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.

Freedom Health Insurance is a family-run business, and they offer straightforward yet customisable options for individuals in the UK and abroad. There’s a wide range of private medical insurance policies available, with coverage extending to hundreds of hospitals. Also, members praise features like consistent pricing regardless of location and price stability.

If you’re considering this provider, check out this Freedom Health Insurance review and learn key details to help you get the best coverage for your well-being.

What Is Freedom?

Freedom Health Insurance is a UK-based broker that has been operating since 2003. As a family-run business headquartered in Poole, they prioritise meeting their customers’ needs above all else. Despite being a smaller company compared to other UK health insurance providers, Freedom has been gaining popularity among consumers due to their customer-centric approach and high satisfaction scores.

Is Freedom a Good Insurance Company?

Freedom Health Insurance reviews from customers confirm that it’s a reputable company. The provider has received positive ratings on Trustpilot (3.8 out of 5 based on 39 reviews), Usay Compare (5 out of 5 based on 1,750 reviews), and Feefo (4.4 out of 5 based on 158 reviews).

Additionally, Freedom was awarded the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award in 2023, further highlighting their commitment to excellent customer service.

How Does Freedom Healthcare Work?

Freedom Health Insurance offers three main types of insurance plans:

  • Elite comprehensive cover — Complete coverage for eligible hospital expenses, specialist charges, and diagnostic testing.
  • Essentials cash benefit policies — A fixed cash benefit for hospitalisations and private treatment procedures with no annual limit. If you choose NHS treatment, you’ll be entitled to half of it.
  • Worldwide policies — Offers different levels of coverage, from basic to comprehensive. These plans include outpatient treatment but may have limits on certain services like psychiatric care and regular health checkups.

How Much Does Freedom Health Insurance Cost?

Let’s consider a scenario where we analyse health insurance quotes based on the age. As the person’s age increases, so does the cost of personal health insurance plans. We selected a £250 excess and capped outpatient coverage at £1,500 annually. Also, we didn’t include dental, optical, or private GP coverage, nor did we choose mental health benefits.

AgePremium per month
20 years~£45
30 years~£53
40 years~£67
50 years~£94
60 years~£135
70 years~£225

Lifestyle factors and medical history also impact the price.

It’s important to note that Freedom has a unique approach where it doesn’t consider your location, so it’s fairly affordable even in expensive areas.

Freedom Health Insurance Cover

Here are more detailed descriptions of the three Freedom Health Insurance cover options.

Freedom Essentials

Freedom Essentials is created to cover the expenses of elective, short-term medical care from a specialist, which is necessary due to an unforeseen acute condition.

Let’s break it down:

In-Patient and Day Patient Treatment

Under this plan, Freedom health insurance gives a fixed cash benefit to assist with the expenses of both in-patient and day patient treatment required for treating acute conditions. This benefit is available when treatment is given by a specialist under a self-payment arrangement, which includes aftercare.

Also, for treatment without procedures, Freedom offers a cash benefit of £200 for each day/night spent in the hospital to address acute conditions. If you get a number of procedures throughout the hospital stay, they may adjust your benefit payment to cover the extra costs.

MRI, CT and PET Scans

Freedom Essentials covers the full fee for MRI, CT, and PET scans charged by approved hospitals or diagnostic imaging facilities in the UK. Please bear in mind that this applies to diagnostic tests requested by a specialist, not a GP.

Cancer Cash Benefit

This policy doesn’t cover the cost of cancer treatment. However, Freedom offers a cash benefit if you require a procedure, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy as part of active cancer treatment.

  • Half of the cash benefit for eligible treatment in active cancer treatment
  • £150 for each hospital visit for chemotherapy or radiotherapy, again, as long as it’s part of active cancer treatment

Cancer Cover

Freedom doesn’t offer coverage for cancer treatment except as outlined in the previous section.

Optional Add-Ons

You can add extra health benefits to your Freedom Essentials plan, such as:

Optional ExtraDescription
Outpatient coverProvides a fixed cash benefit for minor outpatient treatment addressing acute conditions.
Diagnostic tests requested by a GPCosts up to £500
Specialist feesSpecialist consultations, diagnostic tests, and physiotherapy fees up to the chosen cover level (£500 or £1,500)
Optical costsEye tests, prescription glasses, and contact lenses up to £150, applicable for first prescriptions or prescription changes
Routine dental costsDentist fees for oral hygiene maintenance, up to £150.
Maternity cash benefit£150 cash benefit for every newborn after 10 months of policy ownership

Additional Benefits

Freedom Essentials provides a fixed cash benefit for specific surgical dental care that can’t be performed by a dentist and requires referral to an oral specialist. These procedures include:

  • Reinserting a knocked-out tooth
  • Treating a jaw bone cyst
  • Performing an apicectomy
  • Surgically removing impacted teeth or complicated roots for acute conditions

Also, this plan includes a cash benefit for hospital stays and day procedures related to certain pregnancy complications:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Molar pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Post-partum haemorrhage
  • Retained placenta
  • Complications arising from these conditions

However, they don’t cover the cost of planned or emergency Caesarean sections.

Freedom Elite

Freedom Elite health insurance is a wider policy that builds upon Essentials. Let’s examine the coverage within each category:

Full Cover for In-Patient and Day Patient Treatment

Freedom Elite covers the full fees charged by specialists for in-patient treatment if the fees are in line with their procedure schedule. This schedule categorises procedures by complexity and sets maximum payment amounts. If the fees exceed the limits, you’re responsible for paying the difference directly to the specialist.

As for hospital fees, they’re all covered, but you have to use a hospital from the approved list that matches your coverage level. This includes:

  • Pre-admission tests
  • Accommodation
  • Critical care
  • Operating theatre and drugs
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Physiotherapy
  • Certain medical devices like joint replacements

Comprehensive Cancer Cover

The Freedom Elite plan covers specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, and active cancer treatments like surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Additionally, they provide coverage for ongoing follow-up monitoring by a specialist for the duration of your policy after completing active cancer treatment.

MRI, CT and PET Scans

Similar to the Essentials policy, Freedom Elite covers the full costs of MRI, CT, and PET scans if a specialist requested them, including fees charged by hospitals or approved diagnostic imaging centres.

Dental Surgery

Freedom covers the full fees charged by a specialist and a hospital for oral surgical procedures listed below:

  • Reattaching a natural tooth dislodged due to an accidental injury
  • Treating a jaw bone cyst
  • Performing an apicectomy to remove the tip of a tooth root and address surrounding infected tissue
  • Surgically removing impacted teeth, buried teeth, and complicated buried roots for acute condition treatment

Pregnancy Complications

Freedom Elite covers the expenses for hospitalisation and day treatment of pregnancy complications.

This plan also covers emergency Caesarean sections based on NHS guidelines for immediate health risks to the baby or mother or if early delivery is necessary. If you pick private birth care and require an emergency Caesarean, they cover the extra cost. However, you’re responsible for the cost of a standard private delivery.

Maternity Cash Benefit

The Freedom Elite policy provides a cash benefit of £150 for every newborn after the policy launch date. For this, the policyholder must have had the cover for at least 10 months prior to the child’s birth.

Home Nursing

Freedom Elite covers the full fee charged by a nurse for up to 13 weeks of home treatment after in-patient or day patient care. The nursing must be recommended, arranged, and supervised by the hospital specialist. Also, the nurse must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and have a valid NMC personal identification number.

This coverage doesn’t include non-medical services like cleaning, meal preparation, childcare, mobility assistance, or personal care.

Private Road Ambulance

The plan covers the full fee for a private road ambulance if you require supervised transport for hospitalisation and day treatment, including journeys from your home to the hospital, between hospitals for treatment, or from the hospital to your home after discharge.

However, they don’t cover taxi fares or the use of public transport.

NHS Cash Benefit

Under Freedom Elite, the insurer pays £200 per night if you’re admitted to an NHS hospital and £100 per day for procedures if those would have been covered in a private hospital under this policy.

These benefits apply when all costs are paid by the NHS and exclude time spent in the emergency room before admission to a general ward.

Hospital Lists

Freedom Elite gives access to some of the UK’s largest groups, like Ramsay Health Care, Nuffield Health, and Circle Health Group, alongside regional independent hospitals and NHS facilities offering private care.

Find the full list of private hospitals by Freedom Health here.

Additional Benefits

Freedom covers the full fees charged for alternative therapies by acupuncturists, chiropractors, homoeopaths, osteopaths, and podiatrists (when referred by your GP or specialist for an acute condition). They cover up to six sessions of treatment during one insurance period for all listed practitioners combined.

Also, they fully cover fees for psychiatric treatment by a specialist and hospital for mental illness referred by your GP.

  • Hospitalisation and day treatment are covered for up to 45 days.
  • Up to £2,000 is covered for outpatient treatment.

However, they don’t cover treatment for alcohol, solvent, or drug abuse or any medical conditions arising from such abuse or addiction.


You can customise your Freedom Elite plan by adding any of the following options:

Optional ExtraDescription
Enhanced hospital listThe London Plus hospital list provides access to all HCA Healthcare UK facilities for more treatment choices
Outpatient cover
  • Diagnostics by a GP (up to £750)
  • Specialists, tests, and physio when referred by a specialist
  • Physiotherapy sessions (up to six) on GP referral
Private GP, dental, and optical
  • Cover for non-emergency dental procedures (up to £300) or accidents (up to £600).
  • Cover for eye tests, glasses, and contact lenses (up to £200) by an optician.
  • Cover for medical services by a private GP (up to £300).

Freedom Worldwide

Freedom Worldwide is an international health insurance plan tailored for individuals residing and working overseas for extended periods exceeding one year.

There are five levels:

BronzeBasic coverage including full hospitalisation and day treatment; outpatient cover is limited
SilverCost-effective policy with coverage for outpatient treatment
GoldAdditional reassurance with coverage for dental treatment and maternity benefits
PlatinumBroader range of benefits, like home nursing benefits, covered up to £2,000
DiamondMost extensive coverage that includes non-residential services without a limit, although psychiatric care and regular checkups are limited

Learn more about what each level covers here. Regardless of the level chosen, all plans include cover for:

  • Hospital admission for acute medical conditions (hospital stays and day treatment)
  • Treatment for cancer
  • Emergency dental treatment requiring hospital admission (subject to individual limits)
  • MRI, CT, PET scans
  • Surgery conducted as an outpatient procedure (subject to individual limits)
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Compassionate emergency visit when a family member faces critical illness in a foreign country

Members are covered everywhere in your chosen area, whether you’re at home, on vacation, or on a business trip. However, travelling for medical treatment is not covered.

Underwriting Options

Freedom uses several methods to assess your health and determine coverage:

  • Full medical underwriting — You provide detailed medical history upfront, and coverage is based on this. Exclusions will be listed in your insurance certificate.
  • Moratorium underwriting — You don’t need to provide health information initially, but coverage for pre-existing conditions isn’t available for the first two years.
  • Continued personal medical exclusions — If you had previous insurance with medical underwriting, they’ll apply the same exclusions from your previous insurer.
  • Continued moratorium — If you had previous insurance under a moratorium, they’ll continue the same exclusion period.

Are There Any Exclusions?

Firstly, Freedom Health Insurance doesn’t include care for pre-existing conditions or related conditions, as well as treatment for chronic conditions, including ongoing monitoring.

Other exclusions are:

  • Cosmetic or reconstructive procedures
  • Eyesight and vision disorders, hearing disorders
  • Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea, snoring, and insomnia
  • Any form of transplant surgery, except for skin grafts as part of acute condition treatment
  • Weight loss treatment, including bariatric surgery, is not covered.
  • Treatment related to infertility, including diagnostic tests and assisted reproduction
  • Sexual problems, impotence, genital warts, and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Gender reassignment/gender confirmation
  • Any form of contraception or birth control procedure, including reversals and associated consequences
  • Professional sports, hazardous and dangerous activities

What Is Freedom Business Health Insurance?

Freedom Health Insurance offers healthcare plans for businesses of various sizes:

  • For small businesses, there are both basic and comprehensive health insurance plans.
  • Self-employed individuals can ensure quick access to medical treatment and the option to include family members in the coverage.
  • Large corporations can implement robust well-being strategies with Freedom’s corporate health insurance plans with comprehensive coverage, international options, and group discounts.

Regarding benefits, Freedom Business covers various medical treatments, including:

  • Specialist fees (full refund)
  • Hospital fees (full)
  • MRI, CT and PET (full)
  • Dental surgery
  • Maternity cash benefits (£150 for each child)
  • Home nursing (full for up to 13 weeks)
  • Private road ambulance coverage (full)
  • NHS cash benefit (£200 per night for hospitalisation, £100 for day procedures)

Specific limitations and exclusions apply.

Also, Freedom offers a price match promise. This guarantees that if you find a similar insurance plan for private medical treatment at a lower price from a competitor, Freedom will match or beat that price.

What Is Freedom Family Health Insurance?

Benefits of family private health insurance are similar to individual plans, including hospital stays, day treatment, cancer cover, and optional benefits like outpatient care, mental health, and alternative therapies. Family plans include:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Immediate coverage for newborns
  • Maternity cash benefit
  • Accommodation for a parent staying with a hospitalised child
  • Home nursing for up to 13 weeks with Freedom Elite policy

Most competitors don’t cover members beyond 18 years old under the child policy, whereas Freedom increases the eligibility age up to 25.

What Is Not Covered on Freedom Health Insurance?

In addition to exclusions for certain conditions and illnesses, Freedom doesn’t cover certain types of treatments and procedures, such as:

  • Preventive health checks, genetic testing, vaccinations
  • Accident or emergency services
  • Appliances, physical aids, and devices
  • Drugs and dressings taken home after treatment
  • Experimental or unproven treatment
  • Rehabilitation, convalescence, and general nursing care

Also, coverage excludes treatment by GPs, unqualified or unrecognised providers, as well as treatment without a GP referral or when deemed unnecessary by the GP. Similarly, members aren’t covered for treatment resulting from not following medical advice or complications after overseas treatment.

Requirements for Freedom Health Insurance

To qualify for a new Freedom Health policy, you must be between 18 and 70, whereas children are eligible to be added to their parent’s policy from birth until age 25. Once enrolled, there are no further age restrictions.

Premiums can be paid annually or monthly, and you can receive a 6% discount for annual payments. If there are any changes to your coverage you’d like to make, you can do so at the beginning of each insurance period.

It’s important to keep Freedom informed during treatment for eligibility updates. However, pre-authorisation isn’t required for NHS treatment or optional private GP, optical, and dental cover. The insurer will need documentation for these claims within six months.

Do I Have to Pay Towards My Treatment?

With Freedom Essentials, there’s a mandatory £100 excess on every policy. You have the option to add a voluntary excess of £100, £250, £500, or £1,000.

With Freedom Elite, you can choose a policy with no excess or add an optional excess of £100, £250, £500, or £1,000.

Can I Get Health Insurance If I Have an Existing Medical Condition?

Yes, Freedom Health allows coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions, but those conditions won’t be covered. Only emergency care related to them will be covered, and the same rule applies to chronic conditions.

When Does Freedom Health Insurance Reset?

Your health insurance policy benefits begin on the first day of your coverage and renew each year on your policy’s anniversary date.

Can I Switch My Existing Health Insurance Cover to Freedom?

Yes, you can switch your medical insurance to Freedom as long as you don’t have any ongoing claims from your previous provider. Once any claims are finalised, you’re good to go. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Call Freedom at 01202 756 350 or request a call back by filling out the short form on this page.
  2. They’ll ask you a few questions about your health and recent treatment.
  3. They’ll guide you through the process of switching your health insurance provider to Freedom.

How to Cancel Freedom Health Insurance UK?

Contact Freedom directly to cancel your health insurance plan.

If you cancel within the 14-day period and haven’t made any claims, you can get a full refund. Outside of this period, you can only receive a refund for the remaining period of insurance if no claims have been made.

However, if you’ve already made a claim, there will be no reimbursement, and you’ll still be responsible for the full annual premium payment.

Can You Cancel Freedom Health Insurance at Any Time?

You can switch private healthcare companies anytime. However, it’s better to wait until the end of your policy year to reap the benefits of private healthcare and avoid paying the full annual premium without using it.

Freedom Health Insurance Contact Numbers

For new or existing customers, here are the main contact details for Freedom Health Insurance:

Get a quote & general enquiries: 0800 999 2013 (free), 01202 756 350,

To make a claim for policies in the UK: 01202 283 580,

To make a claim for international policies: 0044 1202 756 350,

Hopefully, you’ve found this Freedom Health Insurance review helpful, and you’re ready to take the next step!