Get quotes from these health insurance providers and more
Yes, if you're over 70, you can still get health insurance. Private health insurance for over 70s works in the same way as for other ages, but your options are limited. To find the right policy, consider:
The level of cover you need
Your medical history
Working out what you need can help you find the best policy. Use our broker to get quotes for over 70s health insurance.
Health insurance typically covers you if you are:
A day patient: You attend appointments and don't stay overnight.
An inpatient: You stay in hospital during treatment.
An outpatient: You receive hospital treatment without staying overnight.
There are several cover options available. Our comparison includes options like:
Treatment only: A budget option that covers just day and in-patient treatments.
Mid-range: Which covers day, in-patient and some outpatient treatments.
Comprehensive: Where all three patient levels are covered. It can include extras, but this depends on the insurer.
Some policies cover if you need to see a specialist like a:
Some insurers also cover alternative treatments like osteopathy and acupuncture, but this may cost extra.
Before you decide check if having these options will increase the cost of cover.
Most insurers only offer underwritten policies when it comes to health insurance for older adults. This means that they will need detailed information about your medical history before they give you a quote.
Always be honest about your medical history. Incorrect or withheld information can invalidate your policy, and leave you uninsured.
The cost of health insurance will usually increase once you are over 50. Your age will affect the cost because older patients are statistically likely claim more frequently for treatment and diagnoses than younger patients.
These claims cost the insurance company more money, so they charge higher premiums to insure older customers.
This means that someone in their 70s might pay as much as three times more for health insurance than someone in their 30s.
Existing policies are also likely to get more expensive as you get older because the cost of the premiums is not fixed. Health insurance premiums are usually reviewed every year and so can go up annually.
You can make your policy cheaper in several ways, including:
Proving you have a healthy lifestyle, e.g. by exercising regularly
Choosing a policy that only covers certain conditions and treatments
Limiting the number of hospitals and clinics covered by your policy
Other ways to lower the cost of private health insurance include:
A no claims discount: Once you have had a health insurance policy for a number of years without making any claims, your premiums could get cheaper.
The excess: This is the amount you have to pay towards the costs of treatment yourself when you make a claim. Choosing a higher level of excess will usually make your premiums lower, but makes claiming on the policy more expensive.
Adding a wait period: This is a clause that means that if the NHS waiting list is less than your wait period (e.g. six weeks), you must get your treatment through the NHS. If the waiting list is longer, your policy pays for private treatment. Including this in your policy will usually lower the premiums.
Using nominated hospitals: Your premium could be cheaper if you only choose to be covered at a limited number of hospitals or surgeries. Check the ones you choose are located nearby or offer the specialist treatment or facilities you may need.
Proving your health: Some insurers reduce your premiums if you regularly exercise and do not smoke.
Check your policy documents to find:
Your insurer's contact number and details
Your policy or membership number
Note down the details you need to pass onto your insurer, such as:
Your diagnosis or symptoms and when they began
If and when you spoke to your GP
The treatment your doctor has recommended
Once you are ready to start your claim, you can book a medical appointment and begin the process by:
Phoning your insurer and asking for a referral to a specialist.
Visiting your insurer's website. You will need to set up an online account, which will usually let you start a claim for some symptoms.
Going to see your GP, who can refer you for specialist treatment. Some insurers need an Open Referral letter from your GP, which describes what treatment you need.
If your GP refers you for treatment, you then need to contact your insurer by phone or online. You can check they can cover your treatment and start the claims process.
They will send you any paperwork you have to complete and ask you for all the details they need.
Yes, you can still use the NHS to get free treatment.
You will need to contact your insurer. Here is how you can claim on your health insurance.
No, health insurance is not a legal requirement but you can get treated sooner and receive better facilities if you have it.
No, the majority of policies only cover treatment in the UK. If abroad, some insurers provide medical cover as part of travel insurance.