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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:

  • 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. (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 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 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.

Find out more

Saga Health Insurance is a unique product designed by us specifically for our customers and it is available through us. Together with our underwriter, AXA PPP healthcare 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.

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

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 childcare. 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 or video 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.

  • 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. Alternatively, our phone line's 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 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

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

If you have muscle, bone or joint pain, it's important you get the most appropriate support early. With Working Body you can get access to advice and treatment without the need for a GP referral.

Using this service does not affect your No Claim Discount and is available with all Saga HealthPlans apart from Support.

How does it work?

A quick phone call will get your case started. A friendly personal advisor will take a few details and check your cover. Working Body will then call you back by the end of the next working day to arrange a free telephone 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 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 check if you have cover before authorising any treatment.

If your claim is eligible, an appointment can be arranged 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, the physiotherapist will let you know what to do next.

What common conditions do our members call Working Body about?

Working Body 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 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 out-patient 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.