A health cash plan is a type of health insurance used by over 2.5m people in the UK*. Cash plans provide cash back, up to set limits, on a range of everyday healthcare costs. They give you the peace of mind that you can access the healthcare you need, when you need it.
They also include access to a range of handy health and wellbeing services that can help you in your busy life. These can include a 24/7 telephone GP line, 24/7 counselling and advice line for support on medical, debt or legal matters and discounts on shopping and eating out.
For benefits that offer cashback just visit your practitioner and receive your treatment as normal. Once complete, you pay for your treatment and hold on to the receipt, which you’ll need to make the claim. You then submit the claim with your chosen provider either by completing a paper form and submitting it in person or by post, or by submitting the claim online or via an app on your phone.
Once processed, the money will be paid straight into your bank account. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before getting treatment as there are often some restrictions on practitioners, such as them being registered with a professional organisation. With Westfield Health the process is:
Choose your practitioner, attend your appointment and receive your treatment
Pay for your treatment as normal and remember to keep hold of the receipt
Submit your claim online including a picture of your receipt, or send it through the post
We’ll process online claims within 2 working days of receiving it and pay the money straight into your bank account
A cash plan consists of many different services and benefits, so can help you in lots of different ways:
As different cash plans offer slightly different cashback options and services the exact benefits may differ.
There are several different UK healthcare cash plan providers. To compare plans you must review each one carefully as the amounts they pay out will differ.
Unlike other health schemes, the reason you don’t find cash plans on most comparison sites is because they’re difficult to compare accurately. There are often small differences in things like the period over which your limit is set, what you can claim for and the period before you can claim.
Take particular care over reimbursement amounts and benefit periods. Whilst some plans may look attractive, they may only pay back 50% of each claim or increase the length of time until your benefit allowance resets. Whichever health cash plan provider you choose, make sure you’re clear on these differences.
Ultimately, you need to decide which cash plan best suits your needs, and gives you the most value for money.
The exact benefits covered by each healthcare cash plan will differ slightly by provider. We’ve listed the ones covered in our Good4you plan and an idea of what you can claim cash back for.
|Optical||Prescription glasses and sunglasses, contact lenses and eye tests|
|Dental||Check ups, treatments, clean and polish, braces, dentures, fillings|
|Dental Accident||Treatment for accidental injuries to teeth e.g. sports injuries, falls, or other accidents caused by an external force|
|Chiropody||Chiropody and podiatry consultations, corns, ingrown toenails, verrucae, athlete’s foot, nail infections|
|Therapy Treatments||Physiotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy|
|Prescription Charges||Cost of NHS prescription charges at standard rate in England|
|Surgical Appliance||Hearing aids (including repairs), worn surgical supports, surgical corsets, trusses, surgical stockings, prosthetics, orthotic shoes, orthotic inserts/arch supports, wigs, mastectomy bras/prosthesis/swimwear|
|Maternity / Paternity / Adoption||Fixed cash payout per new baby or adoption|
|Health Screening||Comprehensive health screening check or assessment, breast screening, heart disease screening, bone density screening.|
|Consultation||The cost of an appointment with a consultant physician or surgeon, when referred by a GP|
|Hospital Benefit||Per day/night as an in-patient in an NHS or private hospital|
|Care After Hospital||Contribution to 18 hours of home care following an overnight stay in hospital|
|Personal Accident/ Permanent Disability / Accidental Death||A cash payout if the worst should happen|
|Cover for your dependent children||Children are covered on key benefits at no extra cost|
|DoctorLine™||24/7 telephone access to a prescribing UK GP, from anywhere in the world|
|Westfield Rewards||Exclusive offers and discounts from more than 1,000 popular retailers, restaurants and destinations|
|Health Club Concession||Exclusive discounts on gym memberships including Virgin Active, Fitness First and more|
|24 Hour Helpline||24/7 telephone access to a counsellor and legal, debt and medical advice|
|Telephone Care Advisory Services||Speak to an experienced Care Adviser for personalised assistance on all aspects of care for your elderly relatives|
It depends on the policy. Some policies, like our Good4you policy, cover dependent children on the key benefits at no extra cost. On others you may have to pay a little extra, so it’s worth checking before you buy.
We define dependent children as those who are under 18, living in the UK and living with you or financially dependent on you. Again, this will change by provider so it’s worth checking the terms and conditions.
Dental insurance is a different type of healthcare plan that just covers dental work. Sometimes they have set annual cover limits and if you haven’t been to the dentist in the past 12 months they may not pay for treatment identified as your first check up.
Health cash plans include dental cover alongside the other services and benefits, and on our Good4you policy pre-existing conditions are covered too.
The amount of money you save with a cash health plan depends on your circumstances and the level of cover you choose. There are more to cash plans than just cash back, but it’s important you remember to submit your claims to get the most value.
To save you doing the maths we’ve put together a handy savings calculator for Good4you. You can use it to work out the amount you spend on healthcare each year, and see the amount of money you could save and decide which plan level is best.
Remember, when comparing plans you need to take into account that on some plans and benefits you will not always receive 100% of the money you paid for the treatment back.
For example, if you claim back the full amounts for optical and dental for you and your dependent children, you could save £288.20 in your first year on Level 3 of our Good4you health cash plan.Click here to see how much you could save
The right level of cover is the one you can afford to pay for each month, and where you can save the most money.
For example, if you wear glasses you may want to opt for a higher level of cover that has a higher optical allowance. If you don’t wear glasses this will not be as important to you. To find out the optimum cover level on our Good4you plan you can use the savings calculator.
A cash plan is well worth the money if you claim back more than you pay in. To work this out, you can use our savings calculator.
When you also factor in services like Doctorline™ (24/7 GP telephone line) and the 24 Hour Helpline, and the savings you can make with Westfield Rewards and Health Club Concessions, it’s easy to see how a cash plan could pay for itself.
A healthcare cash plan lets you claim back everyday healthcare costs and includes access to valuable health and wellbeing services. Most cash plans do not take age or lifestyle into account and do not require a medical.
Private Medical Insurance is a different type of private healthcare plan. It gives you quick access to private treatment, mainly for acute conditions. It allows you to ‘jump’ the queue and bypass NHS waiting times. The price does tend to vary according to your age and lifestyle e.g. whether you smoke or not. You don’t have to choose between the policies - you can have PMI and a health cash plan at the same time.
If this sounds more suitable, you can read more information on our Private Health Insurance plan. It’s similar to PMI but to keep premiums down it doesn’t take your lifestyle into account and doesn’t cover cancer or heart conditions.
Again, this will change by provider but at Westfield Health we pay out on 95% of correctly presented claims.
Correctly presented means that the form is filled out accurately and they’re submitted within 13 weeks of the treatment or service.
This will vary by provider. The waiting period will often be 13 weeks/3 months but can be longer for some benefits, such as paternity/maternity/adoption.
For our Good4you health cash plan we are currently offering immediate cover, so you can claim as soon as your cover starts. This excludes paternity/maternity/adoption where a 10 month qualifying period applies.
The period before you can claim can also be referred to as the no-claims period, qualifying period or waiting period.
This varies by provider, but with Westfield Health you’re covered worldwide.
For example, if you're overseas and you need to visit the dentist, you can still claim for the treatment you pay for when you return. All we ask is that the relevant documentation relating to your claim is in English.
In general, most cash plans won’t cover pre-existing conditions, but some corporate plans - those offered to employees by their company - may do so.
This shouldn’t put you off getting cover though. You’ll be covered for everything else, you just won’t be able to claim for that specific issue.
If you’d like to know more about how people have really benefited from our cash plans we’ve written some case studies.
You can read our health cash plan case studies to hear how Rod Stevens used his cash plan when he broke his leg on holiday or watch the video below to see how Stacey Hardy put the cash she received towards acupuncture, to relieve pain from endometriosis.
Over 1m UK workers are covered by a health cash plan*. They’re a popular workplace benefit that allow your employees to claim cash back for everyday health expenses.
There are many reasons to make a health plan part of your employee benefits program:
The price of cash plan can vary greatly between providers and depends on the amount of benefits included and the amount of money available to claim back.
Whether the company or your employees pay for their health cover is up to you. Some companies will cover the cost of a cash plan for their employees, whilst others will provide it to them as an employee-paid benefit with access to a cheaper price from the provider.
Many corporate health cash plans will include the option for employees to pay to upgrade their cover levels, as well as add their partners and/or dependent children.
A corporate cash plan will cover much the same as one that’s available directly to consumers - you can find these above.
Some providers will allow you to customise cash plans to cover the things you think will be most valued by your employees.
One of the biggest benefits of a cash plan to employers is that it can help reduce absence, which costs the UK £18bn a year in lost productivity.
To find the cost to your business, all you have to do is enter your industry, number of employees and total salary bill.Click here to see how much you could save
From improving the engagement and productivity of employees when they’re at work, to reducing the number of days and money lost to absence, employee health and wellbeing programmes deliver tangible benefits and a return on investment.
A health cash plan enables staff to take a proactive approach to their healthcare needs, helping to keep them happy and productive. It works well as part of a strategy that also includes solutions designed to evalute the needs of your business and its employees, and others to educate them on the reasons why they should make positive changes.
For more information on workplace health and wellbeing solutions you can get in touch and talk to one of our consultants.
* Statistics taken from the 15th edition of the LangBuisson Health Cover UK Market Report
**CIPD Health and Well-being at Work report, 2018