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What is health insurance and how does it work?

Health insurance gives you quick access to diagnosis and planned medical treatment in a private hospital.

Saga Health Insurance offers many great benefits including:

Quick access to a specialist for diagnosis following a GP referral

If you develop a problem with your health, getting a prompt diagnosis to find out what's wrong as quickly as possible can be the key to a speedy recovery. Quick and easy access to eligible treatment is one of the great benefits of private healthcare. And if you need tests or scans to determine what's wrong, private health insurance can help you avoid NHS waiting lists. (Out-patient tests and scans are not covered on Saga Support).

Access to private treatment

Health insurance gives you prompt access to private medical and surgical treatment. The premium you pay covers the cost of eligible treatment should you ever need to make a claim.

Freedom to choose where you are treated

Having private health insurance means that you will have a range of specialists to choose from. For example, you may want to see a specialist who works close to your home or place of work.

Another benefit of having private health insurance is that it gives you plenty of flexibility – particularly when it comes to choosing the time of your appointment to suit you.

Being able to pick a hospital from Saga’s extensive countrywide list means you can choose one that’s close to home or near to relatives or friends.

Recuperate in peace and privacy

If you do need to be admitted to hospital, you will usually have a private room with your own TV, phone and internet access to provide the ideal environment in which to recuperate in peace and comfort. With private healthcare you can also expect a choice of high quality, nutritious food, an important aid to recovery after illness or surgery. Plus, your friends and family can visit at any time and stay as long as you like, and car parking is generally free.

Health insurance for self-employed people

Health insurance has additional benefits if you're self-employed or work as a freelancer because taking time off due to ill health can be costly as well as inconvenient. Saga's range of health plans provides you with fast access to medical investigations and treatment, so you can get back to work sooner.

Who underwrites Saga Health Insurance?

Saga Health Insurance is a unique product designed by us specifically for our customers and it is only available through us. Together with our underwriter, Bupa Insurance Limited, we are committed to providing high levels of quality, service and choice. That's why we offer a range of policies that can be tailored to suit your needs and budget.

Would you like to find out more?

If you're over 50, you can find out more about what is covered by private health insurance and what it costs by calling one of Saga's experienced health insurance team members. Alternatively, you can get a quote online in minutes.

0330 094 6361

Mon-Fri – 8:30am-7:00pm
Sat – 9:00am-1:00pm

Get a quote
Defaqto 5 star rated health insurance 2024

Defaqto 5 Star rated health insurance

We are proud to offer five-star treatment every day with Saga Health Insurance. Saga Healthplan Super is 5 Star rated by Defaqto.

Additional cover benefits included as standard

Saga HealthPlans also include additional services that can provide you with valuable extra support, even if you don't need to make a claim. Our aim is to get you back to normal life as quickly as possible. Cover benefits include:
Cancer Care team

We know that being diagnosed with cancer can lead to some very difficult times. That's why we want to take away as much of the stress and worry as we can. With a Saga HealthPlan you have access to our team of experienced and dedicated healthcare professionals, who will support you and your family through the challenges you may encounter during treatment.

If you are diagnosed with cancer you will be referred to one of our specialist nurses in our Cancer Care team. They will be able to provide information on the treatment options open to you and dedicated support throughout your treatment.

If your treatment is eligible under the policy as a private patient, but after discussion with the Cancer Care nurses you choose to have NHS treatment instead, our specialist nurses can also offer other services to support you financially whilst you receive NHS cancer treatment, for example domestic help or assistance with travel costs to and from the hospital. They can also signpost you to relevant support services available through other organisations such as cancer charities.

Saga GP Service

One of the benefits of taking out Saga Health Insurance is that you can use our GP service for unlimited access to private telephone and video GP consultations. All our private health insurance plans include the service, which means you can speak in confidence with a qualified general practitioner day or night, 365 days a year from wherever you are in the world.

  • Book unlimited telephone or video GP appointments from anywhere in the world – there’s no need to wait in a doctor’s surgery as you can book your appointment online. If you prefer to call, our phone line is always open. We know getting a same day appointment with your GP, or at a time that’s convenient for you, can be tricky. With our GP Service you can talk to a GP in complete privacy and confidence from the comfort of your home or wherever you are in the world.
  • We can arrange a doctors appointment at a time that’s convenient to you – fast access to a GP can bring additional peace of mind and unlike appointments at many surgeries, you’re not limited to a 10-minute time slot and can use the Saga GP Service as many times as you like.
  • Get an open referral to a specialist – we’re always looking for ways to make Saga HealthPlans even better for our customers, If you need further tests or advice, either your GP or our Saga GP Service can give you an open referral to a private specialist if necessary.
  • Order private prescriptions direct to your door – call the Saga GP Service and they can arrange for your private prescription to be fulfilled and delivered to your door, which means you don’t have to leave the house if you're feeling unwell.
  • Quality guaranteed – all the doctors you'll speak to are experienced GPs who are GMC registered, licensed, on the NHS Performers list, GP Register and have full Medical Council of Ireland registration, qualifying them as "fit to practise".

Saga GP Service is provided by HealthHero Solutions Limited, specialists in 24/7 Private GP services.

Find out more about the Saga GP Service

Anytime HealthLine

If you want to get advice from a specialist healthcare professional other than a GP you can call this line 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we can arrange for you to talk to the nursing team.

Mental Health Direct Access

With 'Mental Health Direct Access' you can get prompt access to mental health care and support. It's included with all our health plans except Support.

If you experience stress, anxiety or any mental health concerns, call the Claims Helpline. We may need to make some checks before we can transfer you through to our Mental Health Direct Access team.

Once cover is agreed they will arrange for you to speak to a Specialist Team.

The Specialist Team will carry out an initial clinical needs assessment then recommend a treatment plan which is clinically appropriate for you.

This could be telephone or face-to-face counselling, a psychiatrist or psychologist consultation or simply some self-help advice.

We will pay for counselling arranged by the Mental Health Direct Access team if this is recommended, and this will not affect your excess, NCD or out-patient limits.

However, if our Mental Health Direct Access team recommend treatment such as with a specialist or practitioner it will be subject to the terms of your policy. These payments will be made direct to the provider.

Please note: This service is available to 18 and over only.

MSK Direct Access

When you experience muscle, bone or joint pain, it is important that you get the most appropriate support early.

With ‘MSK Direct Access’ you can get access to advice and treatment without the need for a GP referral. It’s available with all Saga HealthPlans apart from Support.

How does it work?

If you develop a problem, just call the Claims Helpline, who will first check your cover and then offer a free telephone or video physiotherapist assessment, within 48 hours.

If you use MSK Direct Access for advice this will not affect your current benefits, as it works alongside these benefits.

However, if a MSK Direct Access physiotherapist recommends treatment, then we may need to go through some checks before any treatment can be authorised and claims are paid, subject to the terms of your policy.

Please note: age limits apply to who can use the service. Further details about the Direct Access service, including the age limits that apply, can be found on Bupa's website or you can contact us.

Get in touch

If you are an existing customer and you feel you would benefit from speaking to the MSK Direct Access team, please call your Claims Personal Advisory Team on 0330 018 0778. This number is free to call from both landlines and mobile phones.