, and most other health insurance companies charge extra for it. Plus, WPA gives you free dental cover, with £200 a year for general dental care costs (with outpatient cover), which is generous and rare among the private health insurers we’ve reviewed.

    finally, wpa is one of the most liberal about who treats you by giving consultants unrestricted options and access to most private hospitals in the uk (save a few in central london, unless pay more). Granted, wpa won’t always be the cheapest. still, in a close battle, our experts agree that wpa is currently the best provider of private health insurance in the uk. (Keep in mind that the best provider for you will be different from others, so it is always advisable to do a thorough health insurance review with a qualified broker before buying.

    key benefits
    • excellent core product, giving you more coverage than most
    • community rating scheme: individual claims do not affect renewals
    • high levels of customer satisfaction, as we will see in detail
    • unrestricted consultant access and an excellent list of hospitals
    • therapies and dental coverage included as standard with outpatient coverage
    • discounts of up to 20% for freelancers and professional workers
    • amazing online application for claim registration and management
    • broad cancer coverage
    • non-profit organization so that more can be invested in its members
    • shared excess liability, reducing the amount you pay for each claim
    • excellent outpatient coverage if selected
    • nhs cash benefit
    • key disadvantages
      • no coverage for ages 65+
      • only limited mental health support on core product
      • trustpilot reviews

        wpa has one of the highest ratings of all the private health insurance providers in the UK market that we have reviewed, scoring an impressive 4.7 out of 5 on trustpilot. This is not surprising, since the value you get from their policies speaks for itself.

        default grades

        defaqto has given wpa’s premier and elite flexible health a rating of four and five stars, respectively, demonstrating the breadth of its flagship policies. high levels of customer satisfaction among its members.

        more information

        If you would like more information on wpa flexible health premier and elite, please click the pdf links below to download their policy documentation.

        • wpa flexible health policy brochure (January 2022)
        • wpa flexible health: core policy guide
        • wpa flexible health: elite policy guide
        • information about wpa services
        • the health of exeter+

          exeter health+ is among the top private health insurance policies we’ve reviewed and is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a policy. your health insurance coverage and company stand out from both a comprehensive and customer service standpoint.

          everything you’d expect it to include is why it has a default five-star rating, but on top of that, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your policy.

          policy highlights

          the exeter is the only private health insurance company in the uk to offer the option of a traditional ‘protected’ discount with no claims or a ‘community rated’ system where claims do not affect renewals.


          When it comes to customizing your policy, you have many options. you have the option to adjust things like how much coverage you have for physical therapy, for example, which is a big plus in the eyes of our experts when they did this health insurance review.

          Finally, something that stands out to us is that they are the only company that offers the option of a “community assessment” scheme to people between 70 and 80 years old.

          key benefits
          • excellent main product
          • numerous options to customize your health plan
          • ambulatory surgery included in the base product
          • broad cancer coverage
          • options to add additional coverage, like physical therapies and more
          • high levels of customer satisfaction
          • owned by its members
          • a choice between a no claims protectable discount or a community rated scheme
          • various member discounts and rewards
          • one of the best to pay claims
          • discounts for families and couples
          • nhs cash benefit
          • key disadvantages
            • no option to include dental coverage or travel insurance
            • trustpilot reviews

              exeter collects its health insurance review feedback through trustpilot, where it has an impressive score of 4.6 out of 5 from over 600 reviews.

              While they don’t have as many independent reviews as some of the other health insurance providers listed here, the score is on par with or, if not better than, most of those we’ve reviewed.

              default rating

              exeter’s health+ has a defaqto rating of 5 stars, demonstrating the breadth and quality of its private health insurance policy. we think it’s also an excellent option, both for individuals and families.

              more information

              If you would like more information about exeter health+, please click on the pdf links below to download their policy documentation.

              • the exeter health+ policy document
              • exeter health+ ipid
              • the exeter health+ product guide
              • exeter health+ hospital list
              • axa personal health

                First of all, although certain things, such as outpatient coverage, are not included in axa’s primary private health insurance policy, it can be added to your policy for an additional fee. some may see this as an advantage, as it ultimately gives you more control over what is included.

                with axa’s core product, you get access to inpatient treatment and private day treatment at over 250 hospitals across the uk, along with a number of additional benefits. Needless to say, they’ve stacked up well in our health insurance review.

                axa personal health

                When we reviewed axa’s personal health insurance policy, many things stood out to us. First, axa’s “standard” outpatient coverage includes unlimited diagnostic tests and three specialty visits per year. this level of cover, in our opinion, is more generous than health insurance providers who limit you to £1,000 or £1,500 per year for outpatient visits and diagnostic tests.

                Like other UK insurance companies, axa allows you to protect your no claims discount, which is great if you’ve gone many years without claiming. Another significant differentiator is that Axa does not limit coverage for your therapies, so you can see a physio or chiropractor as many times as you need under your policy.

                key benefits
                • excellent cover against cancer and the heart
                • coverage for diagnostic surgery, CT scans, MRIs, and pet scans
                • coverage for radiotherapy and chemotherapy
                • wide standard outpatient coverage
                • comprehensive coverage for acute illnesses (excludes pre-existing conditions)
                • expedited diagnostic appointments (with outpatient coverage)
                • choice of over 250 private hospitals
                • market leading no claims discount scheme
                • speech therapy for children under 14 (6 sessions)
                • Private healthcare 24/7 with its health at hand service
                • telephone assistance from a specialized nursing helpline
                • various member discounts and rewards
                • nhs cash benefit
                • key disadvantages
                  • Outpatient coverage not included (optional extra)
                  • Overall pricing is typically for Guided Consultants, which means you won’t have as many choices about who treats you. however, you can opt for the non-guided option for a higher monthly premium.
                  • axa feefo reviews

                    See also: Stop getting nuisance calls and texts – Citizens Advice

                    axa health has collected 7482 reviews on feefo. according to their website, they have an overall customer satisfaction rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. in the last 12 months, based on 323 reviews, its rating has dropped to 4.3, so maybe things haven’t been going so well recently. Either way, these scores are mostly comparable to some of the other major private health insurance companies. Since they are based on thousands of reviews, it is a good indication of their level of service.

                    default rating

                    Defaqto has given Axa a five-star rating in its 2022 health insurance reviews. However, that rating has been given based on the overall product, including optional components, not just the core policy. We hope that many of you are looking for the best private health insurance policy, so in any case, you will take advantage of many of the additional options that axa offers.

                    more information

                    If you would like more information about axa personal health, please click on the pdf links below to download your policy documentation.

                    • axa health personal health brochure
                    • axa health hospital list
                    • axa health ipid
                    • personal health care vitality

                      It’s easy to see why people are switching to vitality with a very competitive price and a default five-star rating. vitality changed the market for the better when they entered it, and today, they still lead the way in innovation.

                      what sets vitality apart is its commitment to providing coverage when you need it, promoting healthy living, and rewarding you for staying fit and taking care of yourself.

                      policy highlights

                      As we’ve mentioned, probably the most significant difference between Vitality and other private health insurance providers is the lengths they go to encourage a healthy lifestyle among their clients. Through an extensive program of health incentives and discounts, you can access a wide range of additional benefits, just for taking care of yourself.

                      exclusive to vitality is a 10% discount for all new customers if you have not required any hospital treatment or specialist advice in the three years prior to the start of your plan. This discount is great for people who come to vitality with a clean bill of health, and as we say, no other company offers this.

                      Another benefit is that your renewal premiums are tied directly to your health, so again, take care of yourself and your premiums will reflect that.

                      • coverage for acute illnesses (excludes pre-existing conditions)
                      • online medical appointments and 24/7 access to a medical helpline
                      • extensive program of rewards and discounts to offset the cost of your policy
                      • mental health support included (does not include full psychiatric coverage – available as an added extra)
                      • excellent cancer treatment coverage
                      • access to revolutionary cancer drugs
                      • menopause support service
                      • 10% discount for new customers with no recent medical issues (3 years)
                      • renewals linked to your health status
                      • disadvantages
                        • Renewal premiums are linked to health status and claims. if you can’t see activity, prices may rise more sharply.
                        • trustpilot reviews

                          vitality collects feedback through trustpilot, where it has over 24,000 independent reviews at the time of writing, with a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. while it’s good, it’s not as loud as others we’ve featured. It should be noted that this score is for the company as a whole and not just for your private health insurance.

                          default rating

                          vitality personal healthcare has an impressive 5-star rating, demonstrating the breadth and quality of their product.

                          Not all of the insurance providers we’ve featured have achieved this, so vitality is to be applauded for making their private health insurance compare so well to others on the market.

                          more information

                          If you would like more information about vitality personal health care, please click on the pdf links below to download your policy documentation.

                          • vitality ipid personal health care
                          • vitality personal healthcare membership guide (terms and conditions)
                          • list of vitality personal health care hospitals
                          • summary of vitality’s personal health care policy
                          • bupa for you integral

                            bupa offers two types of private health insurance, treatment and care, its low-cost, comprehensive product. This post is dedicated to the best private health insurance, so we’ll focus on their flagship policy.

                            as we explained, bupa comprehensive is an excellent policy that covers everything you can expect and more. Perhaps most notably, they include mental health coverage as standard, which is not the case with all providers. To learn more, read our detailed review of bupa health insurance.

                            policy highlights

                            bupa is one of the only health insurance companies we have reviewed that will allow you to get direct cancer support without the need to see a GP first. With bupa direct access, one of bupa’s counselors will discuss your symptoms with you and, if necessary, refer you directly to a specialist.

                            bupa also does not have an age restriction for new clients, and others do not accept applicants after 65 or 70 years. Finally, therapies and mental health coverage are included as standard, though only up to your outpatient limits.

                            key benefits
                            • excellent inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment coverage as standard
                            • comprehensive coverage for acute illnesses (excludes any pre-existing conditions)
                            • comprehensive cancer care
                            • direct referral to cancer specialists via bupa direct access
                            • includes outpatient visits, scans and tests (annual limits apply)
                            • customers of any age welcome
                            • access to revolutionary cancer drugs
                            • 24/7 access to your digital gp through babylon
                            • outpatient physical therapy and other therapies (annual limits apply)
                            • choice of three hospital lists (essential, extended and extended with central london)
                            • 10% discount for families
                            • extensive program of rewards and member discounts
                            • private ambulance and accommodation for parents
                            • nhs cash benefit
                            • key disadvantages
                              • no option to protect your no claims discount
                              • is restricted to bupa recognized consultants and private hospitals
                              • cancer treatment is only paid in full when you use a bupa-recognized center
                              • trustpilot reviews

                                bupa has collected about 13,800 reviews on trustpilot and has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. while impressive and very good, that score is not as high as other insurance providers we featured, indicating a slightly lower level of satisfaction among their customers.

                                default rating

                                bupa comprehensive has consistently earned a defaqto 5-star rating for several years, and 2022 is no different. The award is a seal of approval and demonstrates that bupa’s flagship policy stands out against others on the market in terms of breadth.

                                more information

                                If you would like to learn more about bupa health insurance, please click on the pdf links below to download your policy documents or read our detailed review of bupa health insurance. by clicking here.

                                • bupa by you full terms and benefits
                                • bupa for its integral ipid
                                • liberty elite health insurance

                                  freedom markets its elite health insurance as flexible private health insurance tailored to your needs and budget. Your core coverage is comprehensive, giving you a great foundation to continue and build on your health care plan.

                                  Like other UK health insurers, Freedom Elite provides you with inpatient treatment and outpatient tests and private medical treatment, with outpatient cover as an added add-on. for a smaller provider, they have done very well in our health insurance review.

                                  policy highlights

                                  Perhaps the most important difference between freedom’s private health insurance and the others we’ve reviewed is that they offer a renewal price guarantee to all new customers. Whether you file a claim or not, your premium will not increase for the first two years.

                                  Like some other major health insurance providers, Freedom operates a “community rated scheme,” so your claims generally won’t affect your monthly premiums.

                                  Another important benefit of freedom medical insurance is that they have no restrictions on the choice of consultants. you can access almost all private hospitals in the uk, including nhs hospitals that offer private facilities for patients. the only exceptions are hca hospitals, although you can pay extra to include them if you wish.

                                  Finally, they are the only health insurance company in the UK that does not set your monthly premiums based on your postcode; This is especially useful for families who live in traditionally expensive areas like London.

                                  key benefits
                                  • Guaranteed premium for 2 years, no increase in the first two years
                                  • a flexible policy that can be tailored to your budget and needs
                                  • comprehensive coverage for private medical care when hospitalization is required (excludes pre-existing conditions)
                                  • prices not based on your zip code
                                  • community rating scheme – your claims will generally not affect your premiums
                                  • access to almost all private and consultant hospitals in the uk (except hca hospitals which can be included for an additional fee)
                                  • excellent cancer coverage (diagnosis only included with optional outpatient coverage)
                                  • options to add alternative therapies, dental and vision coverage
                                  • option to include tests, scans and outpatient visits (annual limits apply)
                                  • coverage for pregnancy complications
                                  • private accommodation for parents by ambulance
                                  • Coverage for MRIs, CT Scans, and Pet Scans
                                  • nhs cash benefit
                                  • key disadvantages
                                    • no option to add travel coverage
                                    • rate reviews

                                      freedom health insurance currently has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating through the feefo review platform. however, it must be said that the number of reviews they have collected (135 and only 40 last year) is paltry compared to the thousands that some of the other private health companies have received. This is not to say that reviews should not be trusted; it’s just that when the level of customer reviews is so low, it makes it more difficult to understand how they’re performing as a whole.

                                      default rating

                                      See also: How much is medical insurance per month for one person

                                      freedom’s default rating for 2022 is four stars, which is great but indicates that its policies aren’t as comprehensive as others we’ve featured here.

                                      They’ve won several industry awards from the UK’s Health Protection Awards for ‘Best Individual Healthcare Provider’, so they’re well regarded in the market, and we agree.

                                      more information

                                      If you would like more information about freedom elite health insurance, please click on the pdf links below to download your policy documentation.

                                      • freedom elite brochure
                                      • freedom elite ipid
                                      • list of liberty elite hospitals
                                      • summary of freedom elite politics
                                      • national friendly optimal private health insurance

                                        National Friendly’s private health insurance plan is called Optimo. they promise a fair and friendly approach to health insurance; In general, we agree that they deliver on that promise. Clear policy information details what’s covered and what’s not, and they go above and beyond to keep your premiums manageable.

                                        policy highlights

                                        One of the biggest attractions of UK friendly national health insurance is that any claims you make will not affect your renewal premiums for the first five years. the only increases you can expect will be due to your age and medical inflation, not your personal claims history. When you reach your 5-year review, you will be offered the option of an increase in your health insurance premiums or an exclusion. this approach to claims history is perhaps the fairest on the market today.

                                        domestic friendlies are also a good fit when it comes to their hospital roster. they offer one of the most comprehensive lists on the market, with very few exclusions.

                                        Finally, you can reduce your excess to zero and there will be very little change in your premiums. As you can see, while they may not be the biggest players in the market, they know how to take care of their members.

                                        • claims will not affect renewal premiums until their 5-year review
                                        • Policies are divided between inpatient treatment and outpatient coverage, so you can choose which you’d like or have both
                                        • almost no increase in price to have zero excess
                                        • option for a very affordable limit of £5,000 for outpatients
                                        • extremely comprehensive list of hospitals
                                        • counseling and psychotherapy sessions included
                                        • comprehensive coverage from diagnosis to private medical treatment
                                        • no additional fees to switch from another provider
                                        • no “no claim bonus” to make pricing easier
                                        • discounts for contracting both inpatient and outpatient coverage
                                        • disadvantages
                                          • MRIs, CT scans, and animal scans do not exceed the outpatient limit
                                          • cancer care does not cover stem cell therapy or bone marrow transplants
                                          • no option for mental health treatment
                                          • no unlimited outpatient option
                                          • general limit of £1,000,000 (no other comprehensive plan has this)
                                          • trustpilot reviews

                                            national, like many of the other health insurance companies, collects independent reviews through trustpilot and currently enjoys an outstanding score of 4.8 out of 5 stars, one of the highest of any provider we have reviewed. however, that’s only 152 reviews, making them perhaps less representative of their service than other providers with thousands. still, it’s great that they get such rave reviews from their customers.

                                            default rating

                                            national friendly’s defaqto rating has been calculated based on its two individual policies (inpatient and outpatient surgical treatment) rather than both together. Individually, both policies get two stars, but we can’t help but think this is a bit unfair from the start. We say this because some of the top providers received scores based on their core policies and additional options, such as outpatient treatment. would you think the same rules would apply to domestic friendlies?

                                            defaqto tends to focus on choice, and domestic friendlies may have been penalized for not having an unlimited outpatient option and overall plan cap (although at £1,000,000, this is still significant).

                                            therefore, when looking at the policies for domestic friendlies, we suggest you judge their aggregate dafaqto ratings, not their individual scores.

                                            more information

                                            If you would like more information on domestic friendlies, please click on the pdf links below to download their documentation.

                                            • summary of optimal national inpatient/day patient policy
                                            • summary of the optimal country-friendly outpatient policy
                                            • enliven healthier solutions

                                              aviva’s leading private health insurance product is “healthier solutions”, and is what we would describe as a comprehensive policy. Gives you access to a network of hundreds of hospitals and health clinics across the UK, both inpatient and outpatient.

                                              policy highlights

                                              There are several things that stand out about aviva health insurance compared to some of the companies we’ve reviewed. First, Aviva offers a “protectable” no-claims discount to minimize the effect of claims against your renewal cost.

                                              Next, new customers have a “renewal price guarantee” under which aviva agrees not to increase your premiums on your first renewal, as long as you haven’t made a claim. Finally, they have plenty of ways to lower the cost of their policy by limiting their choice of hospitals and consultants and even agreeing to use the NHS if treatment is available within six weeks. great for the budget conscious.

                                              • broad cancer treatment coverage as standard
                                              • excellent coverage for acute medical conditions
                                              • access to hundreds of private medical facilities (choose from a selection of experts or a list of hospitals)
                                              • 24 hour access to a digital gp
                                              • 24-hour stress counseling helpline
                                              • discount for couples contracting policies
                                              • add two or more kids (under 19), and the youngest goes free
                                              • disadvantages
                                                • There is only limited coverage for mental health therapies included in the core product, primarily self-service content and phone hotlines. however, you can upgrade to include psychiatric coverage for an additional fee.
                                                • trustpilot reviews

                                                  aviva has collected over 20,000 independent reviews on trustpilot and has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, rated “excellent”. It should be noted that these reviews are not specific to your private healthcare. still, we think it shows that aviva’s customers are happy with the service they provide.

                                                  default rating

                                                  aviva’s healthier solutions have received a coveted 5-star rating from defaqto for 2022. received their coveted 5-star rating. One thing to note is that along with the main policy, Aviva also offers a basic private health insurance policy called “Faster Diagnosis”. that policy received only one defaqto star.

                                                  more information

                                                  If you’d like to learn more about aviva’s healthier solutions, click the pdf links below to download your policy documentation or read our aviva health insurance review.

                                                  • aviva healthier solutions policy summary
                                                  • aviva healthier solutions brochure
                                                  • aviva healthier solutions terms and conditions
                                                  • super saga, super 4 week wait and super 6 week wait

                                                    Saga’s super series of health insurance policies are comprehensive, offering excellent levels of cover for a wide range of treatments and procedures. our main concern with the saga policies is that the 4 week and 6 week waiting options are a core part of the offering. While they will lower the cost of your health insurance, having a 4 or 6 week NHS waiting option for your policy undermines many benefits. This section of your policy wording explains how it works:

                                                    “if you have saga healthplan super 4 or saga healthplan super 6: this policy will cover the cost of an inpatient or day treatment or a surgical procedure performed as an outpatient treatment if the nhs is unable to provide that treatment within four/six weeks of the specialist who would supervise the private medical treatment confirming that it is necessary”.

                                                    superpolitics book of the saga.

                                                    Along with the above concerns, they ask about your health history before getting a quote. by contrast, most other health insurance companies will not, as the policies will be in default in any case.

                                                    • comprehensive policy with excellent coverage levels
                                                    • ambulatory surgery included in the base product
                                                    • excellent cancer coverage
                                                    • unlimited complex diagnostic scans (CT scan, MRI or pet scan)
                                                    • inpatient and outpatient surgical treatment covered in full
                                                    • up to £2000 for therapist, homeopath and acupuncturist charges
                                                    • disadvantages
                                                      • 4 and 6 week waiting options undermine the value of the product if taken.
                                                      • asking questions about your medical history up front without a clear explanation of why
                                                      • trustpilot reviews

                                                        saga has an impressive trustpilot score of 4.6 out of 5, based on over 30,000 reviews. These reviews are for all of their products and services, but they still show that the company provides excellent service. as highlighted on their website, based on a survey of 503 of their health insurance customers between February 2021 and January 2022, they scored 9.10/10, slightly lower than the company overall.

                                                        default grades

                                                        defaqto has given the saga super series of policies a 5* rating, which shows how complete their offer is.

                                                        more information

                                                        Click this link to visit their website for more information on saga health insurance.

                                                        We hope you have found this guide useful and informative. Please remember that everything we have detailed is for informational purposes, and none of our information should be taken as advice. We always recommend that you speak with an independent health insurance broker that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority before deciding on a provider or policy. They can help you set up your policy, answer any questions you may have, and get you the best private health insurance for your circumstances. We recommend a number of highly rated private health insurance brokers, all of whom provide excellent service and have been vetted by us here at mytribe. For a free comparison quote, click below.

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