Richmond Practice - Health insurance options available to local and expatriate families in the UK

Health insurance options available to local and expatriate families in the UK

By Dr Sebastian Renz – Medical Director at Elsbeth's Doctors.
In the UK the National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare to residents free at the point of delivery. General Practitioners and consultant specialists in the NHS work hard to provide excellent healthcare to their patients. However expatriates residing in the UK temporarily may not be eligible for NHS treatment and British residents may choose to have additional private cover. This article aims to give an overview of the private insurances available in the UK.

UK based insurances

There are several private UK insurances such as BUPA UK, Axa PPP, Aviva, WPA, Vitality Health or Simply Health offering a variety of packages. The main advantage is that they provide fast access to appointments with a consultant specialist and fast access to private diagnostics such as blood tests and scans. Unfortunately private GP care is usually not covered and specialist referrals are required from your GP. Pre-existing conditions and routine health checks are often excluded. It is therefore important to review the policy carefully including the small-print.

International Insurances

Large global insurance companies such as Cigna, Aethna Global, Allianz and BUPA International offer comprehensive private health cover. These include consultant specialist as well as private GP care. The insurance policies are usually comprehensive but are more expensive than the mainstream UK insurances.

International insurances for expatriates from their home country

For international expatriates planning a move to the UK it is advisable to find out about private international insurance with their existing insurance in their home country. They often provide comprehensive health plans which are more cost-effective than mainstream international or UK-based insurances.

At Elsbeth's Doctors we offer a GP membership package providing unlimited private GP consultations. The GP membership is particularly suited to individuals who either have no private insurance or have a UK based private insurance without private GP cover. For further information please contact us on 030 0303 5009 or email us at