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Healthcare Cash Plans Claim dental, optical and physio costs

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Worried about the cost of dental, optical and physio treatments? You can get cover for just a few pounds a month with a healthcare cash plan, saving 100s every year.

This guide explains the basics of healthcare cash plans, what you need to know before you buy and reveals the top policies.

Healthcare cash plans: The basics

A healthcare cash plan is a type of insurance policy that lets you claim back the cost of healthcare treatments, such as eye tests, dental treatment or physiotherapy.

You pay a monthly premium, sometimes as little as £5 a month. When you receive treatment, you send the receipt to the insurer and it then reimburses you. The amount you get back depends on your policy and you receive a set amount per treatment.

For example, if you need a new pair of glasses costing £300, you can send the receipt to your insurer. It'll then send you a payment depending on your policy. If it lets you claim £500 per year on optical treatments, your bill will be paid in full. If your provider covers 50% of your costs, you'll get £150.

Quick questions:

What treatments do healthcare cash plans cover?

When do they pay out and how long do I have to wait before I claim?

What is the difference between healthcare cash plans and private medical insurance?

How much is paid out?

Can I cover my family under my healthcare cash plan?

Is my money protected?

What if I have pre-existing conditions?

Am I already covered?

Are they too good to be true?

Healthcare cash plans: Before you buy

Healthcare cash plans don't appear on comparison sites and each policy can differ greatly to from its counterparts. Before you buy, go through our checklist to make sure you're getting the best cover at the most affordable rate.

  1. See if you're already covered

    Cash plans are a popular staff perk. Before taking one, out check whether your employer already provides cover for free, or for a small nominal amount each month.

  2. Decide what treatments you need cover for

    Healthcare cashplans cover a number of different treatments but the limits for each can vary massively. Think about the treatments you need to claim for and then make sure the policies you're looking for meet your needs.

    For example, if you need glasses or contact lenses but your feet are in good condition, choose a policy with a good optical limit and ignore those with big chiropody payouts.

  3. Check the family limits when covering loved ones

    Cash plans can protect an individual or a family. While the coverage for individuals is largely straightforward, cover for a family may require a closer look at the small print.

    Some policies will give each individual family member their own treatment limits, while others will allow children to share up to 50% of an adult's limit.

    In addition, other policies won't protect children for certain conditions or will only cover them for inpatient and outpatient hospital treatment and specialist consultations.

    Make sure you know what your family's needs are, then make sure the policy you're interested in matches up.

  4. Go direct

    Healthcare cash plans aren't on comparison sites, so you'll have to go direct to the insurers to buy them. Don't feel daunted by this. Below are our best buys for covering the basics (at least £75 for dental, optical and physiotherapy) at an affordable rate, which you can use as the starting point for your research.

Healthcare cash plan best buys

With all cash plans having different prices, cover and limits, they're difficult to compare. We've filtered the best policies in the market - the ones that give you the best benefits for the lowest cost. All of policies give you at least £75 dental, £75 optical and £75 physiotherapy.

Individual and family plans

Benenden

Benenden Healthcare Level 2*From £13.75 per month for individuals, £26.40 for families

  • Dental treatment - £90 per adult
  • Optical - £75 per adult
  • Physiotherapy - £200 per adult
  • Age range for individual policies - 17 to 65
  • Family definition - Two adults and unlimited children up to age 17
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100% up to the limits above
  • Waiting time before making first claim - Three months
  • Child benefits - Children share the overall benefit of adults.
WHA

WHA Personal 325/Partners 650From £14.08 per month for individuals, £28.16 for families

  • Dental treatment (over two years) - £175 per adult
  • Optical (over two years) - £175 per adult
  • Physiotherapy (over two years) - £250 per adult
  • Age range - 16 to 64
  • Family definition - Two adults and unlimited children under 18.
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100% optical and dental, 75% for physio
  • Waiting time before making first claim - Three months
  • Child benefits - Children only covered for hospital inpatient and outpatient treatment and specialist consultation.
WPA

WPA Level 2From £14.60 for individuals and £29.20 for families

  • Dental treatment - £100 per adult
  • Optical - £100 per adult
  • Physiotherapy - £200 per adult
  • Age range - 18 to 65
  • Family definition - Two adults and five children up to age 18
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100% of each claim up to the limit
  • Waiting time before making first claim - One month
  • Child benefits - Children have their own limits matching those of an adult.
UK Healthcare

UK Healthcare Level 3From £21.50 for individuals and £43 for families

  • Dental treatment - £175 per adult
  • Optical - £200 per adult
  • Physiotherapy - £375 per adult
  • Age range - 18 to 70
  • Family definition - Two adults and unmlimited children under 18. Up to four children added for free.
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100% up to the limits above
  • Waiting time before making first claim - 13 weeks
  • What about children? Children are covered to 50% of limits.
  • Child benefits - Children are covered to 50% of limits.
Healthshield

Healthshield Flex Level 2From £22.20 for individuals and £44.40 for families

  • Dental treatment - £125 per adult
  • Optical - £125 per adult
  • Physiotherapy - £280 per adult
  • Minimum age - 16 - 69
  • Family definition - Two adults and unlimited children under 18. Up to six children can be added for free.
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100% up to the limits above
  • Waiting time before making first claim - 13 weeks
  • Child benefits - Benefits are shared with children.

Over-70s plans

It's notoriously difficult to find cash plans for people over 70. Below are three options for cover - there are few options for families so these are for couples or individuals only.

SimplyHealth

SimplyHealth 70 Plus Level 2From £19.95 for individuals and £39.90 for couples

  • Dental treatment - £90 per adult
  • Optical - £90 per adult
  • Physiotherapy - £150 per adult
  • Age range - Minimum age of 70. No maximum
  • Pecentage of claim paid - 100% optical and dental, 75% physio
  • Waiting time before making first claim - Immediate
Benenden

Benenden 66 Plus Level 2*From £20 for individuals and £39.50 for couples

  • Dental treatment - £85 per adult
  • Optical (over two years) - £80 per adult
  • Osteopathy and chiropracty - £160 per adult (max six visits)
  • Age range - Minimum age of 66. No maximum.
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100% optical and dental, 75% physio
  • Waiting time before making first claim - Three months
Paycare

Paycare Gold BasicFrom £20 for individuals

  • Dental treatment - £150 per adult
  • Optical (over two years) - £100 per adult
  • Physiotherapy - £200 per adult
  • Age range - Minimum age of 64. No maximum.
  • Percentage of claim paid - 100%
  • Waiting time before making first claim - 13 weeks

Pre-existing conditions cover

If you've a specific pre-existing condition you need to cover, you'll pay more. Prices vary widely based on conditions and cover levels.

Compare quotes from the following to find your best price: Bupa*, Axa, Simplyhealth and Saga.

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Healthcare Cash Plans
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