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What Is Freedom?

Freedom is a family-run, award-winning private medical insurance provider. It is based in Poole, UK, and has been in the business for almost 19 years. While a handful of major players dominate the market, Freedom fills the need for personalized, flexible care on a small scale while maintaining high service standards. They cover clients in the UK and abroad.

Freedom medical insurance follows four main values: exceptional customer care, professional services, honest and open operations, and ambitious projects.

Freedom Healthcare Key Points

As the company name suggests, Freedom believes in patients’ involvement in decision-making about their health. This is why all cover plans are flexible and negotiable for individuals, families, and businesses.

Their website advertises the following unique benefits:

  • Digital GP - This virtual service gives you access to a GP 24/7/365 via telephone consultation. In partnership with Health Hero, Freedom delivers medical advice, reassurance, and diagnosis for any coverage plan. Patients can also schedule online video consultations, but certain limitations apply.
  • Two-year fixed premium guarantee - Members can freeze their policy price, ensuring their premiums stay the same for two years. This can be applied to Freedom Essentials and Freedom Elite policies.
  • 6% discount when paid annually - Customers who pay once per year receive their policy at a lower price.
  • No location-based pricing - Policy prices stay the same regardless of the patient’s postcode. Freedom doesn’t drive up prices for London patients (which is a common practice) while also ensuring all locations, city or rural, have access to high-level facilities.
  • Only pay for one child - Parents can add one child to their policy at a charge, and if they have more children, add them without paying extra.

Is Freedom a Good Insurance Company?

Feefo, a UK-based customer feedback platform, rates Freedom medical insurance 4.5/5 rating based on 42 reviews over the last year. Out of those, 33 reviews are 5-star - “efficient and friendly”, “very prompt response to my call and a positive ‘can do’ approach to my claim”, “really helpful”.

As for criticism, a few reviewers expressed concerns about runaround. Some are also unhappy about Freedom avoiding potential claims and that the customer service is not available on weekends.

Freedom is rated 3.8 on TrustPilot, which is considered “great” on the platform. Some reviewers were not happy with customer service and prescriptions, while others left glowing reviews - “professional and speedy”, “great company”.

How Does Freedom Healthcare Work?

You can contact Freedom on the phone (0800 999 2013, a freephone number), by email (info@freedomhealthinsurance.co.uk), or via online chat. The customer agent will explain the details and guide you through starting your Freedom medical insurance policy.

Freedom works with many private healthcare facilities all around the UK, all vetted and regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Members can choose their hospital and primary healthcare provider. If they don’t have a specific preference, they will be matched with an available specialist closest to them.

For acute health conditions, all patients will first need to see their GP to refer them to a specialist for diagnosis or tests. Once the treatment is complete, the patient can start the claims process online and get their expenses covered based on their policy and level of excess.

How Much Does Freedom Health Insurance Cost?

The price of a Freedom health insurance plan depends on the number of people covered, age, benefits, and several other factors. Non-members can use this online tool to get an estimated insurance quote.

We took five scenarios, kindly provided by Freedom, to illustrate approximate premiums for different types of patients.

Product Cover Details Price
Freedom Essentials 30 years old, inpatient cover, cancer cash benefit, £100 excess £22.76/month
Freedom Essentials 60 years old, inpatient and outpatient cover, cancer cash benefit, £200 excess £67.64/month
Freedom Essentials A couple (42 and 40 years old) and children (12 and 3 years old), inpatient and outpatient cover, cancer cash benefit, £200 excess £81.23/month
Freedom Elite 30 years old + child (6 years old), outpatient care, private GP, dental and optical benefit, £250 excess £92.84/month
Freedom Elite A couple (32 and 30 years old), full inpatient and outpatient cover, £250 excess £107.73/month

Freedom Health Insurance Cover

Freedom Health offers three types of personal health insurance plans: Essentials, Elite, and Worldwide.

Freedom Essentials

Freedom Essentials is a cost-conscious product that offers a basic level of medical cover. The table and the following sections show what this policy extends to, although the list is not exhaustive.

Core cover

Fixed cash benefit towards the cost of:

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Day-patient treatment
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Dental surgery

Plus:

  • NHS cash benefits
  • MRI, CT, and PET scans
  • Cancer cash benefit
Optional cover
  • Diagnostics requested by a GP
  • Specialist fees and physiotherapy
  • Outpatient procedures
  • Routine dental treatment
  • Optical costs
  • Maternity cash benefit

NHS Cash Benefit

The policy partially compensates elective inpatient or day-patient treatment. Freedom medical insurance pays 50% in the form of a fixed cash benefit. If you get treated under the NHS, you can still receive the cash benefit to spend however you want.

The fixed benefit is calculated based on the national average cost, excluding central London hospitals.

Diagnostic Tests

Consultations with health specialists and subsequent diagnostic tests are paid in full as long as the total is under £500. The hospital or other imaging facility must be approved by Freedom. Diagnostic tests requested by a GP are also covered, except for repeat scans.

Freedom to Choose a Hospital

Freedom offers a list of pre-approved hospitals for eligible inpatient and day-patient treatment in the UK and abroad. This allows patients to receive basic cover without taking out travel health insurance. However, the costs of travelling overseas for treatment, such as flights, transport, and accommodation, are not covered.

Physiotherapy Treatment

Physiotherapy treatment of acute health conditions is covered in full, under a personalized limit shown on an individual’s policy document. The specialist must be approved by the insurer and be a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health and Care Professions Council.

According to the Physiotherapists Registration Board Code of Professional, physiotherapists are not allowed to treat family members.

Cancer Cash Benefit

Cash benefits can also be used towards active cancer treatment. Freedom does not provide full cover, but it can issue 50% of the fixed cash benefit for chemotherapy and radiotherapy at no annual limit. £150 for each hospital is also included in this policy level.

Pregnancy Complications

Freedom medical insurance offers a fixed cash benefit towards the treatment of pregnancy complications, such as:

  • Miscarriage, incomplete miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Extrauterine pregnancy
  • Hydatidiform mole
  • Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH)
  • Retained placenta (RP)

If the complications above require outpatient treatment, their costs will be covered based on the outpatient benefit limits.

Freedom Elite

Freedom Elite is described as a menu-driven cover. In other words, it offered a range of options, which patients can pick and tailor based on their needs.

Core cover
  • Hospital fees
  • Specialist fees
  • Dental surgery
  • Home nursing
  • Private road ambulance
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Maternity cash benefit
  • MRI, CT, and PET scans
  • NHS cash benefit (day-patient)
  • NHS cash benefit (inpatient)
  • Cancer care cover
Optional cover
  • Outpatient cover - up to £1,500 or full refund (+ up to £750 for GP-referred diagnostics)
  • Alternative treatments - £750 or £1,500
  • Dental, optical and private GP
  • Mental health care

Inpatient and Day-Patient Treatment

Similar to Freedom Essentials, Elite covers fees charged by health specialists. However, the charges are covered in full rather than in cash benefits. If the charges don’t go against the schedule of procedures, patients can expect full refunds for

  • Pre-admission and diagnostic tests
  • Accommodation, meals, and nursing care for a patient and a parent accompanying a child
  • Critical care
  • Anaesthetics and surgery
  • Physiotherapy

Home Nursing

Nursing is paid in full for up to 13 weeks immediately after the end of inpatient or day-patient treatment. Nurses must be registered at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Finally, the specialist leading the treatment in the hospital must also recommend, arrange, and supervise the process. Additional in-home expenses (for instance, mobility and childcare) are not covered.

Mental Health

Treatment of an acute mental or psychiatric illness is covered by Freedom medical insurance under the following conditions:

  • Up to 45 days for inpatient and day-patient treatment
  • Up to £2,000 of cover towards outpatient treatment

Addictions and associated medical complications are not covered.

Dental, Optical and Private GP

Routine dental costs are covered in full with a limit of £300 and a compulsory excess. This includes extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges, inlays, check-ups, x-rays, scale, polish, and hygienist procedures. Accidental dental injuries are also covered - for up to £600.

Optical refunds are limited to £200 for routine eye tests, prescription glasses, and contact lenses. These expenses will only be covered for first-ever prescriptions or if the patent’s existing prescription changes.

Private GPs are refunded at a maximum limit of £300.

Alternative Therapies

Freedom Elite refunds up to six sessions of outpatient treatment provided by the following alternative medical specialists (only for acute health conditions if referred by a GP):

  • Acupuncturist
  • Chiropractor
  • Homoeopath
  • Osteopath
  • Podiatrist

Conditions and current statutory requirements for therapists are explained in detail in the policy document.

Underwriting for Pre-Existing Health Conditions

Freedom Elite only covers unexpected events, whereas pre-existing health conditions are excluded as a result of:

  • Full medical underwriting
  • Moratorium underwriting
  • Continued personal medical exclusions
  • Medical history disregarded

Additional Benefits

Emergency care, including a private road ambulance and medical supervision in transit, are covered in full. This extends to the journey from home to hospital, between hospitals/treatment centres, and from hospital to home.

Freedom Worldwide

Freedom Worldwide is designed for international coverage. Clients living and working outside of the UK can sign up for one of the five levels of cover.

  Bronze Silver Gold Platinum Diamond
Maximum limit per policy year (€/£/$) 500,000 500,000 750,000 1,000,000 2,000,000
Inpatient and day-patient treatment + + + + +
Outpatient treatment 1,000 1,500 2,500 5,000 Covered in full
Dental treatment - - 500 1,000 3,000
Repatriation + + + + +
Emergency medical cover - - Max. 30 days up to 30,000 Max. 60 days up to 40,000 Max. 90 days up to 50,000
Cancer cover + + + + +
Maternity cover - - 2,500 5,000 7,500

What Is Not Covered on Freedom Health Insurance?

Like most insurance companies, Freedom medical insurance extends to acute conditions. All exclusions are stated in individual policies, as discussed with your service guide. Acute flare-ups of certain health conditions are included as long as they are not excluded in the underwriting.

Below are exclusion examples that Freedom does not cover:

  • Pre-existing and chronic conditions (diabetes, COPD, cancer, sleep apnea, etc.)
  • GRS
  • AIDS/HIV treatment
  • Fertility
  • Childbirth complications
  • Contraceptives
  • Transplantation surgery
  • Alcohol and substance use disorder
  • Cosmetic procedures

Treatment abroad is also covered in general policies, but it can also be added as part of travel insurance at Freedom.

Do I Have to Pay Towards My Treatment?

Policies come with limits on how much you can claim, so make sure you understand your policy terms in advance, including the total amount you can claim, how much you can claim per condition and per type of treatment.

Freedom also offers a voluntary excess - the amount you volunteer to pay for treatment covered by your policy. This helps reduce your monthly premium - the higher the excess, the higher the reduction:

  • £100 excess - 10% off premium
  • £250 excess - 15% off premium
  • £500 excess - 22.5% off premium
  • £1,000 excess - 35% off premium

Can I Get Health Insurance If I Have an Existing Medical Condition?

People with pre-existing health conditions can still get insurance, but the policy will likely exclude these issues. They will be examined as part of the underwriting process. In other words, before activating your coverage, the company representative will ask you questions about your medical history.

Freedom Health offers several types of underwriting for Elite policies, such as full medical underwriting, moratorium, continued personal medical exclusions, continued moratorium, and medical history disregarded. MHD only extends to corporate policies.

When Does Freedom Health Insurance Reset?

Your entitlement for policy benefits starts on the first day of your policy and resets on your renewal date. More details will be available on your account on the website and in the physical summary of the cover.

Can I Switch My Existing Health Insurance Cover to Freedom?

Yes, if you have health insurance from another provider, you can switch to Freedom. It makes more sense to switch providers at the end of the policy year. But the policy transfer can be initiated at any time as long as you don’t have ongoing claims.

Your existing provider may have conditions and charges, which you need to clarify with their specialists. After speaking to them, you can call Freedom Health or request a callback, and the support agent will explain what will happen next.

How to Cancel Freedom Health Insurance in the UK?

Freedom allows you to cancel your policy at no charge. You can contact customer support by phone, email, or chat and exit your policy without explanations. However, if you purchased an annual policy at a discount, there might be a few extra steps.

Can You Cancel Freedom Health Insurance at Any Time?

If you have only just purchased your policy, you have 14 days to cancel it and receive a full refund (if you haven’t made any claims). This is called a cooling-off period.

Although it’s recommended, you don’t have to wait for the renewal date. If you cancel mid-year, you will be refunded for the rest of the period of Freedom medical insurance. But if you have an ongoing claim, your premiums won’t be refunded until it’s settled.

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