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The Exeter Health Insurance Review

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The Exeter

What Is Exeter?

Exeter is a UK-based company offering a range of insurance products, including private health insurance. It was established in 1927 in Exeter, Devon, where it is based to this day. Originally, it was called Exeter Family Friendly Society, but following a 2008 merger with Pioneer, the company gained its current trading name.

Exeter’s health, income protection, and life insurance services are used by over 90,000 people (data from 2018). The company employs over 100 people and has no shareholders, which they claim allows them to focus on improving products and services for customers rather than profit.

The Exeter Healthcare Key Points

The most notable member benefits offered at Exeter Health are:

  • HealthWise – This is an app for quick and convenient medical advice and treatment. The services are remote, making them accessible anywhere in the world. HealthWise offers remote GP appointments (four per year), second medical opinions (two per year), physiotherapy video consultations, mental health, dietary, and lifestyle support (six consultations per type per year).
  • Family discounts – Members can add their partners or children for a reduced price. Discount percentages are not disclosed and are calculated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Breakthrough cancer treatments – New cancer treatments can be offered before they are available on the NHS. That includes access to any cancer drug in the UK that’s licensed for the patient’s condition.
  • Special terms for life cover and income protection – All Health+ members are eligible for discounts and special perks for Exeter’s other products. A bundle deal can include regular health insurance and cover people with serious or multiple medical conditions and those dealing with the financial impact of illness.

Is Exeter a Good Health Insurance Company?

Exeter is rated ‘Excellent’ on TrustPilot. It has a total rating of 4.5 based on 594 reviews (75% – excellent, 14% – great, 5% – average, 2% – poor, 4% – bad).

Patients who left praising reviews mention that it was “helpful to get a call from a case handler,” they were “very satisfied with the policy,” or they “have been with Exeter for a number of years and have always found them to be very professional”.

However, it’s also important to highlight the negative experiences. A few people expressed dissatisfaction with The Exeter citing- “insensitive and lacking in compassion” or “hassle and inconvenience despite paying the higher premium.”

Despite one-off negative reviews, the overall reputation and reported customer experience are at a high level.

How Does Exeter Healthcare Work?

Once you choose the coverage policy that suits your medical and personal needs, you will pay a monthly fee – called a premium. Your health insurance will cover some or all costs associated with the eligible private healthcare you receive after you make a claim. Under certain conditions, you can also get a cash benefit in lieu of your stay at NHS hospitals.

The claim process at Exeter works like this:

  1. You visit a GP.
  2. If you get a specialist referral, you need to contact Exeter’s representative and provide a copy of the referral letter.
  3. After the visit, you should inform the insurer about the outcome and further treatment.
  4. Once all diagnostic tests and treatment are done, Exeter will pay the invoice considering the policy’s excess, benefit, and limitations.

How Much Does Exeter Health Insurance Cost?

Policy prices vary depending on numerous factors – from the level of cover to the person’s medical history. Below are exemplary prices for one person but with different policy features.

Type of Policy Basic Intermediate Comprehensive
Excess Level £250 £250 £250
Outpatient Cover £0 £500 Unlimited
Underwriting Moratorium Moratorium Moratorium
Hospital Choice Essential Standard Extended
Add-On None None Mental health cover
No Claims Option Yes Yes Yes
Estimated Cost £29.19 £39.75 £73.85

The Exeter Health Insurance Cover

This section lays out what is covered by Exeter’s health insurance, briefly in the table below and then in more detail.

Core Cover
  • Inpatient and day-patient treatment
  • Cancer
  • CT, MRI, and PET scans
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Private ambulance
  • Parental accommodation
  • Post-operative physiotherapy
  • NHS cash benefit
  • Hospice donation
Benefit Add-Ons
  • Outpatient
  • Diagnostics
  • Specialist therapies
  • Inpatient and day-patient mental health treatment
  • Outpatient psychiatric treatment

Inpatient and Day-Patient Care

Exeter offers unlimited coverage for specialist consultations, diagnostic and pre-admission tests, hospital charges, and medications at any hospital available under your policy. The duration of treatments and hospital stays are also unlimited.

Inpatient mental health treatment is either excluded from the policy or limited to 28 days at any psychiatric centre on the hospital list for each member.

Outpatient Care

Unlimited coverage extends to eligible surgical procedures performed by any specialist available under the policy. Outpatient psychological and cognitive therapies and specialist consultations for psychiatric treatment are also covered in full.

Outpatient Limits

The limits are flexible and can be chosen by the members at the start of their policy. The options are: unlimited, up to £1,000 per year, up to £500 per year, and no cover. Depending on which option the patient chooses, the premium will be adjusted accordingly.

Cancer Care

Exeter Health covers all stages of cancer once diagnosed. All policies offer unlimited coverage for the following types of services at any place of treatment:

  • Diagnostics (specialist consultations, tests, and scans)
  • Surgery (tumour resection, reconstructive surgery)
  • Drug therapy (chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and any drugs approved by NICE)
  • Stem cell or bone marrow treatment (transplants, excludes experimental treatment)
  • Radiotherapy (including pain relief)
  • Monitoring (including in remission)

Palliative/End of Life Care

Patients are fully covered for treatment aimed to control symptoms and improve the quality of life. Policies also include full cover for terminal cancer care at any hospital and a £250 donation to a hospice.

Hospital List

Members can choose between three tiers.

Essential Some of the largest hospital groups and NHS private patient units
Standard Independent hospitals and clinics, in addition to Essential coverage
Extended Widest choice of health centres

The tier will be specified on the policy certificate, but the exact list of hospitals may change, which should be confirmed before treatment.

Medical Underwriting Options

Before activating the policy, Exeter Health will examine the applicant’s medical history through one of the following underwriting options.

Standard Moratorium

Benefits would not cover health conditions if the applicant had symptoms, medication, treatment, or advice regarding the condition in question in the last five years. It does not affect the price but only changes what the policy covers.

If the patient has a pre-existing condition but did not seek treatment or advice, take medication, or experience symptoms during the two-year period before the start of the policy, this condition will be added to the coverage.

Full Medical Underwriting

Exeter will look into the applicant’s medical history going back years and may contact previous healthcare providers. By the end of the process, medical exclusions will be specified on the individual’s policy certificate

Existing, Continued, or Transferred Underwriting

This option applies to applicants transferring to Exeter Health from another provider. Until you’ve been fully clear of all symptoms for two years, the insurer can either keep exclusions from the previous policy or conduct its own assessment. If you keep roughly the same terms and conditions every time you make a claim, Exeter will double-check your medical records to confirm it wasn’t pre-existing.

Private Ambulance

The use of private ambulances is unlimited for any policy. If a patient needs to travel to, between, or from the hospital, they just need to notify Exeter, who will make arrangements.

Home Nursing

Home nursing is available for inpatients and day-patients following treatment, supervised by the lead health provider. Skilled nursing must also be authorized for medical reasons rather than domestic ones.

Parental Accommodation

Parental accommodation is offered when the same policy covers both the parent and the child. If the child (under 18) is having treatment in hospital, their parent can stay with them at no extra charge.

NHS Cash Benefit

If a member decides to receive inpatient treatment under the NHS, Exeter health insurance will pay £150 per night of hospital stay. The maximum limit is 30 days of coverage, and the total amount will be subject to excess. Any claims for NHS cash benefits must be made within three months of the date of discharge.

Hospice Donation

If a member with an advanced progressive, incurable disease is admitted for care, the insurer will make a £250 monthly donation, not affecting the excess. This applies to any hospice care for physical, psychological, or spiritual needs.

Post-Operative Physiotherapy

Following inpatient, day-patient, or outpatient surgery, members are eligible for up to three physiotherapy sessions. Physiotherapy advice and tutorials are also available at the HealthWise app for free (certain limits apply).

Additional Benefits

Add-ons can be applied to any policy at an extra charge depending on how many benefits the member chooses. The list of options includes:

  • Additional outpatient cover – Enhances your specialist cover to include X-rays, ECGs, pathology tests, CT, MRI, and PET scans, among other services.
  • Unlimited outpatient diagnostics – Upgrades all services described above to no-limit cover.
  • Additional mental health cover – Adds cover for accommodation, nursing, and behavioural therapy.
  • Additional therapies cover – Gives access to unlimited physiotherapy, chiropathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, podiatry, speech therapy, and pain therapy.

Excess Options

Each member of the policy can set their excess level per policy year. If that excess is paid toward treatment costs covered by the policy, the amount won’t affect the benefit limit.

There are seven excess options (how much a patient is willing to pay towards eligible treatment):

  • £0
  • £100
  • £250
  • £500
  • £1,000
  • £3,000
  • £5,000

As with any provider, the excess level affects premium costs, which are calculated individually by an Exeter Health representative.

What Is Not Covered by Exeter Health Insurance?

Under any health insurance policy, the insurer does not provide financial cover for:

  • Sex reassignment surgery and therapy
  • Preventive health screening
  • Substance abuse: drug types, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
  • Convalescence rehabilitation (CR)
  • Organ transplantation
  • Cosmetic procedures and surgery, post-bariatric body contouring
  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Experimental therapy
  • Learning disorders: dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, etc.
  • Medicines, dressings, appliances
  • Fertility & pregnancy
  • Professional sports injuries
  • Sight, hearing, and dental disorders

Optional No Claims Discount With Exeter Health+ Insurance

No Claims Discount (NCD) is a structure for reducing patients’ premiums. There are 15 levels, which can get you a maximum of 75% off your premium. Every year you don’t make a claim; you are levelled up.

Below are levels and their associated discounts:

  • Level 0 – 0%
  • Level 1 – 9%
  • Level 2 – 18%
  • Level 3 – 25%
  • Level 4 – 32%
  • Level 5 – 39%
  • Level 6 – 45%
  • Level 7 – 50%
  • Level 8 – 54%
  • Level 9 – 59%
  • Level 10 – 63%
  • Level 11 – 66%
  • Level 12 – 70%
  • Level 13 – 72%
  • Level 14 – 74%
  • Level 15 – 75%

If you claim up to £300, you stay at the same level. If your claims total £300.01-£1,000 by the end of the year, you lose one level. Claims of £1,000.01-£2,000 make you lose two levels. And finally, £2,000+ worth of claims move your three levels down.

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

Yes, anyone can get insured regardless of their medical history. But existing medical conditions will be excluded from the policy cover. If you’re not sure whether your disease, illness, or injury is considered pre-existing, check whether it has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Requires regular or long-term monitoring through health checks, tests, etc.
  • Managed by long-term medications
  • Requires rehabilitation services, special education, or coping programmes
  • Lasts indefinitely
  • Currently incurable
  • Likely/expected to come bac

When Does the Exeter Health Insurance Reset?

This health insurance cover resets at the end of the policy year, which is a period of 12 calendar months from the policy start date (renewal date). You can see the exact date on your policy certificate.

If the policy is cancelled at an earlier date, all benefits are renewable annually.

Can I Switch My Existing Health Insurance Cover to Exeter?

Yes, Exeter can start your policy at any time. If your current policy is billed monthly, it’s recommended to wait until the end of the month; if billed annually, until the end of the policy year. Many insurers will be willing to refund you but charge an admin fee if you switch in the middle of your billing period.

If your current policy was drafted based on medical underwriting, Exeter might be able to transfer the policy without additional examination. First, speak to your current provider and then explain your situation to the new insurer. Health insurance brokers are also a great source of free, professional advice.

How do I Cancel Exeter Health Insurance in the UK?

If you change your mind about the Exeter policy, you can cancel by calling customer support on 0300 123 3201 or sending an email to The agent will explain what will happen next and on what terms. If you’re switching to a provider that is not Exeter, the new insurer will likely provide ongoing support.

Can You Cancel Your Health Insurance Policy with The Exeter at Any Time?

If you don’t have ongoing claims, you should be able to cancel without exclusions. If you have a visit planned or pending, you will need to cancel the appointment or pay for it out of pocket.

Additionally, if you cancel within 30 days from the start of your policy, you will get a full refund, including the month that you were covered. No claims can be made for the period that you plan to refund.