Diabetes can pose a difficulty if you are looking for private health insurance as the risk of closely related health issues are statistically much higher.

As a result, private healthcare insurance may either not be offered or it may include less favourable terms and conditions.

What is private healthcare insurance?

Private health insurance is a way of being able to access private healthcare when you need to, without needing to pay the full price for each treatment.

You pay a premium, either annually or each month, and in return, should you need medical treatment, you can get this done privately either for free or at a reduced cost (depending on your cover terms).

Private healthcare insurance may be offered by your workplace as part of your benefits package or health insurance can be self funded

Private healthcare and diabetes

Insurance companies are wary of long term health conditions, which can be expensive particularly in the long run.

The health insurance companies instead prefer to cover short term treatments – broken bones being one such example.

Whether your private health insurance is part of your employer benefits or a self-funded option, check the terms of the insurance:

  • First check whether pre-existing conditions are eligible as often they may not be covered.
  • Secondly check whether conditions closely related to diabetes, such as heart or kidney trouble, have been excluded as this is also a common practice.
  • Thirdly , see if the company has imposed a non-claiming period, this can be up to a few years, to prevent people joining who are closely in need of making a claim for treatment.

Switching health insurance plans

If you are thinking of switching health insurance providers, and your diabetes was diagnosed after you took out your original health insurance plan, then you will need to check whether you will be covered and whether any new terms apply as a result. See the checks above.

Hospital cash plan for diabetes

Hospital cash plans, also known as hospital cash funds, are another option. They are not insurance as such as the insurer does pay for the cost of treatment or hospital stays itself.

Instead, you pay a premium, say every month, which entitles you for up to set amounts (say £100) which you claim from the cash plan provider for different treatments. The cash funds start to come into their own if you need private treatments from a variety of sources – e.g. eye health, dental care, consultations, etc.

On the downside, they may not be as comprehensive as standard health insurance which tends to cover a wider range of care.

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