Health cash plans

Health cash plans

Health cash plans give you cash to pay for treatment at the dentist and towards the cost of eye care. Here we look at how health cash plans work and if they are worth having.

Written by Mike Naylor on 02 September 2013

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What are health cash plans?

Health cash plans are also known as hospital cash plans. You pay a monthly premium and in return they cover part or all of your dental and eye care costs. They also can help towards the cost of everyday healthcare but do not cover private treatment for more serious illnesses.

Premiums are based on the level of cover you choose. You normally receive 50% to 100% of the cost of treatment up to an annual amount. You can use the money to pay for private treatment or treatment on the NHS.

What do health cash plans cover?

Health cash plans will either pay the full cost or give you money towards eye tests, health screening, allergy testing, chiropody, osteopathy and acupuncture. You may also get cash if you have to stay in hospital over night - around £20 a night is typical. If you are a new parent you may also receive a payment of around £200.

Generally, the more you pay each month the more money you will be able to claim and the wider the range of benefits that are covered. Although some health cash plans have age limits, you normally don't pay more as you get older.

What are the advantages of health cash plans?

With health cash plans you pay a monthly fee and can then claim money towards or receive the full cost of every day care for your teeth and eyes allowing you to spread the cost of some medical care. You can also buy a family policy that will cover your partner and your children.

Are health cash plans good value?

You will have to wait for around three to six months before you can claim any money under most health cash plans. Hospital cash plans work like a saving plan and could work out as good value if you need to use all the benefits and make several claims each year. However, you may be better off putting money aside each month and using this money to pay for treatment as and when you need it. Of course if you decide to pay for treatment as you need it you may not have the money available.

To help you decide if a health cash plan will be worth having, add up everything you spend on eye care, the dentist and other benefits during a year and compare the annual cost of each plan.

If you only want cover for dental treatment you could take out a dental insurance policy. Private medical insurance gives more comprehensive medical cover for more serious injuries and illnesses.

How to buy a health cash plan

Shop around for the right cover at the right price. Check what benefits each policy covers and how much it pays towards treatment sand what the maximum you can claim each year is for each benefit.

Health cash plans could be worth choosing if you will make use of the medical benefits and will need to pay for glasses, chiropody or other benefits. Be aware that you will have to wait for a time before you can claim any money. You may be better off putting money into a savings account and using it when you need it to pay for treatment.

Where to buy health cash plans

You can buy health cash plans direct from the health cash plan providers. You can probably save some money shopping around for health cash plans but getting the right cover is more important than just buying the cheapest policy you can find. It is also essential that you know how the policy works and what's covered and what's excluded.


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