COVID-19 information for our UK medical insurance customers
Page last updated 23.09.2020. We are regularly reviewing this page, so please continue to check back for updates. The information below affects our customers who have a Freedom Elite, Freedom Essentials or Freedom Your Choice policy.
If you are a Freedom Worldwide customer, click here for more information.
Following the ease of lockdown restrictions, private hospitals have agreed with the NHS to release some of the capacity offered to the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, private healthcare facilities are now available and ready to see private patients.
Local restrictions and local lockdowns may still impact the availability of private treatment for the time being.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team is here to help. To discuss your individual situation and the options available to you please get in touch.
If you think you, or a family member, may have COVID-19, please follow the Government’s advice at NHS.UK
Do you cover testing and treatment for COVID-19?
The COVID-19 outbreak is being managed centrally by the UK Government and, at present, all diagnostics and treatment are being carried out by the NHS/Public Health England.
Testing and screening are therefore not covered under your health insurance policy unless these are pre-requirements of any approved claims. Treatment would only be covered to the extent it is eligible treatment provided to you as a private patient in a private facility.
To ensure that we are supporting our customers who are being treated for COVID-19 as an NHS patient, we will pay an NHS cash benefit where this is included in your policy.
Will I be able to access private healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic?
With the ease of lockdown restrictions, private hospitals have released some of the capacity offered to the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic. This means that private hospitals can now see private patients again. Local restrictions in some areas may still affect this for the foreseeable future.
Following the launch of our GP24 service, UK-based Freedom clients are now able to access private GP services online or by phone from the safety of their own homes, which we hope will enable many clients to get the advice, reassurance, diagnosis and, where appropriate, private medication and open referral letters they need quickly and conveniently. More information is available here.
Can I get access to virtual GP services?
Yes, all Freedom Elite, Freedom Essentials and Freedom Your Choice customers can access GP24, a virtual GP service which gives you access to a fully-qualified, private GP either by phone or online. It’s simple to make an appointment. More details can be found here.
What if COVID-19 exacerbates an underlying condition?
Anyone who has a condition which is exacerbated by COVID-19 will be treated according to their usual policy terms and conditions. This also means that pre-existing conditions will continue to be excluded per our usual terms and conditions.
If I go on to develop a secondary problem related to COVID-19, would this be covered?
Providing the second condition is eligible under your policy, then it should be covered.
I’m due to renew my policy. Will the terms remain the same?
All our terms and conditions remain the same. If you’d like to contact us about your renewal, please call 0800 999 2013* or email [email protected]
Can I get the NHS cash benefit if I am treated for COVID-19 under the care of the NHS?
Yes, if you are under NHS care, any valid claims for NHS cash benefit will still be paid no matter whether you are admitted in an NHS hospital or a private one.
Will I still be able to open new claims?
Yes. Your policy terms and conditions have not changed. Private hospitals are now accepting private patients again following the release of some of the capacity offered to the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic, however, you may experience some delays in booking certain treatments while private hospitals adapt to the new situation. Please call us on 0800 999 2013* if you would like to talk to us about making a claim.
I can’t get an appointment with a GP to get a referral, what can I do? Will I be able to claim without a GP referral during the current crisis?
Freedom’s UK-based customers have access to GP24, a private GP service offering telephone or virtual online consultations. The GPs can provide advice, reassurance, diagnosis and, where appropriate, private medication, and the phone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If the GP feels that your condition requires further investigation or treatment, they can arrange to give you an open referral letter. You can then contact the Freedom claims helpline for pre-authorisation of your claim prior to treatment, but you may still find that your consultation and/or treatment is delayed as many consultants are now supporting the NHS.
I’ve got a referral to a consultant and need to pre-authorise my treatment, what will happen now?
If you have a referral and your consultant is still able to accept you for treatment, please contact us to arrange for pre-authorisation of the claim. Many consultants/hospitals are having to postpone or cancel non-urgent treatments though so you may find that your treatment will be delayed.
I have a pre-authorisation but can’t get an appointment with a consultant, what should I do?
Private facilities are now accepting private patients again following the release of some of the capacity offered to the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic, however you may still experience some delays while private hospitals adapt to the new situation.
If treatment runs into your next policy year, we will ensure that you only have to pay the excess once so that you are not disadvantaged due to COVID-19. Please contact us to keep us up to date on your claim.
I have an appointment with a consultant. Will my treatment go ahead?
With most private facilities accepting private patients again following the release of some of the capacity offered to the NHS at the beginning of the pandemic, your booked private treatment should go ahead as scheduled. However, you should confirm this with your consultant and/or private hospital. Some consultants may also be able to offer telephone or virtual consultations instead.
My consultant has cancelled my pre-authorised consultation/treatment, what should I do?
If your consultant or hospital cancels a non-urgent appointment, you may have to wait until they resume normal services again before you are able to re-book your appointment.
In the event that your treatment runs into the next policy year, we will ensure that you only have to pay the excess once so that you are not disadvantaged due to COVID-19. Please contact us to keep us up to date on your claim.
How long does my pre-authorisation last?
Pre-authorisation codes usually last for 3 months. If you are unable to get an appointment/treatment in this time, we will honour your existing pre-authorisation providing your policy is still in force, with no break in cover, when your treatment takes place. If your pre-authorisation code expires you may just need to contact us to obtain a new code.
I have a claim in progress. Will I still be covered?
Yes. Providing your policy is still in force, we will honour any pre-authorisations that we have previously issued for treatment. However, you may find your treatment is delayed. If your pre-authorisation code expires you may just need to contact us to obtain a new code.
How can I access physiotherapy or mental health treatment?
At the present time, most private treatments should be available, so if you are able to find these treatments privately and have taken out the optional cover for these treatments, you should contact us in the usual way to obtain pre-authorisation. You can call us on 0800 999 2013* or email [email protected]