How does private health insurance work?

Private health insurance is similar to other types of insurance. You pay a monthly or yearly fee called a premium.


Getting Referred

If you have a health issue, see your GP and let them know that you have private insurance. They may refer you to a specialist, and you might choose to go to private hospitals or specialists not offered by the NHS.


Informing Your Insurer

Tell your insurer that you want to make a claim. They'll check if your policy covers the treatment you need. If it does, your claim will be approved.


Cost Coverage

Your GP will book your appointment, and your insurer will cover the cost as long as your policy is active. Depending on your policy, you may be required to pay an excess.

With a range of insurance products and services, Aviva plays a major role in the private healthcare sector. In fact, it’s the biggest general insurer in the UK and operates internationally, serving over 30 million customers in 16 countries. It has been around for centuries, with a history predating the National Health Service. So, it’s a force to reckon with.

In this Aviva health insurance review, we’ll examine everything from its basic features to its comprehensive benefits.

Who Is Aviva?

With a rich history dating back to 1696, Aviva has evolved over three centuries to become the UK’s largest general insurer. The company is much more than a private medical insurance provider. It’s a global asset manager that also operates in life, home, and car insurance, as well as delivers wealth and retirement services through investment capabilities and sustainability expertise. The company is headquartered in London and listed on the London Stock Exchange as part of the FTSE 100 Index.

How does Aviva health insurance work? Aviva Healthier Solutions is a modular private medical insurance product with a wide range of services, including in-patient, day patient, and outpatient treatments. Members enjoy reduced hospital waiting times, access to well-being services, and the flexibility to customise coverage according to their individual preferences.

Is Aviva a Good Insurance Company?

A quick online search reveals overwhelmingly positive Aviva health insurance reviews. For example, on Trustpilot, it has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars with over 32,000 reviews, and on Comparebyreview, it scores 9.3/10 based on 46,000 reviews. On Feefo, Aviva holds a rating of 4.5/5 stars based on 18,000 reviews.

Additionally, Aviva’s health insurance products have been recognised with awards, such as the Third Sector Business Charity Awards in 2022 and PWC’s Building Public Trust Awards in both 2021 and 2022.

Aviva Benefits

Why choose Aviva health insurance? Here’s why Aviva is our long-standing top partner and a preferred choice for millions of customers:

  • Strong presence and reputation in the insurance industry
  • Access to treatment in over 200 hospitals, including NHS and private hospitals like BMI, Nuffield, and Spire Health
  • Cancer care included in the core cover
  • Family cover option with special benefits for children
  • Aviva Digital GP appointments available within 30 minutes, 24/7
  • Stress counselling helpline available 24/7
  • Access to Aviva well-being services, including mental health support and discounts for gym services

Requirements for Aviva Health Insurance

To be eligible for Aviva health insurance policy, you must be a legal UK resident aged 18 or older. The same rule applies to Digital GP services. You also must have a UK bank account for policy payments and reside in the UK throughout the policy period, except for short holidays totalling less than three months per year.

You have the flexibility to make changes to your personal or policy details at any time, such as updating names, titles, and addresses or removing members from the policy. However, please bear in mind that it’s a requirement to notify Aviva if any of your personal details change.

How Much Does Aviva Health Insurance Cost?

Your premiums depend on your age, location, and claim history. As you get older, costs typically increase. Also, living in certain areas with higher healthcare expenses will affect the cost of health insurance cover.

For a 30-year-old, non-smoking male in a low-risk office job with a selected excess of £200, the approximate premiums are as follows:

CoverAviva health insurance cost

Additional Cover

Of course, you can add some extra benefits for an additional cost, for example:

Mental health+£0.49+£0.84
Dental and optical+£4.58+£4.56
Protected no claim discount+£2+£4.36

Aviva Health Insurance Options

Aviva offers several distinct health insurance options, and we’ll go through the key points of each.

Private Health Insurance

When you think about health insurance, you’re likely considering a plan like Healthier Solutions.

Aviva Healthier Solutions gives you access to private medical treatment and other benefits. It lets you see private doctors and use private hospitals for short-term illnesses or injuries, with perks like quicker treatment and better accommodations. You can get this cover as an individual or through your workplace.

Coverage includes standard services like cancer diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare, but we’ll describe more as we go.

Cancer Essentials

Here’s a summary of Cancer Essentials:

  • Aviva fully covers chemotherapy if administered at a hospital covered under your hospital option. Chemotherapy at home is also covered with specialist approval and homecare support.
  • Radiotherapy is fully covered.
  • £100 per day of NHS cash benefit for various treatments, including in-patient, day-patient, outpatient radiotherapy/chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and oral chemotherapy drugs at home.
  • You’re covered for up to five years post-cancer treatment for ongoing medical needs, such as tube replacements, while still a policy member.
  • Aviva contributes up to £5,000 towards external prostheses following cancer surgery.
  • The policy covers post-surgery consultations with specialists like dieticians, stoma nurses, and lymphedema management nurses.

Also, you’re covered after cancer treatment completion, including diagnostic tests and consultations, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer.

Diagnostics Cover

Unlike full private health insurance, it’s not for treatment, focusing solely on diagnosis costs — blood tests, ECGs, X-rays, CT/MRI/PET scans. This offers peace of mind by bypassing NHS waiting lists for quick specialist consultations. With Speedy Diagnostics, there’s no limit on the number of tests or maximum annual amount for consultations or tests.

Diagnostics insurance is cheaper than full private health insurance, but it doesn’t cover treatment costs. You’ll need to use the NHS or pay for treatment yourself after diagnosis.

Child Health Essentials

This policy offers access to GPs and paediatricians through online and telephone services. Additionally, if a child is diagnosed with cancer, the member receives an immediate cash payment of £5,000.

Furthermore, if you need to stay nearby while your child is in the hospital, the policy provides a contribution of £25 per night for your additional accommodation and food costs, up to a maximum of £250.

Physio Essentials

Aviva’s Physio Essentials plan includes consultations with musculoskeletal specialists, potential diagnostic sessions, and treatment plans. This can involve coordination with NHS doctors. For joint and muscular pain, the policy offers up to 5 phone consultations yearly with a specialist.

In some cases, you can choose to have a diagnostic session at the specialist’s office and receive a home treatment plan. Otherwise, the specialist may send their findings and recommendations to your NHS doctor in a letter.

International Aviva Health Insurance

Aviva no longer offers health insurance policies; their coverage is now exclusively for UK residents.

Aviva ‘Limited’ Health Insurance Cover

Aviva Healthier Solutions has a limited cover, which is a basic and cheaper option compared to comprehensive plans. It mainly covers day patient treatment and includes:

  • Consultations and/or treatment with a specialist
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Hospital charges
  • Full cancer cover
  • Outpatient cover for mental health treatment

You can choose from options like Expert Select or a Guided hospital option and access hospitals from the Key hospital list.

Aviva ‘Full’ Health Insurance Cover

Aviva’s full policy provides comprehensive coverage, including both in-patient and outpatient treatments, along with a wider range of services. It includes:

  • Aviva Digital GP
  • Outpatient diagnostic tests
  • Dental and optical benefits
  • Mental health upgrade for 28 days in or day-patient treatment
  • Other treatments and therapies like physiotherapy, osteopathy, etc.
  • Extended hospital list
  • Protected no claim discount

While this policy offers better coverage, it comes at a higher premium compared to the limited cover option

What Does Aviva Health Insurance Cover?

Here’s what is included in Aviva’s core cover, categorised by the type of medical service.

Outpatient Treatment

This applies to all medical care that doesn’t require hospitalisation.

Specialist consultations and associated treatmentsYes
Diagnostic tests (MRI, CT, PET, X-ray, ECG)Yes
Pre-treatment testYes
Physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatmentYes
Mental health treatmentYes
Pregnancy and childbirthNo
Dental and opticalNo

Aviva lets you choose to adjust or remove the outpatient cover to lower your premiums. You can choose between two outpatient limits: £500 per policy year or £1,000 per policy year. Even if you opt to remove outpatient coverage or select a limit, Aviva still provides full coverage for certain treatments, including pre-admission tests, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

In-Patient Treatment

This part includes medical care that needs a hospital bed, whether it’s for a night or just during the day. It often involves surgeries but can also be other treatments requiring hospitalisation.

Private hospital feesYes
Specialists’ feesYes
Cosmetic treatmentNo
Weight loss surgeryNo

Cancer Care

Aviva health insurance includes diagnosis and cancer treatment, including access to therapies that the NHS might not provide due to cost.

Diagnostic tests, genetic tests, molecular profilingYes
Chemotherapy, targeted therapy and biological therapy, bone-strengthening drugs, hormone therapyYes
Experimental treatmentsYes (under certain conditions)
Preventative treatmentYes (under certain conditions)
Palliative careYes
External prostheses, wigsYes
Routine monitoringYes
End-of-life careYes

As part of cancer cover, members are entitled to End-of-life Care, including hospital and hospice stays, for up to £100 per night. Additional coverage for care from registered charities is up to £50 per day, up to a total of £10,000.

Hospital List

There are two main routes you can go: Aviva Quality Guiding and Aviva Hospital Lists. If you have the first (Expert Select or Optimum Referral), just ask your GP for an open referral, then call our helpline to pick a local hospital and specialist for your first appointment.

If you have a Hospital List option, make sure to call our helpline before getting treatment to confirm that the chosen hospital is approved by Aviva for the needed care. The hospital options are colour-coded according to your policy documents. There are three hospital list options:

  • Key — Includes hospitals, both private and NHS with private patient units. Also, your policy allows access to certain NHS pay-beds approved by Aviva, totalling around 800 hospitals nationwide.
  • Extended (add-on) — Expands the number of hospitals available for your use, particularly focusing on increasing options in the Greater London area.
  • Fair+Square (add-on) — Comprises hospitals from major private providers and offers a diverse selection of hospitals affiliated with major private healthcare providers in the country.

You can also discuss the Trust Hospital List, which includes hospitals with private patient units that offer comfortable single rooms with en suite bathrooms. These hospitals tend to specialise in specific areas like cancer treatment or cardiology.

The Signature Hospital List is for customers in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Learn about each hospital on these lists from the booklet.

Medical Underwriting Options

When you apply, you can choose how the provider handles any health conditions. Aviva offers two options, one of which is moratorium underwriting:

  • You don’t need to share any conditions during the application process.
  • If you had a condition in the 5 years before taking out the cover, you’ll only be covered once you’ve been free from any medication, treatment, diagnostic tests, or advice for the condition for 2 years after your cover started.
  • Each time you make a claim, they’ll assess your medical history and request information from your GP, which extends the process.

Full medical underwriting:

  • You complete a comprehensive health questionnaire and reveal any conditions during the application.
  • Your policy documents will outline which symptoms or conditions are excluded.
  • When you make a claim, Aviva already has information about your coverage.
  • It’s more affordable compared to moratorium underwriting.

Aviva Also Offers

Here are some other treatments and benefits included in Aviva health insurance policy:

  • NHS cash benefit for up to 30 nights, £100 per night
  • Home nursing services
  • Private ambulance transportation
  • Stress counselling helpline support
  • Accommodation for parents when their child, aged 15 or younger, is receiving eligible treatment in the hospital
  • GP-referred speech therapy sessions for children, with up to two sessions covered
  • Baby bonus of £100 for each newborn or adopted baby within a year of birth
  • Daily hospice donation of £70, for up to 10 days

Optional Extras

Aviva offers many additional benefits at an additional cost.


If you purchase this add-on, you’ll be eligible for up to 10 sessions of physiotherapy, osteopathic, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment in total per condition. These sessions must be referred by your GP.

Mental Health

With the extra mental health support, you’ll be covered for not only outpatient but also in-patient mental health treatment for acute mental health conditions, including accommodation, nursing costs, and specialist fees for in-patient treatment for up to 28 days.

Dental and Optical Cashback

The core plan has limited dental and optical cover in hospitals. With add-on, you’ll get an optical cover of up to £150 for glasses and contact lenses with a £50 excess. You can also get up to £250 for routine dental treatment with a £50 excess and up to £600 for treatment following an accidental dental injury.

Travel Options

You’re covered for trips abroad up to 31 days per trip, and you can extend it to 45, 60, or 90 days if you’re under 74. Plus, trips within the UK are covered, too, as long as you’ve booked accommodation for at least two consecutive nights in advance. This is a good option for those needing treatment away from home.

Adding Excesses to the Treatment

With this option, you agree to pay a set amount toward your medical expenses before Aviva pays the costs. You can choose from £0 to £5,000, and your premium will depend on your willingness to cover expenses yourself.

No Claim Discount Protection

If you make a claim that would typically reduce your no claims discount, the protection kicks in and prevents your premium from increasing. At your next renewal, your NCD remains unchanged, but the protection benefit is lost. Your NCD will resume its usual function at the subsequent renewal.

After remaining claim-free for a year, you can choose to protect your NCD again.

Adding a Partner and/or Children

If you add a partner and/or children, you make family coverage more affordable:

  • Adding your spouse could result in lower premiums compared to separate policies.
  • Only the oldest child under 20 is charged if you have two or more children on the policy.
  • Newborns receive free cover for up to three months from their birth date.
  • After having the policy for over 10 months and maintaining all payments, any family member on the policy will receive a £100 bonus when they have or adopt a baby up to a year old.
  • Babies are covered for the duration of the policy on a medical-disregarded basis.

Extended Hospital List

As mentioned, if you prefer selecting a hospital from a list rather than what you’re offered, you can opt for our Extended hospital list. This expands the range of hospitals available for your use, particularly in the Greater London area.

Can I Get Aviva Health Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions?

Yes, pre-existing health conditions won’t stop you from getting Aviva health insurance.

However, it’s essential to note that Aviva doesn’t cover any diseases, illnesses, or injuries you’ve had symptoms, medication, tests, treatment, or advice for 5 years before you take out cover.

What Treatment Excesses Can Be Added?

Aviva offers a range of treatment excess options: £100, £200, £500, £1,000, £3,000, and £5,000. You can choose one excess per person per policy year. If you’re unsure about which excess to take for your Aviva health insurance policy, experiment with different options when getting a quote.

For example, if your treatment costs £1,000 and your excess is also £1,000, you’d cover the entire cost yourself. However, if your treatment costs £150 and your excess is £200, you pay the full £150 first. If you have follow-up treatment totalling £100, you cover the first £50, and Aviva pays the rest.

Options to Reduce Your Premiums

To make Aviva’s monthly premiums more affordable, you can:

  • Choose the six-week option to ensure you’re covered for private treatment if NHS treatment isn’t available within six weeks.
  • Adjust your excess and, if possible, increase it.
  • Select from reduced hospital lists based on your needs and location.
  • Consider opting for a plan with reduced provider choice.
  • Limit how much coverage you need for outpatient services.

To make it all clear and individualised, ask an advisor to provide more specific details and guidance on these options.

Aviva Business Health Insurance

Aviva offers two types of cover based on the number of employees you have. Private medical insurance for 1-249 employees includes:

  • Treatment for short-term illnesses or injuries
  • Extensive cancer cover
  • Full cover for all agreed treatment, drugs, nursing care, and diagnostic tests
  • Access to BacktoBetter, an independent musculoskeletal case management service
  • Quick access to quality talking therapy and counselling through Mental Health Pathway

The insurance plan for 250+ employees offers all of the above plus outpatient consultations and treatment, specialists’ fees, and hospital accommodation charges.

Additionally, there are Employee Well-being services available included with both types of insurance.

What Is Not Covered on Aviva Health Insurance?

Here’s what’s not covered under Aviva insurance:

  • Ongoing health problems that need continuous care
  • Costs directly linked to pregnancy or childbirth
  • Birth control or fertility treatments
  • Regular medical check-ups, screenings, or preventive treatments
  • Issues from alcohol or drug misuse, self-harm
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Sleep disorders, hearing loss, eyesight
  • Injuries from paid or sponsored sports
  • Experimental treatments
  • Medical devices, medications, and bandages
  • Rehabilitation, recovery, and long-term care in nursing homes

You also don’t have coverage for care received from providers that Aviva doesn’t approve. For the full list of exclusions with details, read the full terms and conditions.

How Can You Lower the Cost of Aviva Health Insurance?

If small tricks and tips can’t significantly lower your premiums, consider taking more drastic action by exploring different levels of coverage. For instance, if you find that Aviva’s full coverage is too expensive, you can opt for a limited plan with essential coverage and add a few optional extras as needed.

There are pros and cons to reducing your coverage level, but if it fits your budget better, it’s a good trade-off.

When Does Aviva Health Insurance Reset?

Aviva Health Insurance resets annually. When you reach your annual benefit limits for a specific service, you’ll need to cover any additional costs yourself. For instance, if you’ve used up your £2,000 limit on GP-referred psychiatric treatment, you’ll have to pay for any additional expenses until your reset date.

Can I Switch My Existing Health Insurance Cover to Aviva?

Switching to Aviva is easy:

  1. Give them a call at 0808 239 5628. Customer service will assist you in discussing your current health insurance policy and transitioning it to Aviva.
  2. They’ll provide you with a comprehensive quote explaining all the benefits of their cover. After reviewing the details, you can decide on the next steps and when to proceed.
  3. Once you’re ready, Aviva’s team guide you through the process.

You could be switched over the same day, which will give you access to our extensive health insurance benefits, well-being services, and Aviva digital GP.

Aviva Contact Numbers

For health insurance inquiries, you can contact Aviva health insurance at 0800 068 3827. The same number applies to health insurance claims in the UK.

Alternatively, you can manage your policy by logging into your account on their website, downloading the Aviva app, or chatting with a bot online.

How to Cancel Aviva Health Insurance UK?

You must notify Aviva in writing at the following address: Aviva Health UK Limited, Chilworth House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3RY.

Or you can call Aviva at 0800 092 4590. Please note that there is a 14-day cooling-off period, and you may be eligible for a refund.

Can You Cancel Health Insurance at Any Time?

Yes, you can cancel your policy at any time.

If you cancel within 14 days of purchase or renewal, and you’ve made no claims, you will receive a full refund of the premium. If you cancel after 14 days, you’ll still be refunded. But it will be less a proportionate deduction for the time during which cover was provided.


When it comes to health insurance companies, few compare to Aviva. With its reputation, scale, and quality, it’s worth exploring, and this Aviva health insurance review should build a good foundation for that. However, remember to explore further and consider other competitors in your search!