As you might expect, we are experiencing a significant number of enquiries from customers asking whether their health insurance policy covers any element of the recent COVID-19 outbreak…
The answer here is not always a straightforward one and depends on which insurer you’re with, and in which region of the world you are covered. International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) offers a greater degree of cover by its very nature, but the stance can still differ significantly.
All major UK health insurers are holding the same position: That those diagnosed with COVID-19 will be best looked after within the NHS, as they are better equipped to manage these patients in isolation. Any patients testing positive would likely be within an NHS clinic or hospital for monitoring and/or temporary relief of symptoms as opposed to active treatment typically available under UK PMI plans.
That said, it’s expected that a small number of patients could develop more severe complications as a result, such as pneumonia, which would be covered by their health insurance plan in most cases. Whilst they couldn’t be moved to a private hospital or facility, most health insurers will consider applications for NHS cash benefit (where the option is included on their plan), but this may be on a case-by-case basis.
Now that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic disease, this can also change how an insurer will treat a potential claim, as some insurers have general scheme exclusions for pandemic diseases.
We have provided a breakdown below:
Domestic (UK) Health Insurance Companies / Providers
AXA – No exclusions for pandemic diseases and may offer NHS cash benefit where applicable
Bupa – Pandemics are a standard scheme exclusion so no cover available
Cigna – Would consider NHS cash benefit and related conditions for cover
Freedom – Pandemics are a standard scheme exclusion so no cover for this or related conditions
PHC – No cover for Coronavirus, related conditions or NHS cash benefit
Vitality – COVID-19 classed as “Emergency Treatment” and thus excluded from cover. Will consider NHS cashback for related eligible conditions.
WPA – No exclusions for pandemics and will offer NHS cash benefit where applicable
International Health Insurance Companies / Providers
Aetna – No exclusions for pandemics and Coronavirus is covered
AXA Global – Healthcare benefits will apply as normal if members are diagnosed with Coronavirus
Bupa Global – Does have an exclusion for epidemics and pandemics but currently, this isn’t being enforced and they are covering Coronavirus at their discretion.
Cigna – No exclusion for pandemics and Coronavirus is covered
Generali – Does have an exclusion for epidemics and pandemics but currently this isn’t being enforced and they are covering Coronavirus.
Now Health – There is no exclusion for pandemics and Coronavirus is covered
William Russell – Members are covered in the same way as they would be for any viral infections
All insurers are within their rights to deny claims if customers have travelled against the advice of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice.
Engage Health Group has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information having spoken with its insurer partners, but as the situation is changing regularly, it is recommended that customers contact their insurer directly with any specific questions.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please get in touch.