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Freedom health insurance – is it a good choice?

Interested in Freedom health insurance? Let's take a closer look at their health insurance policies and some money-saving tips for you

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 19 June 2023

14 min read

Freedom health insurance – is it a good choice?

There’s a lot of different health insurance providers in the UK which can make it difficult to know which one is your best option for cover. Freedom health insurance might not be the best-known insurer, but they’re quickly gaining popularity with UK consumers.

I’d say Freedom health insurance is a decent option for most people, with private treatment in over 1,000 hospitals covered as standard. They’re also a smaller family run business meaning they can take the time to put a little more focus into customer service and care.

I’m definitely not saying that Freedom will be the right choice for everyone, and you should do some research and come up with your own opinions about them. It’s useful to look over things like customer reviews and ratings, to see what other people think about the products and service that Freedom have to offer.

QUICK SUMMARY – Freedom health insurance review

Freedom health insurance is becoming a popular option with UK consumers due to their flexible policies and good range of customer benefits. Freedom is a smaller family run business which can be appealing if you don’t want to deal with any of the ‘insurance giants’.

  • Freedom sells several different options for health insurance like their Elite Comprehensive policy, a budget friendly ‘Cost-Conscious’ option and even Worldwide cover (handy if you’re thinking of working abroad).
  • Freedom promise not to increase the price of your policy for the first 2 years and your prices aren’t set by your post code – appealing for consumers living in areas like London where medical treatment is way more expensive!
  • Freedom can feel a bit confusing compared to other insurers, with a lot of different policy options and features available (their Worldwide cover alone has 5 separate options to choose from). If you need any extra help or advice, you can speak to a health insurance specialist for free information and guidance.

Freedom might not be one of the big names like Aviva or Bupa, but they do have a solid range of good quality health insurance products. Whether they are ‘any good’ will really come down to your own opinion once you’ve done some research.

What I will say is there are some great benefits included with Freedom policies (and even some that you can’t get with other providers). Some of the main reasons that consumers choose freedom for their health insurance include:

  • Freedom guarantees they won’t increase your price within the first two years of your policy (handy if you’re on a tight budget)
  • Freedom is the only health insurance provider that doesn’t set prices based on your post code (can make them an appealing option for people who live in expensive areas like London)
  • You can claim for treatment in almost all UK hospitals and your claims history shouldn’t affect how much you pay (community rated scheme)

I can’t ever tell you to choose one insurance provider over another, as everyone’s situation is completely different. What works well for one person might not be the best option for somebody else, so my best suggestion would be to do some research into all of the insurance providers that you’re interested in.

This can help you to work out the differences in the type of benefits that are on offer, and it’s always good to shop around to check pricing – after all everyone wants to get the best deal if they can.

Along with Freedom there’s some great options for health insurance in the UK including:

Who does Freedom health insurance work best for?

Freedom health insurance is a solid option, but there will be certain people that these policies will work better for.

Through all our MPO research, we’ve found that Freedom is often one of the best choices for younger health insurance applicants. This is due to the cost of policies, the value offered and the benefits that are available.

How much does Freedom health insurance cost?

Questions around costs are always a little tricky to answer, as quite often health insurance customers can end up paying different prices for the same policy. This is because the price is based on your own circumstances as well as the type of cover that you’ve chosen.

Factors that affect how much you would pay for health insurance include:

  • Your age
  • Where you live
  • Level of cover
  • Amount of excess
  • Claims history

Ultimately whether something is worth the money your spending will be completely personal opinion. Some consumers may find Freedom very much worth it, whereas others may decide to cancel or shop around for other quotes.

What I can say is that freedom does offer some good benefits, which are appealing to many UK consumers. Some of the main reasons that people choose freedom health insurance include:

  • Not pricing based on where you live (this could help save quite a lot of money if you live in an area where hospital treatment generally more expensive)
  • You can claim at almost all hospitals in the UK (only HCA hospitals are excluded though these can be added onto your plan for an extra cost)
  • They’re well rated by their customers (TrustPilot score of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars)
  • They include extra perks such as savings if you pay annually (you should save round 6%) and a two-year fixed price guarantee, so the cost won’t go up even if you have to claim
  • Choice of optional benefits like alternative therapy cover mental health cover, private GP cover and more so you can tailor your policy to how much you can afford to pay and the benefits that are most important to you
  • Freedom doesn’t give you the option of multiple hospital lists but instead cover treatment in almost every UK hospital (HCA hospitals excluded)

Don’t stress if your budget is a bit tight; there are simple ways to save money on your health insurance. Here are some of my top tips to ensure you’re not overspending:

  • Choose the right level of coverage: Think about how much cover you actually need and whether you want to pay for benefits you may not use. Opting for a slightly lower level of cover can help you save money each month.
  • Adjust your excess: Just like other types of insurance, such as car insurance, you’ll have to pay an excess when you make a claim on your health insurance policy. You can reduce your monthly payments by agreeing to a higher excess but make sure it’s still affordable for you.
  • Compare prices: It’s always a good idea to check prices from different insurance providers. This is the simplest way to find the best deal for your health insurance.

Freedom has a great range of health insurance policies, if anything they have a few too many options. This can make things a bit confusing, especially if you’ve never bought health insurance before.

I do think personally that Freedom could do with simplifying their range of policies slightly, to make things simpler for consumers who are interested in their products.

There are three options for personal health insurance which are:

  • Freedom Elite Comprehensive health insurance – this is Freedom’s most comprehensive policy offering the highest level of cover to their customers.
  • Freedom Essentials ‘Cost-Conscious’ health insurance – as the name suggest this policy is a little cheaper, as it worked by paying out fixed cash benefits if you admit it’s a hospital. You can only claim 50% of the benefit if you choose treatment in an NHS hospital.
  • Freedom Worldwide International health insurance – this can be helpful for people who live or work abroad, as it covers the cost of private medical treatment in other countries. It can be tricky to understand your best options though, with 5 cover ‘levels’ to choose from.

There are also three options for business health insurance which are:

  • Freedom SME health insurance – designed specifically for small businesses
  • Freedom Self-employed health insurance – this is something I’ve not really seen from other providers, where there’s a policy marketed directly to self-employed people. If you’re self-employed it’s definitely worth looking into this policy to see if it’s something that might suit your needs.
  • Freedom Corporate health insurance – this policy is designed for larger businesses and even offers money off based on the number of employees who are signed up

These policies will all work slightly differently to each other, as they all offer different levels of cover and are designed to work best for certain situations. I get that this can feel a bit overwhelming, and my best suggestion would be to take some time to read more about each policy.

What does Freedom health insurance cover?

Type of policyFreedom Health Insurance Private Medical Insurance
Policy optionsFreedom Elite Comprehensive health insurance
Freedom Essentials Cost-Conscious health insurance
Freedom Worldwide International health insurance
What is included in my policy?Elite cover  

Dental surgery (limits apply)
Specialist fees/hospital fees
Home nursing
Private road ambulance
Specified pregnancy complications
Maternity cash benefit (£150 per child)
MRI, CT and PET scans
NHS cash benefit (£200 per night for elective inpatient treatment, £100 per day for elective day patient treatment)
Comprehensive cancer cover including chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Diagnostic tests e.g. blood tests, X-rays (certain policies)
Surgery to treat acute medical conditions (certain policies)
Follow up consultations (certain policies)  

Essentials cover

Fixed cash benefits (for day patient and in patient treatments at private hospitals)
50% fixed cash benefit (if treated at an NHS hospital as an in/day patient)
Pregnancy complications (specified in policy documents)
Dental surgery (specified in policy documents)
£200 cash benefit for in/day patient treatment (no procedure required)
CT, MRI, and PET scans (outpatient treatment)
Cancer cash benefit (50% of fixed cash benefit for in/day patient procedures needed as part of active cancer treatment)
Cancer cash benefit (£150 for every visit for radiotherapy or chemotherapy)

Worldwide International Cover

Private hospital charges
Specialist fees
Private road ambulance
Out patient consultations, diagnostic tests and prescription drugs (directly following inpatient treatment for a maximum of 90 days)
Physiotherapy/alternative therapy (directly following inpatient treatment for a maximum of 90 days)
CT, MRI and PET scans (outpatient)
Cancer treatment (oncology fees, diagnostic tests, radiotherapy and chemotherapy)
Medical evacuation and repatriation
Compassionate emergency visit (covers travel costs to visit a critically ill close family member who is under age 70)

Note: This is what is available with Bronze Worldwide cover (the lowest level). There will be additional benefits included with Silver, Gold or Platinum policies.  
Is there anything Freedom health insurance won’t cover?This is a list of some of the medical conditions and circumstances where Freedom health insurance will not pay out:  

Pre-existing medical conditions or related conditions
Ongoing/long term (chronic) medical conditions
A&E admissions and other emergency treatment
AIDS or HIV Addiction and alcohol/substance abuse
Allergies
Appliances, devices, drugs and dressings
Contraception and birth control
Cosmetic and reconstructive treatment
Birth defects/congenital abnormalities
Dental cover (unless added)
Experimental treatments
Dangerous activities
Not following medical advice or failure to take reasonable care to avoid injury/illness
Mental health care (unless added)
Obesity/weight loss surgery
Pregnancy and childbirth (specific complications of pregnancy are covered)
Professional sports
Transplants
Warts and verrucae
Varicose veins (unless under certain circumstances)
Screening/monitoring and preventative treatments  

Note: This list applies to Elite policies specifically. The exclusions for Essentials and Worldwide policies will differ slightly.
How long does Freedom health insurance cover you for?Your policy will cover you for 12 months (1 year) from when you buy it.  
You will have the option to renew your cover each year.
Where can I claim for medical treatment with Freedom health insurance?You can claim for medical treatment within the UK (Elite and Essentials).  

You can claim for medical treatment in your specified cover area (e.g. Europe or America) and will have limited cover for emergency treatment outside this area (Worldwide cover)
Levels of cover availableYou can add additional benefits to increase your level of cover such as mental health cover or Private GP benefit or outpatient cover.  

Worldwide cover also has multiple cover levels to choose from, so you can pick what works best for you.
When will I pay for Freedom health insurance?You can pay either monthly or annually for Freedom health insurance.

I know a main concern of mine when buying health insurance would be what care is available if you were diagnosed with cancer. As someone with a family history of cancer, I’d want to be certain I would have decent benefits and a good level of care if this happened to me as well.

I always focus on looking at cancer cover incomes benefits when I review health insurance as I know that other consumers will also have the same worries and concerns. Here’s my thought about freedoms cancer cover:

  • it’s only included in their ‘Elite’ policies, so won’t be available to all customers. This is a little frustrating and certainly worth considering when you’re choosing a policy if cancer cover is something that’s a priority for you.
  •  The cover that they do have is pretty good (when it’s included) and will pay out for surgical treatments chemo and radiotherapy and even genetic testing to help specialist decide on the right course of treatment.

No, generally health insurance will not cover you for pre-existing medical conditions. With Freedom health insurance, there is the possibility of being covered for your conditions in the future, but this is never guaranteed.

What are the pros and cons of Freedom health insurance?

ProCon
Prices aren’t decided by where you live (useful if you live in an area where medical treatment is typically more expensive)Wide range of policy choices can make it complicated to understand your options
Pays out for treatment in nearly all hospitals in the UK (not including HCA)Doesn’t cover pre-existing or chronic conditions (standard with health insurance)
Options available for overseas health coverBenefits like mental health cover aren’t included as standard and will need to be added at an extra cost

If you’re a new or existing Freedom customer and you want to talk about your policy, you may not be sure of how to contact them. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list for you so you don’t have to search for this information yourself. Here are the main contact details for freedom health insurance:

Freedom health insurance contact details

Tel.  0800 999 2013 or 01202 756 350

Fax – 01202 756 351

Email – info@freedomhealthinsurance.co.uk

Post:

Freedom Health Insurance,

County Gates House,

300 Poole Road,

Poole,

Dorset,

Is it easy to claim on Freedom health insurance?

If you’re not well, you don’t want to have to deal with confusing processes for health insurance claims. When I’m reviewing health insurance providers, I always have a good look at how their claims process work and if they’re easy for consumers to follow.

It is a little complicated with Freedom, as the way you claim will vary slightly depending on the type of Freedom policy that you have. Here I’m focusing on the personal health insurance policies that Freedom sells (Freedom Elite, Freedom Essentials and Freedom Worldwide international).

How to claim on Freedom Elite health insurance

  1. Speak to your own GP and get an open referral for the treatment you need
  2. Contact Freedom to authorise your treatment
  3. If your claim is approved, you can book the appointment that you need yourself and Freedom will get in touch with the healthcare provider to settle the bill

Note: If you choose to add on optional private GP, dental optical cover, the process is a little different. You don’t need to pre-authorise your treatment, as you’ll be claiming cash back for it. Just make sure you keep hold of your receipts and discharge summaries so you don’t miss out.

How to claim on Freedom Essentials health insurance

  1. This part is the same as with an Elite policy. Simply contact your own GP for an appointment like an open referral for your treatment.
  2. Contact Freedom to make sure that the treatment you’re getting will be covered. You don’t have to use a Freedom approved hospital and can claim a cash benefit for NHS or overseas treatment as well.
  3. Freedom will pay you a cash benefit based on the treatment that you had (the amount will be whatever the national average cost is for that treatment)
  4. You are well within your rights to claim for NHS treatment but be aware that Freedom will only cover pay out for 50% of the amount your treatment cost

Note: These policies work more like cash plans than traditional health insurance, meaning that you get the money after you’ve received your treatment. You will need to pay this to the healthcare provider yourself (Freedom will not sort this for you).

How to claim on Freedom Worldwide international health insurance

  1. Contact your doctor about your symptoms and contact Freedom if you need any inpatient or day patient medical treatment. Outpatient treatment doesn’t need to be preauthorised, so just have your treatment and send an itemised invoice over to Freedom. They’ll refund you the cost of your treatment if they approve the claim.
  2. You’ll be asked a few questions about your symptoms, the type of treatment you need and the clinic or hospital you’d like your treatment be in.
  3. Freedom will get in touch with your doctor before deciding whether to approve your claim
  4. You can have your treatment and if your claim is approved Freedom will settle the bill with the healthcare provider (minus any excess that you need to pay)

One good thing about Freedom health insurance is that you can claim for treatment in a hospital that’s outside of your level of cover. Freedom won’t pay out the full amount for this though which is fair and will only give you 50% of the cost of your treatment.

Freedom health insurance claims contact details

Tel. 01202 283 580 (UK claims)

Tel. +44(0) 1202 756 350 (International claims)

Fax – 01202 756 351

Email– claims@fhi.co.uk (UK)

Email– intclaims@fhi.co.uk (International)

How do I cancel Freedom health insurance?

You’re never trapped with a health insurance policy and you’re allowed to cancel whenever you want. If you purchased your policy directly from Freedom, whether online or over the phone, reach out to them directly to cancel.

However, if you bought your policy through a broker, you will need to get in touch with them to inform them about your decision to cancel. They will then handle the cancellation process with Freedom.

Should you decide to cancel within the first 14 days of starting your policy, you’ll receive a refund for any premiums you’ve paid.

How do I complain about Freedom health insurance?

Even if you’re not someone who would normally submit complaints, sometimes you will need to. Insurers understandably don’t always get everything right and they actually expect to receive complaints sometimes, which is why they’ll have processes in place to deal with them.

Freedom health insurance isn’t any different and if you’re not happy with the health insurance or service you’ve received, you’re always entitled to complain. Freedom’s website states that they’ll always try to respond to your complaint in writing within five working days and have your complaint fully resolved ASAP (shouldn’t be longer than 8 weeks).

If Freedom take longer than this or you don’t think your complaints been dealt with fairly, you can speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for advice. The FOS is an impartial service that is designed for exactly this situation and can even award compensation, if they feel you’ve lost money unfairly because of Freedom health insurance.

Freedom health insurance complaints contact details

Email – complaints@freedomhealthinsurance.co.uk

Post:

c/o Managing Director

Freedom Health Insurance,

County Gates House

300 Poole Road,

Poole

BH12 1AZ

United Kingdom

Financial Ombudsman Service FOS contact details

Tel. 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Tel. 0207 964 0500 (overseas)

Should I read Freedom health insurance reviews?

Yes, I’d definitely recommend reading some customer reviews before deciding to choose Freedom as your health insurance provider.

Customer reviews are the quickest and easiest way to work out what the general feeling is about a provider. Doing a little bit of digging can help reveal anything that you might think is a red flag or could highlight some really good customer service.

The best place to look for these types of reviews are independent customer review sites like TrustPilot, which tends to be the one that consumers use the most. Freedom does have a TrustPilot page, but it’s important to note that they only have 30 customer reviews.

Freedom Health Insurance (TrustPilot score) – 3.9 out of 5.0 stars (with 30 reviews)

% of 5 star reviews – 67% of reviews rated National Friendly 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 4 star reviews – 0% of reviews rated National Friendly 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 3 star reviews – 0% of reviews rated National Friendly 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 2 star reviews – 0% of reviews rated National Friendly 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 1 star reviews – 33% of reviews rated National Friendly 1.0 out of 5.0 stars

(These figures are from 18/10/2023 and Freedom’s customer rating may change over time)

Freedom does also collect customer views on the website Feefo, which is another trusted consumer reviews site. Again, the amount of reviews aren’t massive (only 17), but they do paint a positive picture of Freedom health insurance overall.

Freedom Health Insurance (Feefo score) – 4.5 out of 5.0 stars (with 30 reviews)

% of 5 star reviews – 12 reviews rated National Friendly 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 4 star reviews – 3 reviews rated National Friendly 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 3 star reviews – 1 of reviews rated National Friendly 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 2 star reviews – 0 reviews rated National Friendly 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 1 star reviews – 1 reviews rated National Friendly 1.0 out of 5.0 stars

How do I buy health insurance from Freedom?

If you want to buy Freedom health insurance, you can contact Freedom directly (online or over the phone) or you can get in touch with a health insurance specialist.

It’s often a smart idea to get some extra advice, especially if you aren’t sure if Freedom is the right choice for you. An expert health insurance advisor will be able to look at your situation and the type of cover you need to let you know what your best options are.

For more information about Freedom and health insurance in general, don’t hesitate to contact our trusted health insurance partner at 0800 009 6559 or click here.

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