General and Medical Private Health Insurance Review


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General & Medical provide private health insurance to individuals and businesses, as well as specialist sports insurance. Compared to some of the other private health insurance providers on the market, General & Medical are relatively young and have only been in the business for the last 30 years or so.

Whilst you may not have heard of them, they've already been making waves of their own. They are the preferred providers of health insurance for the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland which is certainly impressive!

So are General & Medical really that good? In this review we'll take a detailed look at their private health insurance offer, including customer ratings, benefits, what is and isn't included and importantly, how much a policy with them might cost you compared to the rest of the market.

In This Review

General & Medical Private Health Insurance: Overall Review

General & Medical have been providing specialist health insurance for over 30 years and during this time have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. As it stands, they are the preferred provider for the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland and have gained excellent rating and reviews along the way.

Their cover is 3 star rated at the minimum (depending on the level of cover) from independent analysts Defaqto, meaning their products are at the very least in line with the average quality seen on the market, if not higher for some levels of cover.

What sets them apart from some other providers too, is that they give you the option to upgrade your cover to include up to two pre-existing conditions from their list of pre-defined conditions. Many insurers shy away from pre-existing conditions, so this is certainly a plus for them. What is more, they have earned a Trustpilot rating of 4.3 out of 5 across over 170 reviews, indicating an ‘excellent’ customer experience.

Taken together, General & Medical appears impressive. But there are many other things to consider aside from reviews and ratings, such as the breadth and depth of cover as well as cost. In this review we will take a look at all of this so don't worry.

Let's start by taking a look at the benefits of choosing General & Medical private health insurance.

Why choose General & Medical Private Health Insurance?

Opting for General & Medical comes with a range of benefits, and we listed the key ones below:

  • Preferred provider for the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Variety of cover options to suit your needs including the option to add cover of pre-existing conditions
  • Health and wellbeing discounts e.g., 20% off Nuffield Gyms, Lifestyle Reward Programme
  • 24/7 counselling and Health & Wellbeing helpline
  • Excellent customer feedback

Customer Reviews and Ratings

General & Medical reviews and ratings

Trustpilot Rating

4.3 out of 5

Defaqto Rating

4 out of 5 (Elite and Lifestyle level cover)

Defaqto Rating

3 out of 5 (Essentials and Everyday level cover)

During our research we looked at both expert and customer ratings for General & Medical. Let's start by taking a look at what the experts have to say.

Defaqto is an independent business providing information to consumers in the financial services industry. Their analysts take into account a products terms and conditions as well as the benefits and limitations of a product before issuing a Defaqto star rating, which are highly reputable and serves as an excellent guideline for a products quality.

General & Medical's more comprehensive plans (Elite & Lifestyle) have earned a 4 star rating from Defaqto, which means they are considered to be above the market average. Whilst there are certainly products out there with a 5 star Defaqto rating, a 4 star rating is still very admirable.

When we take their more basic, no-frills plans (Essentials and Everyday) we see they have been given a 3 star rating. This means Defaqto's experts deem them to offer benefits in line with the market average. Remember, this rating is based on things like policy wording, benefits and limitations of cover. Defaqto do not take into account price or customer feedback which can be important factors when deciding which policy is right for you.

So whilst there may be other providers out there who have higher Defaqto ratings, these may come at a high cost or lead you to be compromised in other ways. Taken together, the fact that General & Medical have earned 3 and 4 star Defaqto ratings across the board suggests you'll be getting a good level of cover overall.

So let's take a look at what customers have to say about their experience with General & Medical. We took a look at over a hundred of pieces of feedback left by verified customers on Trustpilot and overall, General & Medical has earned an 'excellent' rating of 4.3 out of 5. 75% of these reviews rate General & Medical as either 'excellent' or 'great' which is certainly a good sign.

Whilst 20% of these Trustpilot reviews award them with a rating of 'poor' or 'bad', we feel that given the overwhelming majority appear to have had a positive customer experience it builds a pretty positive picture of the company overall.

What do General & Medical do well?

We sifted through the feedback left by General & Medical's customers to see what had them singing their praises. The key standout for us is there customer service team who appear to go above and beyond to meet the needs of their customers.

Many mention the fact that their advisors were excellent at helping them navigate the confusing field of health insurance, and were always polite and efficient. Given the importance of finding the right plan to suit your needs, having someone on the end of the phone who can answer all your questions and concerns and give you the information and guidance you need can make all the difference.

"General and medical has been by no doubt one of the best healthcare insurance companies we have used and we are now considering using it for everyone in the family. Since the first time on the phone...everything was so smooth and quick"

"Found renewal team very helpful and despite claims this year they managed to minimise my policy increase, I found the claims procedure very straightforward and the claims team were always helpful"

"General Medical...did their utmost to find a health package to suit my needs. The premium is competitive and it is not a lengthy process to change from one insurance to another"

"Private medical insurance can be a minefield, there's so much information out there and if you go to a broker they call you constantly and try to push you to one of the biggest providers. On the contrary...General and Medical was calm, polite, very efficient and answered all my queries very quickly"

What could General & Medical improve?

As with any insurance provider, there is always room for improvement. Many of the negative reviews left mention General & Medical's claims process, and how difficult it was getting their claim approved.

Now, this is not always the fault of the insurer. Yes, sometimes the claims process can be long and frustrating. However, it is also important that you as the policyholder are aware of the terms and conditions of your plan to begin with.

Many customers make the mistake of not reading their policy documents thoroughly leading them to assume they are covered for events that, in reality, they are not. When you see reviews left by frustrated customers such as those below, it's always good to take them with a slight pinch of salt. This doesn't make their experiences any less valid, however, you need to consider whether these situations could have been avoided.

We also saw a handful of reviews that mentioned high premium increases upon renewal, so this is something to keep in mind.

"Arduous and painful claims process and you’re almost made to feel criminal when claiming. Not the best policy on the market even their so called top tier elite cover"

"Unless you are a solicitor and have read every single clause, terms and conditions you will find when you claim they have a get out clause"

"Major issue on renewal, was sold this policy as it was Claims Neutral and having had a couple of claims my premium has now increased by 65%!"

How much is General & Medical Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance quote comparison for a 35 year old male non smoker (£month)

WPA (Elite cover)

£83^ (£500 excess)

General & Medical (Elite cover)

£70 (£500 excess

Aviva (Full cover)

£48 (£200 excess)

General & Medical (Lifestyle cover)

£42 (£500 excess)

The Exeter

£37 (£500 excess)

AXA

£36 (£500 excess)

Bupa (Comprehensive)

£36 (£500 excess)

Vitality

£35 (£500 excess)

WPA (Premier cover)

£31^ (£500 excess)

Aviva (Limited cover)

£28 (£200 excess)

General & Medical (Everyday cover)

£28 (£500 excess)

Bupa (Treatment and Care)

£28 (£500 excess)

General & Medical (Essentials cover)

£21 (£500 excess)

WPA (Essentials cover^)

£13

^note: these quotes reflect the default offer of a 25% first year discount, available at the time of writing

The quotes obtained in the above table reflect the different cover options for a 35 year old male non-smoker from a mid-sized town in the UK. Remember, these are intended to be used as a guide and the quotes you receive may be more or less than those above depending on your own circumstances.

As you can see, the costs vary significantly. For their most basic plan we were quoted a monthly cost of £21 (£500 excess) and for their most comprehensive, a whopping £70 per month! These are both the second cheapest and second most expensive of the insurers we sampled from. The quotes we received for their mid-tier plans fall quite nicely in the middle.

So, are these prices justified? Well, let's start with their elite cover. Remember this is 4 star Defaqto rated, but is the second most expensive plan we sampled. Its closest rival is WPA, which is £13 more expensive and Aviva, which is £22 cheaper. Both WPA and Aviva are 5 star Defaqto rated, so, especially when compared to Aviva, General & Medical's high price point may not be justified.

General & Medical's premium and everyday plans are more in line with the market average, coming in at £42 and £28 respectively. Whilst their premium plan is 4-star rated, it is slightly more expensive than the Exeter which is 5 star rated. Their everyday plan is 3 star Defaqto rated and is the same price and rating as Bupa based on the quotes we received.

Meanwhile the equivalent level of cover from Aviva is the same price, but 5 star rated. Based on this we don't think you'd necessarily be disappointed with General & Medical's plan, though there might be other, more comprehensive plans out there for a similar price tag.

General & Medical's most basic plan is the second cheapest we sampled from. It is 3 star Defaqto rated which is better than WPA, which is the cheapest provider we found. It is also cheaper than Bupa's most basic plan, which is also 3 star Defaqto rated. So, if you're looking for a no-frills plan, General & Medical might be the one for you.

Remember, there is more to a good private health insurance policy than a glowing Defaqto star rating. However, these serve as an excellent unbiased indicator of a product's quality and are widely respected in the field.

What is and isn't covered?

General & Medical offer four different levels of cover. These are:

  • Essentials
  • Everyday
  • Lifestyle
  • Elite

To make things easy for you to compare the different levels of cover we've put together some tables highlighting the key similarities and differences. Take a look for yourself to see how the plans compare.

Click the below drop down arrows to reveal more about each level of cover General & Medical offers!

BenefitsEssentialsEverydayLifestyleElite

Inpatient treatment

Accommodation, nursing care, surgeon and anaesthetist fees

YesYesYesYes

Critical care and theatre costs (incl. drugs, dressings and consumables)

YesYesYesYes

Diagnostics including MRI and CT scans

YesYesYesYes

Physiotherapy

YesYesYesYes

Oro-surgical operations and procedures

YesYesYesYes

Treatment for cardiovascular conditions

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')YesYes

Parent accompanying child

NoYes (with 'Plus Upgrade')YesYes

Note: Essentials standard cover has an overall maximum benefit limit of £50,000 per person ^'Plus' upgrade is available for this benefit

BenefitsEssentialsEverydayLifestyleElite

Outpatient benefits

Initial consultation and specialist fees (incl. diagnostics and initial MRI/CT scans)

Yes (£500 limit; relating to inpatient admission only)^Yes (£500 limit)^Yes (£1,500 limit)^Yes

Subsequent consultation and specialist fees (incl. diagnostics and scans)

Yes (£250, relating to inpatient admission only)^Yes (£250 limit)^Yes (£500 limit)^Yes (£2,000 limit)

Treatment for cardiovascular conditions

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£250 limit)^YesYes

Outpatient mental health

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£500 limit)^Yes (£1,000 limit)^Yes (£2,000 limit)^

Note: Essentials standard cover has an overall maximum benefit limit of £50,000 per person ^'Plus' upgrade is available for this benefit

BenefitsEssentialsEverydayLifestyleElite

Maternity

Complication of pregnancy (defined conditions only)

NoYesYesYes

Maternity cash benefit

NoNoYes (£100 limit)^Yes (£250 limit)

Private maternity

NoNoNoYes (£5,000 limit)

Dental

Routine consultations and treatment, including emergency accident and injury benefit

NoNoNoYes (£400 limit)

NHS Charges

NoNoNoYes (£200 limit)

Optical

Consultations and eye tests

NoNoNoYes (£200 limit)

NHS Charges

NoNoNoyes (£200 limit)

Note: Essentials standard cover has an overall maximum benefit limit of £50,000 per person ^'Plus' upgrade is available for this benefit

BenefitsEssentialsEverydayLifestyleElite

Cancer treatments

Treatment for cancer, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, post-cancer services etc.

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')£5,000, rolling up to £25,000 after 5 continuous years membership with no related claims^YesYes

Cosmetic or aesthetic treatment

As aboveAs aboveAs aboveAs above

Anti-cancer drugs, preventative treatment, biological therapies etc.

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')NoYesYes

External prosthesis relating to a cancer claim

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£5,000, part of the limit for cancer treatment)Yes (£5,000 limit)Yes (£5,000 limit)

Hospice care

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')NoYes (£2,500 limit)Yes (£2,500 limit)

Palliative treatment (and/or end of life care) for policy lifetime

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£25,000 limit)Yes (£25,000 limit)

Note: Essentials standard cover has an overall maximum benefit limit of £50,000 per person ^'Plus' upgrade is available for this benefit

BenefitsEssentialsEverydayLifestyleElite

Cash Benefits

NHS Cash Benefit

£250 per night up to a maximum of 30 nights per membership year

Life Cash Benefit

Yes (£500 limit)Yes (£2,000 limit)Yes (£2,000 limit)Yes (£3,000 limit)

Personal Accident Cash Benefit

NoNoYes (£500 per accident)^Yes (£2,000 per accident)

Temporary Disablement

NoYes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£100 per month for up to 6 months)Yes (£100 per month for up to 6 months)

Critical Illness

NoYes (£2,000 limit)Yes (£2,000 limit)Yes (£2,000 limit)

Cover for Boarding Pets

NoNoNoYes (£250 limit)

Note: Essentials standard cover has an overall maximum benefit limit of £50,000 per person ^'Plus' upgrade is available for this benefit

BenefitsEssentialsEverydayLifestyleElite

Other benefits

Health and Wellbeing services and Stress Counselling helpline

YesYesYesYes

24-hour GP advice line

YesYesYesYes

Lifestyle Rewards

YesYesYesYes

Home nursing

Yes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£1,500 limit)YesYes

Private Ambulance

NoYes (with 'Plus Upgrade')YesYes

Parking charges

NoNoYes (£300 limit)Yes (£300 limit)

Prescription costs

NoNoNoYes (£100 limit)

GP minor surgery

NoNoNoYes (£500 limit)

Private GP services

NoNoNoYes (£500 limit)

Non-UK medical cover

NoNoYes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes

Monitoring of a pre-cured eligible condition

NoNoYes (with 'Plus Upgrade')Yes (£2,000 during a 24-month period)

Note: Essentials standard cover has an overall maximum benefit limit of £50,000 per person

Policy options and add-ons

Hospital choices

General & Medical gives you the choice of three different hospital lists. These are available on all policies and may increase or decrease your premium depending on the option chosen. We have provided an overview below but all terms and conditions will be listed in your policy documentation.

  • First Choice: First Choice Hospitals are a select group of private hospitals and clinics throughout the UK, including London. Customers who choose this hospital list will benefit from General & Medical's lowest premiums
  • Freedom: Freedom Hospitals include all First Choice facilities and give members access to additional facilities throughout the UK, which are mainly NHS hospitals with private facilities attached, plus most other London hospitals
  • Premium: Premium Hospitals are specialist facilities, that due to their reputation and location are able to charge substantially more for their medical services. Opting for this will naturally increase your overall premium

Excess options

General & Medical offer excess options of between £75 and £3,000.

Cover for pre-existing conditions

Unlike many other private health insurance providers, General & Medical offer customers cover for up to two pre-existing conditions, from their list of defined conditions. Conditions include acne, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes and Crohn's disease, as well as many others.

Note that cover is subject to an annual limit of £1,000 per condition which will increase up to £10,000 after 10 years membership with no related claims.

Cover for Inpatient mental health

Note: this is not available with 'Essentials' standard cover

This option covers both inpatient and day-patient treatment if you are diagnosed with a mental health condition, up to a maximum limit of 28 days per membership year (this includes 14 days on a 25% co-share basis). A 12-month qualifying period may apply.

Channel Islands cover

This option provides cover for residents of the Channel Islands for the services provided by the members Channel Islands G.P, such as prescription costs and routine minor surgery. The cover will also provide benefit for travel and accommodation costs for parents or a qualified nurse accompanying a child for treatment.

Exclusions: what isn't included?

As with all private health insurance plans, there are certain conditions and treatments that are not covered. We've listed some of the key ones below but note this list is not exhaustive, and the full list will be detailed in your policy documentation. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this list!

  • Alcoholism or drug dependence
  • Treatment of congenital defects or conditions which are part of the ageing process
  • Treatment of chronic conditions
  • HIV/AIDS and any related condition
  • Organ transplants and replacements
  • Birth control, conception, sexual problems and gender reassignment
  • Regular or long term renal dialysis
  • Suicide or treatment of self-inflicted injuries

How to make a claim on General & Medical Private Health Insurance

General & Medical state you should contact your Health & Care Support Specialist before seeing any consultant so that they can confirm your cover with you. Your Health & Care Support Specialist will be able to guide you through the process of claiming and let you know what is and is not covered. You can contact General & Medical by telephone using the below numbers:

  • 0800 980 4601
  • 01733 362872

General & Medical offer a range of options to make a healthcare claim. Once you submit via any of the below methods, your claim will be be reviewed by General & Medical's underwriters for consideration. The claim options you can choose from are:

  • Online: After you have visited your GP, and your GP has advised that you need to be referred to a consultant, you will need to contact your Client Relations Co-ordinator who will clarify some details with you over the phone. If eligible, you can complete a claim form online and submit it to General & Medical's Client Relations Department along with your GP referral
  • Telephone: After you have visited your GP, and your GP has advised that you need to be referred to a consultant, you will need to telephone your Client Relations Co-ordinator who will guide you through the claims process
  • Paper-based: If your GP has advised you need to be referred for specialist treatment, you can contact your Client Relations Co-ordinator for a claim form, which you will need to complete and return to General & Medical along with your GP referral letter

Full details of the claims procedure will be detailed in your relevant policy documents so be sure to keep these safe so you can refer back to them if needed.

General & Medical Private Health Insurance: Discounts and Savings

General & Medical offer a variety of discounts for their customers. The main ones we found are listed below, but be sure to keep an eye out on their website too as you may find additional offers pop up every now and again!

  • Lifestyle Reward Programme: you will gain access to over 200 unique deals, offers and discounts on a wide variety of items, from gifts and experiences to luxury furniture and food
  • 20% off Nuffield Gyms

There are some additional tips and tricks you can use that may help you save money on your insurance, too. We've compiled these into a handy guide which you can take a look at here.

FAQ's

Yes! Comparing providers online is one of the best way to ensure you are getting the right level of cover for a price that suits you. We found General & Medical to be on many comparison sites such as ActiveQuote and Assured Futures. We recommend taking a look at these to start with as they are recognized to be some of the best on the market.

Unlike many other health insurance providers, General & Medical offer pre-existing condition cover as an optional extra that can be added to your policy.

Note this does come at an additional premium and you are limited to choosing up to 2 of the pre-defined conditions listed by General & Medical. These include arthritis, diabetes and hypertension.

You can see the full list of pre-existing conditions to choose from here.

General & Medical gives you the choice of three different hospital lists. These are available on all policies and may increase or decrease your premium depending on the option chosen. We have provided an overview below but all terms and conditions will be listed in your policy documentation.

  • First Choice: First Choice Hospitals are a select group of private hospitals and clinics throughout the UK, including London. Customers who choose this hospital list will benefit from General & Medical's lowest premiums
  • Freedom: Freedom Hospitals include all First Choice facilities and give members access to additional facilities throughout the UK, which are mainly NHS hospitals with private facilities attached, plus most other London hospitals
  • Premium: Premium Hospitals are specialist facilities, that due to their reputation and location are able to charge substantially more for their medical services. Opting for this will naturally increase your overall premium

You can find out what medical facilities you have in your area by using General & Medical's hospital finder tool, here

General & Medical doesn't appear to charge an administration fee for canceling your policy. In line with many insurers, you have 14 days from the date you receive your policy documents to cancel your policy, and you'll get a full refund as long as no claims have been made.

If you cancel your policy after this period General & Medical will refund any premium that has been paid for the rest of that period of insurance if no claim has been made.

However, if you have made a claim General & Medical won't refund any premium and you'll still be required to pay the rest of the full annual premium.

There is no right or wrong answer to this. If you're living in the UK you are fortunate to have access to the National Health Service (NHS), which is completely free. There are pros and cons, however, and taking out private health insurance can mean accessing private health services and bypassing long wait times.

If you're unsure if private health insurance is the right option for you, you can read 'The NimbleFins Guide to Purchasing Private Health Insurance' here.

Yes, and that is one of the many wonderful things about the NHS. You can still access treatment regardless of whether you have private health insurance, in fact, the NHS will even cover some conditions and treatments that private insurers will not, such as chronic and pre-existing conditions.

You will notice in your policy documents or simply when researching private health insurance there appear to be many different types of 'patient'. This can be very confusing, especially for first-time health insurance buyers! We've offered a simple explanation below that should help clear up any confusion.

  • Inpatient: you are an inpatient if you need to attend hospital for treatment, and need to stay in overnight (or longer)
  • Outpatient: you are an outpatient if you attend a hospital or clinic but do not need to stay overnight
  • Day-patient: you are a day-patient if you need to attend a hospital or clinic for treatment but do not need to stay overnight. Unlike an outpatient you will also require medical observation for a short while after.

No — however, General & Medical will need to ask you questions about things such as your age, sex, medical history, lifestyle and occupation.

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