Newest Review: ... dentist for my regualr check ups and i also wear glasses, i think if i didn't wear glasses i probably wouldn't get my money's worth from t... more
Group based health scheme
Member Name: rodmc
Date: 20/02/03, updated on 08/01/04 (2310 review reads)
Advantages: Low cost, doesn't rise with age or claims history, pre-existing conditions partially covered
Disadvantages: Some treatments not covered, Smaller number of hospitals
Review updated 8/1/04
Simplyhealth was previously Manor House Friendly Society which was one of the oldest mutual health insurers in the UK, in fact they claim to have been a small version of the NHS until all that changed after the war. Since I wrote the initial review they have been taken over by HSA which from what I have seen has meant the forms have got smaller (a good thing) and certain procedures are dealt with more quickly, namely complementary therapy and cancer operations. Simplyhealth does not aim to compete with the NHS but rather complements it, this means for certain more expensive and long term urgent treatments you will be referred back to the NHS (e.g Radiotherapy/chemotherapy and Psychiatric). However the NHS is usually pretty good for those forms of cancer care.
The important thing to note about SimplyHealth is you cannot join it as an individual, you must join it in a group five or more people. This may sound bad but actually does work in your favour. In my case I joined it through a now defunct group which means I pay £23 per month and not the quoted £35.
*Not age or claims based, so the price only goes up in line with general medical costs.
*Has been good value for money so far.
*Covers pre-existing conditions after 2 years, no questions asked.
*Covers most medical conditions.
*I quite like the idea of it not being age or claims based, so for example if you have a few older people in your group then they benefit from the diverse age range and also you don't seem to end up paying much more.
*You get to see a consultant within 3 weeks, probably less and have any treatment within 6 weeks or less.
*There is no limit on the costs of hospital treatment, although there are some for complementary therapies.
*You don't have to pay the bill and claim it back, they will cover it in full with the provider.
*A useful little magazine arrives every few mon
ths with information on various common ailments and how to get treatment.
*Can only join in groups.
*Treatment is not approved over the phone except in certain urgent cases, you need to get a form signed by your GP.
*The essential plan does not include any ambulance home should you need it.
*Like nearly all medical plans it covers non-life threatening acute conditions only. This means it will not cover anything which is chronic, i.e. likely to continue over a period of time.
*Smaller number of hospitals than with other insurers, but there is atleast one in every major location across the UK, with the exception of Edinburgh!
Thankfully I've had no reason to claim but the scheme is excellent value for money, for me at least and is around half the cost of insurance through the big companies. The family package looks to be excellent value as well and seems to include children for a fraction of the real cost.
For more information see http://www.simplyhealth.uk.com