Yes, some health insurance policies pay out for private cancer treatment.

You can get treatment for cancer on the NHS, but private treatment can give you shorter waiting times, a choice of hospitals and a wider range of medicines and treatment types.

What can it cover?

Many health insurance policies exclude chronic conditions that require ongoing treatment like cancer. Instead they only pay for short term treatment for acute conditions like a broken bone.

Other policies could pay out for treatment like chemotherapy if you are diagnosed with cancer in the future. You usually have to pay extra to include cover for cancer, which makes your premiums more expensive.

They may also come with restrictions like:

  • Only covering some types of cancer

  • Limits on when you can claim or how many times you can claim each year

Many of these policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, meaning they would not pay for any treatment for cancer if you have it already.

How to cover pre-existing cancer

Some policies can pay for treatment for pre-existing conditions in some cases. This means you could get cover even if you have had cancer in the past.

They usually only let you claim if you have been symptom free for five years.

But some policies let you claim for private cancer treatment after you have held the policy for a few years, even if you have had treatment in that time (e.g. through the NHS). These are called fixed rate moratorium policies.

Specialist cover for cancer

Some policies are designed to only cover cancer. They can pay out for treatment and the costs of diagnosing cancer.

You could take out one of these policies on its own or alongside health insurance that covers other symptoms, illnesses and injuries.

How to find health insurance for cancer

You can use this comparison to look for a policy that covers the treatment you need and does not exclude any of the symptoms or illnesses you need to cover.

Once you have found policies that offer what you need, compare the cost to work out which is cheapest.

If you need help finding a policy that covers treatment for cancer, you can use a broker. They can get you quotes from insurers that offer the cover you need and help you decide which is best.

What types of cancer can you get insurance for?

You could cover any type of cancer as long as you find a policy that does not exclude it.

Each insurer includes a different range of illnesses and treatments that their policies can pay out for. Check the policy documents, or ask your insurer or broker exactly what is covered.

Cancer health insurance FAQs


Will health insurance cover my existing conditions?


Some policies can include them, but many do not pay out for them. Here is how cover for pre-existing conditions works.


Do I need a medical check before I get health insurance?


Some policies make you fill out a declaration about your health, and some may need to run medical tests. But moratorium policies do not do this.


Will my health affect the cost of my insurance?


Yes, some policies could charge you more if you have existing conditions. Others only charge you more if you need to cover treatment for them.


Which hospitals or doctors can I use?


Most insurers give you a choice of several medical facilities when you are referred for treatment.


Can I still use the NHS if I get health insurance?


Yes, you can get free cancer treatment on the NHS or use your policy to pay for private treatment.


Does health insurance cover me abroad?


No, most of these policies only cover treatment in the UK, but you could get medical cover from your travel insurance if you go abroad.


Can I get health insurance if I am disabled?


Yes, but some insurers do not cover treatment for any conditions that are related to your disability.