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What is health insurance?

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

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What is health insurance?

Saga Health Insurance offers many great benefits including:

  • *Get your first 2 months of cover free! - When you start your policy on or before the 15 November 2021, pay by monthly Direct Debit and hold your policy for a year
  • Quick access to a specialist for diagnosis following a GP referral
  • Access to private treatment
  • Freedom to choose where you are treated
  • Recuperate in peace and privacy.

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.

Access to private treatment

Health insurance gives you prompt access to private medical and surgical treatment. The monthly 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 consultants to choose from. For example, you may want to see a consultant 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 nationwide 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, having a private room with your own TV, phone and internet access can 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.

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 on 0800 015 0226. Alternatively, you can get a personalised quote online in minutes.


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

Saga GP Service

Saga Health Information Line

Working Body Service

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 Services for unlimited access to telephone GP appointments. 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. Now available via the Saga GP Service app!

  • Get unlimited GP appointments over the phone 24/7, 365 days a year, anywhere in the world – there’s no need to wait in a doctor’s surgery as 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 guarantee you’ll get a doctor's appointment at a convenient time – 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 call 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, and now there’s no need to book an appointment at a doctor's surgery. If you need further tests or advice, the doctor 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 Health Information Line

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 qualified nurses. Pharmacists, counsellors and midwives are also available to answer any questions you may have and give you the latest information related to your condition. 

Working Body Service

If you have muscle, bone or joint pain, it's important you get the most appropriate support early. The Working Body Service provides you with quicker and easier access to treatments such as physiotherapy. Using this service does not affect your No Claim Discount. It's available with all Saga HealthPlans apart from Support, and you can use this service without needing a GP referral.

Getting help straightaway could improve your health in the long-term. Looking after your joints, for example, might mean you don't need surgery, such as a knee replacement, later down the line.

How does it work?

A quick phone call will get your case started. A friendly personal adviser will take a few details and pass them onto the Working Body team.

A fully qualified physiotherapist will call you back within one to two working days (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm – closed on weekends and bank holidays) to carry out a clinical needs assessment.

They will then decide whether you can manage your condition at home or whether you need face-to-face treatment.


Depending on what the problem is, the physiotherapist may be able to give you self-care advice and exercises to do at home.

The physiotherapist can guide you through the exercises that are suited to your needs and explain how to do them by yourself.

You can then be given access to an easy to use online physiotherapy portal where you can watch in-depth video tutorials to help you learn your prescribed exercises.

The Working Body Service team will then catch up with you to check that you're on the road to recovery.

Face-to-face treatment

Should the physiotherapist decide during your call that you need face-to-face treatment or to be referred to a specialist, they will let you know if this is covered by your Saga HealthPlan.

If your claim is eligible, we can arrange an appointment for you at a time and location that's convenient to you.

If you require face-to-face treatment, but are not covered for it on your HealthPlan, our physiotherapist will let you know what to do next.

What common conditions do our members call Working Body about?

The Working Body Service is here to help you with musculoskeletal problems. This means anything to do with your bones, joints and muscles.

These issues are wide-ranging but may include:

  • Knee pain from sporting injuries
  • Shoulder pain from repetitive movements
  • Twisted ankles from walking and running
  • Pain from muscle strains and tears
  • Back pain from stretching or turning awkwardly.

What is not covered?

We do not cover treatment for injuries that occurred while playing or training for any sport that you are paid for, including grants or sponsorship (unless you receive travel costs only).

Our cover is not intended for professional or semi-professional athletes. However, if you're taking part in a sporting event or playing sport as an amateur, even if you might receive a small prize or are getting sponsored for charity, you would normally be covered.

We would always encourage you to call our team of advisers before incurring treatment costs to ensure you are covered.

Will I have to pay an excess?

If you only use the phone service, you will have nothing extra to pay. If you need to have face-to-face treatment this will be subject to the excess and outpatient benefit limits outlined in your policy book.

When you speak to our claims team, they will advise on how to pay any excess, and also any policy limits that apply.

Get in touch

If you are an existing customer and would like to speak to the Working Body team, please call 0800 027 1331 this number is free to call from both landlines and mobile phones.