Glossary: Private Medical Insurance

Health Insurance Insurance

medical-insuranceCompared to other types of insurance, private medical insurance can seem a bit tricky. To help you better understand all the jargon which might be used, we have compiled a list below.

Acute condition

An injury or illness that has a cure due to the medical treatment available.

Annual renewal

The day your policy will expire and is therefore up for renewal.

Chronic condition

An injury or illness which requires ongoing treatment indefinitely or has no cure. In some cases, your health insurer may get your condition stabilised but not manage it on a continuous basis.


Filed by the policy holder to the insurer for compensation to cover the medical expenses as set out in the insurance policy cover.


An agreement whereby the policy holder agrees to pay a pre-specified percentage of the total claim, in return for cheaper insurance premiums.

CT scan

Medical equipment used to diagnose conditions by taking detailed internal body images.


A patient admitted into a medical centre or hospital that is not required to stay the night.

Diagnostic tests

Multiple tests done for diagnostic purposes using medical equipment such as MRI scans, X-rays, CT scans and blood tests


Sometimes voluntary, but there is usually a minimum amount, an excess is the amount of money you would be willing to put towards a claim. By selecting a higher excess, you could get cheaper premiums.


Things which are not part of the health insurance policy are known as exclusions. Hence it is of paramount importance that you read the terms and conditions of your health insurance policy.

GP – General Practitioner

Often a patient’s first point of contact for non emergency issues, a GP is a doctor that is licensed with the General Medical Council.


A patient required to stay for at least a night for a treatment.


A type of insurance policy which doesn’t require medical disclosure, however pre-existing conditions over the last 5 years are excluded. You can get cover for these conditions again if you don’t have symptoms, medication, treatment and advice in the first 2 years of the policy.

MRI scan

Using magnets and radio frequency waves, the MRI scan obtains cross sectional imagery of the body.


Patients that are not classified as in-patient or day-patient are out-patients. They usually come in for diagnosis or treatment but not surgery.


A covenant between the policy holder and the insurer detailing all the specifics of the agreement.

Pre-existing condition

Any illness, injuries or diseases that you have previously got or received treatment on.


The amount of money charged by the insurer to provide you the level of private health cover you have agreed on.

Six-week wait

Used by some to reduce their premiums, the policy holder agrees to NHS treatment if its available within six weeks of them requiring, else they will be treated privately on the private medical cover.


Change in the insurer but the underwriting remain as per the original agreement. You would be able to stay covered for medical conditions that appeared since taking out the original insurance policy.


Any surgery or medical services required to reduce or cure an injury, illness or disease.

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