Review: CS Healthcare

David Woodfield By David Woodfield


CS Healthcare is a private medical insurance mutual that serves a specific set of people - if you work, or have worked for the Civil Service, the public sector or for a voluntary, charitable or not-for-profit organisation you, and your family, are eligible to join CS Healthcare.

Customer and Expert reviews of CS Healthcare consistently rate the company highly, including a 1st place ranking in a Which? report.

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Overview of health insurance covered provided by CS Healthcare

CS Healthcare are different to other insurance providers in that they only offer policies to current and former members of the civil service, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. Policies can also be extended to cover the families of eligible members, even if the family members themselves do not meet these criteria.

CS Healthcare have two Health Insurance products - Healthbridge (so called as it is a lower-cost policy aimed to bridge the gap between NHS and Private healthcare treatment) and Yourchoice (again, named accurately for its flexible menu of over options).

Healthbridge cover is broken into 3 key areas:

  • Investigation and diagnostic – initial investigatory tests such as ECGs, blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, and follow-up consultations up to £1,000 per policy year.
  • Treatment and surgery – in-patient, day-patient and out-patient hospital care are all included in the HealthBridge solution, although treatment for Heart and Cancer conditions is excluded from cover.
  • Recovery and support – covers small amounts (£150-500 per year, depending on the type of claim) of chiropractic treatment, counselling, osteopathy and physiotherapy as well as the purchase of some appliances and aids.

Critically, all Healthbridge covers are subject to maximum limit of £15,000 in total per person, per policy year, regardless of the types of claims that have been made. In addition, Healthbridge has a 15% co-pay agreement as standard - this works something like an annual excess, meaning you will pay 15% of each claim per person, per policy year up to a maximum of £250. Note this does not apply to the Recovery and Support benefits.

You can compare Healthbridge policies features and prices versus others on the market by using

Your Choice allows you to tailor cover through the selection of different options. All Your Choice policies start with their 'Essential' module, which is compulsory and covers in-patient and day patient treatments and fees, diagnostic scans, out-patient treatments and surgery plus private road ambulance nursing at home and parental accomodation benefits.

You are then able to choose differing levels of cover for 'Expert Diagnostics', 'Heart and Cancer care', 'Therapies' and 'Cash Benefits'. Each of these allows you to increase the levels of cover you have for these different events.

To compare CS Healthcare's policies versus the market you can use - this price comparison site allows you to compare policy features in depth and get your own quotes from a range of providers.

How much does CS Healthcare insurance cost?

There is no set price for CS Healthcare’s insurance policies, as cover costs depend on factors such as your age, medical history and lifestyle factors, while the number of optional extras you select will also increase the price of your premium. However, it is worth noting that it can be beneficial to opt for a more expensive policy, which offers a greater level of support in the event of injury or illness.

CS Healthcare’s Healthbridge insurance differs to some other providers in that it has a compulsory co-payment policy. This means that for every claim made each year, policyholders pay 15%, up to a maximum £250, after which the insurer will pay 100% of the claim until you reach the £15,000 personal limit.

If you choose to have the treatment on the NHS, however, policyholders can claim an NHS Support Allowance to reimburse costs such as travel expenses to and from hospital.

Although there is no set cost, according to Active Quote, over 85% of new members mentioned low premiums as a reason for joining the provider. For family policies, the eldest child is provided with free healthcare until the age of 18, while all further children receive complimentary care until the age of one, and £100 cash back when they are added to the policy.

What do CS Healthcare customers say?

An official survey of CS Healthcare members, conducted in 2014, found that 96% of policyholders recommended their cover as excellent or good.

The customer review website corroborates this, giving CS Healthcare an overall rating of 4.5/5 stars.

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What do the experts say?

Independent consumer organisation Which? has awarded CS Healthcare first place in its review of private medical insurance providers, with an overall score of 81%. It is also the preferred provider of low-cost private health insurance for members of the NAHT, the professional association for school leaders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

CS Healthcare has been given a 4 out of 5 star rating by independent financial research company, Defaqto. Defaqto rate policies according to their opinion of the quality of the product, rather than the pricing.

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