Health insurance

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Hi I had breast cancer in 2020, lumpectomy and 4 months of chemo, and only have monitoring check ups every year/ half year in case of re occurance. I have found my health insurance with AXA increase by 50% each year and im looking to change. I tried to shift my policy to my husbands business under an employee scheme to make it more affordable, but under a new policy the refused to cover any cancer care for me?  Is there an insurance company you would recommend who would take me on , and is more affordable? im looking to get some quotes in. 

Thanks so much in advance!

  • Dear  ,

    Thank you for your enquiry. It’s good news that you’ve had all your treatment and that you’re now just under surveillance.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having issues with getting appropriate health insurance. Unfortunately, health insurance can increase with things like age, inflation and whether you have made any claims. We can’t recommend any specific companies that you can use but hopefully you’ll find the below useful.

    Shopping around

    A financial adviser will be able to recommend a PMI policy suitable for individual needs. If family or friends cannot recommend an independent financial adviser visit where you can find details of local advisers.


    When choosing an independent financial adviser always check that they, and the company they work for, are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) formerly known as the Financial Services Authority to provide financial advice.

    Individuals and companies can be checked on the FCA register:

    If you would rather speak to the FCA directly, they can be contacted on 0800 111 6768 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays), and from 9am to 1pm Saturdays.

    There’s also some useful information on Private Health Insurance on the MoneyHelper website here


    Insurers can underwrite the policy in a few different ways. The way in which they are underwritten often determines whether or not pre-existing medical conditions are covered:

    • Moratorium underwriting

    This method often excludes claims relating to health conditions the member had, or recently suffered from, at the time the policy was taken out. The exclusion normally lasts for the first year or two of the policy (the ‘moratorium period’).

    If a claim is made after that time, the health condition is usually covered, providing there are no further symptoms, medical advice or treatment during the moratorium period.

    • Full medical underwriting

    This is a process an insurer uses to assess the likelihood of the insured person making a claim against the insurance.

    The insurer may ask for information about the person’s health, lifestyle and the health of their close relatives. They may do this through questions and medical reports. Based on the assessment, the insurer decides whether to offer cover, what premium they will charge and any other special terms or restrictions to include.

    • Medical history disregarded


    There is an alternative method of underwriting which is often referred to as ‘medical history disregarded’. This is usually only included in a small number of Private Medical Insurance policies offered through some employers. This type of underwriting, in effect, ignores pre-existing conditions, which means a valid claim could be made on medical conditions an employee has, regardless of when they happened.


    In addition, many PMI policies do not cover chronic illnesses which are incurable. This can include some cancers.


    It’s also important to know that some insurers insist that policyholders seek approval for any course of treatment before it goes ahead. If you don’t get approval first, they may refuse to pay if you make a claim.


    Just to let you know, our Financial Guidance Team can offer information and guidance on all aspects of your personal finances to help you make informed decisions in the following areas:

    Pensions and retirement options

    Questions about insurance policies

    Mortgages and money management

    Arranging wills and trusts to protect your family

    General financial planning questions

    You can call us on  0808 808 0000, selecting Option 1 , 2 and 1 again. We are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Alternatively you can speak to us on webchat here.



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