Freedom Health Insurance provides private medical insurance in the UK and internationally, for businesses, families and individuals.
Its ‘Your Choice’ cover, launched in 2003, is based on giving customers greater choices for their money and works differently to other health covers. Its 'Elite' cover completes their line-up for UK health insurance with an offering more similar to standard health policies.
Overview of health insurance cover provided by Freedom
Freedom Health offers two main policy types which operate in very different ways.
The first is their 'Your Choice' policy. As the name suggests, it is intended to provide customers with greater flexibility. This means that, similar to many health insurance providers, you have choices over the elements of cover you need when creating a policy - including or excluding outpatient treatment, cover for therapies, psychiatric treatment and so on.
However Freedom takes this one step further - if you get diagnosed with a condition needing hospital treatment, they allow you to choose where and how you want to be treated. Essentially you can arrange your own treatment so you could to choose to get treated on the NHS, to go to a UK Private hospital or even get the treatment abroad if you preferred.
Whatever option you choose, Freedom provide a fixed sum of money for the condition you have been diagnosed with. For example £12,252 for a hip replacement. If you get NHS treatment, which is not charged, the full sum is paid to you in cash. If you instead choose UK Private treatment or go abroad, you can spend the cash to get the treatment, and keep anything left over. Most other health insurers will not pay for treatment abroad.
This can sound attractive, particularly when the payment can be significant. However, Freedom also state that the typical cost of getting a hip replaced privately is between around £9,000 and £13,000. This is important as there is a risk your treatment could cost more than the cash sum provided - perhaps you have an unexpected complication, or you attend an expensive hospital and use an expensive surgeon. In this case, any charges above the cash sum are your responsibility.
It is worth noting that health insurance that pays for treatment abroad is hard to find - mainly since insurance for getting medical treatment abroad would mean covering a large range of hospitals and costs that the health insurer can't easily ensure are high quality (and this is why Freedom just pay the money up front and you are responsible for arranging your treatment).
Freedom's second level of cover is it's 'Elite' policy which works more like other health insurance policies. It covers in-patient and day-patient care at private, UK-based treatment centres with a number of further options available. You can choose additional covers for Alternative Medicine, Psychiatric Care, GP, Dental and Optical treatment, and Executive Cover. In addition, Freedom provide health insurance that covers pregnancy more than usual (it has terms for ante-natal and post-natal care), and investigations into causes of infertility, although limits and T&Cs apply to both.
How much does Freedom health insurance cost?
The bespoke nature of Freedom healthcare means there is no single premium cost – instead, it will depend on your health, lifestyle and cover required.
As an indication, Freedom’s elite policy can start from £29.45 per month for single policies, £58.88 per month for couples, and £73.50 per month for a young family.
There are a number of ways Freedom can help you reduce your policy cost; these include setting your own excess fee – the higher the excess, the lower the premium – and in-patient only cover.
Please note that Freedom does not offer a no claims discount, however it also doesn’t look to raise premiums following a claim.
What do Freedom health insurance customers say?
Freedom provide positive customer testimonials through their site - "Freedom have been my best friends during my treatment," remarked one customer, while another said: "the company was particularly helpful at a time when I needed it."
As a smaller health insurance provider, there are fewer independent customer reviews available for Freedom - for example although Feefo gives Freedom a 100% rating on service, this is based on just 1 (happy!) customer review, praising its “good, straightforward online service”. The largest source of independent reviews is Review Centre with still only 5 reviews ranging from 1 to 5 stars. On average it scores Freedom at 2.7/5.
What do the experts say about Freedom health insurance?
Health Insurance Magazine has awarded Freedom’s health insurance product 8/10 in 2011, while industry body Defaqto has given it 4 out of 5 stars for its Elite policy, 3 stars for it's Your Choice Diamond Plus policy, and 1 star for its other Your Choice policies. Freedom was also recommended by The Daily Telegraph in 2013 as an alternative to the ‘big four’ health insurers.