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WPA health insurance reviews

WPA has been a trusted name in UK health insurance for more than a century. With more than 120 years of expertise, WPA prides themselves on their products and the high-quality service they provide to their members.

Health insurance works to provide you with the best UK medical care if you become ill or injured. WPA put all their focus into their health insurance plans to make sure they are offering a decent level of cover at a fair cost.

About Western Provident Association (WPA)

Western Provident Association or ‘WPA’ is a non-profit business that specialises in health insurance. They have been working to provide top quality health cover in the UK for over 120 years (first established in 1901).

They initially began as the Reading Work People’s Voluntary Hospital Contributory Fund before merging with the Bristol Hospital Fund in 1939. In 1949 they officially renamed themselves the Western Provident Association (WPA).

About WPA health insurance

WPA private health insurance is a policy that provides WPA members with access to high quality medical care and qualified specialists.

WPA offers a good range of policy options including both personal and business health insurance policies. This means no matter what type of policy you need, there should be a suitable option available. These policies are very flexible so you can tailor your cover to your own situation and how much you can afford to pay.

They have also recently updated their personal health insurance policies (July 2023) to include new features including no claims discount and pooled risk options. No claims discount will work the same as with other types of insurance such as home or car insurance.

Pooled risk works by setting your premiums based on a wider ‘pool’ of customers and the risk and expected cost of claims. It will be the claims of the overall ‘pool’ that will affect the prices set.

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WPA has over 120 years of experience in health insurance and works hard to provide good value for money. They offer a brilliant range of features and benefits to support their members.

Key features of WPA health insurance include:

  • Comprehensive cancer care for their members
  • Can receive treatment in over 1,000 hospitals approved by WPA
  • NHS hospital cash benefit to support you if you need NHS treatment
  • 24/7 GP services online or via the WPA Health app
  • 24/7 Health and Wellbeing Helpline for emotional support and financial, lifestyle and legal advice
  • No claims discount option to help you save on your cover
  • Mental health support for WPA members

How does WPA health insurance work?

There are 3 main options for WPA personal healthcare plans:

1. WPA Complete Health (individual or family health insurance)this is a flexible plan that works well for individual cover or family cover with many great core benefits. You also have the option to tailor your cover by adding Optional Extras for a higher level of protection.

2. Everyday health cash plan (NHS Top-Up Personal) – As a cash ‘top up’ plan these policies provide cash back when you receive health care from the NHS. A bonus of these plans is that there are no medical questions needed (useful for people with serious medical conditions)

3. Affordable dental cash plan (Providental)This is another cash plan which will pay out to you if you have received dental care from the NHS.

A cash plan is different to traditional health insurance. Generally, health insurance will not cover chronic or pre-existing medical conditions. Health insurance does offer more comprehensive cover though for any other medical issues.

A cash plan may be useful for people with long term medical conditions, as these plans can be used to pay for both ongoing and routine medical care. You can choose to have both a cash plan and a health insurance policy for extra protection.

What does WPA health insurance cover?

Type of CoverWPA Private Medical Insurance
Available policiesWPA Complete Health
What is covered?WPA health insurance policies will cover you for:

Hospital and consultant fees (in patient and day patient)
Therapy (in patient and day patient)
Diagnostics tests and scans (in patient and day patient)
Up to £250 for specialist consultations (outpatient)
Complex scans (outpatient)
Outpatient procedures
Pre-admission tests (outpatient)
NHS hospital cash benefit (non cancer)
Up to 4 weeks of nursing care at home
Private ambulance transport
Up to 10 nights of parent and child hospital accommodation
£10 per day for out-of-pocket expenses
Up to £700 hospice donation (£70 per day/night)
24/7 Remote GP services 24/7 Health and Wellbeing Helpline
Up to 6 sessions of structured counselling    

Note: You also have the option to add additional benefits to your policy to enhance your cover.  
What is not covered?There are several conditions and situations that a WPA policy will not cover you for such as:  

Pre-existing medical conditions (most cases)
Long term/chronic medical conditions
Dental problems/treatment (unless optional benefits have been added)
Fertility issues/treatments
Pregnancy and childbirth
HIV/AIDS
Cosmetic treatments
Allergies
Varicose veins (for the first 2 years)
Injures as a result of winter sports (unless Winter Sports – UK Treatment is selected)
Injuries as a result of dangerous activities
Treatment of unborn babies/foetuses/embryos
Treatment outside of the UK
Birth defects or congenital abnormalities
Cash benefit claims (if submitted more than 6 months after treatment)  

Note: There may be more restrictions to cover based on your individual policy terms and conditions.
Policy termYou will be covered for 12 months (1 year) from the date your policy starts.  
Your policy will renew automatically at this point unless you contact WPA to cancel.
Where am I covered?You are covered for medical treatment within the UK.  
You will be covered for emergency medical treatment when abroad (not including USA) if you added Overseas Emergency Treatment option to your policy.
Increasing cover option included?You can add additional benefits to your policy to enhance your level of cover. This includes benefits such as:  

Enhanced mental health cover
Dental benefit
Overseas emergency treatment
Extra outpatient consultations
Therapy benefit
Decreasing cover option included?You can’t remove core benefits, but you can reduce the cost of your cover by choosing a higher excess or shared responsibility option.
Premium options (when do I pay?)You can pay monthly or annually via Direct Debit, debit card or credit card

Requirements for WPA health insurance

There are a few key requirements you will need to know about before applying for WPA health insurance:

  • You must be a UK resident and have been registered with a NHS GP for at least 6 months
  • You need get authorisation from WPA before having any medical treatment you intend to claim for
  • You must pay any premiums on time and also pay any excess associated with your policy
  • You must pay 25% towards any claims (if shared responsibility option is chosen)
  • You must tell WPA if any of your personal details change e.g. name or address
ProCon
Excellent core cover with a wide choice of extra benefits to add on if you want toThe large range of policy options and extras can make it hard to compare policies with other providers
Enhanced cancer cover is unlimited coverPre-existing medical conditions may not be covered
Flexible policies allow you to tailor your level of cover to what works best for youCan be hard to understand all options (e.g. shared responsibility and pooled risk) without expert advice

While WPA is known for personal healthcare, they also offer business healthcare schemes. These schemes help business owners to take care of their employees physical and mental wellbeing at a fair price.

Business health insurance is often seen as an attractive employee benefit, helping with employee retention and recruitment. There are a range of policies and each one is designed to suit a particular business size and level of cover.

1. WPA Enterprise Flexible Benefits (2-14 employees) – comprehensive core health cover with the option to add on optional extras

2. WPA Precision Corporate Healthcare (10+ employees) – combines health insurance with cash and dental plans for enhanced cover

3. (Cash Plan) WPA NHS Top-Up (3-49 employees) – different to traditional health insurance, gives your staff money back for NHS medical treatment

4. WPA Absolute Health (150+ employees) – flexible cover with great core benefits

5. WPA Corporate Deductible (150+ employees) – an alternative to traditional cover, allows you to take on claims costs as a corporate excess (reduces cost)

6. WPA Corporate Healthcare Trust (500+ employees) – HMRC approved scheme that works out 10% cheaper and works best for over 500 employees

7. WPA LifeStage Health (150+ employees) – provides personalised health insights for your employees to help them stay healthy and reduce staff sickness

Key features of WPA business health insurance:

  • Aim to match previous policy if moving from another insurer
  • Dedicated claims manangement team
  • Free choice of where to get treatment and who provides it
  • High level of customer service
  • Range of policy options so you can choose what works best for your business

The price of WPA health insurance will vary for each person who applies. This is because WPA will base their prices on:

  • Your age
  • Where you live
  • Your level of cover
  • Whether you chose medical underwriting
  • When you joined
  • And more….

The main way to control the cost of your cover is by choosing either excess or shared responsibility when you apply. With excess, you will always pay a set amount (e.g. £100) toward the cost of your treatment and WPA will cover the rest of the cost (within your yearly limit).

If you choose shared responsibility, WPA will always pay 75% of the treatment costs and you would cover the other 25%. This co-payment option can give you more flexibility on costs. You can only choose shared responsibility if you are buying a WPA Premier or Elite policy.

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YES – you should be able to buy WPA health insurance with pre-existing conditions, but the conditions may not be covered by your policy. This includes any related conditions or symptoms.

WPA defines a pre-existing condition as any health condition where you either:

  • Have received advice, treatment or medication
  • Have experienced symptoms before the start of your cover (whether diagnosed or undiagnosed)

Whether your conditions are covered will depend on the type of underwriting you choose. You have 4 options:

1. Moratorium Underwriting – you don’t need to provide a full medical history when you apply but any pre-existing conditions won’t be covered for at least 2 years. This applies to any condition experienced within the 5 years before you apply.

2. Full Medical Underwriting (FMU) – you provide all medical information WPA asks for when you apply (includes undiagnosed symptoms). This information will be reviewed by WPA, and they may exclude claims for conditions that are seen as ‘high risk’.

3. Continued Moratorium – this is the same as standard moratorium and applies if you are swapping to WPA from another insurer. More medical information may be requested from your GP for any new conditions you claim for.

4. Continued Personal Medical Exclusions (CPME) – if you have been through full medical underwriting with another insurer, WPA may be able to accept you under the same terms.

WPA health insurance contact numbers

Below we have the main WPA health insurance numbers. You can use the relevant number for your policy when contacting WPA about a new or existing policy.

Type of health planExisting customersNew customer enquiries
Personal health insuranceTelephone– 01823 625230

Opening hours – 8.00am – 7.00pm Monday to Friday / 9.00am – 12.00pm Saturday
Telephone – 01823 625050

Opening hours – 8.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday  
Business health insurance (2-149 employees)Telephone – 01823 625270

Opening hours – 8.00am – 7.00pm Monday to Friday / 9.00am – 12.00pm Saturday
Telephone – 01823 625247

Opening hours – 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday  
Business health insurance (150+ employees)Telephone– 01823 625063

Opening hours – 8.00am – 7.00pm Monday to Friday / 9.00am – 12.00pm Saturday
Telephone – 01823 625051

Opening hours – 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday  
Corporate Healthcare TrustTelephone – 01823 625126

Opening hours – 8.00am – 7.00pm Monday to Friday / 9.00am – 12.00pm Saturday
Telephone – 01823 625051

Opening hours – 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday  

WPA health insurance address (post)

Western Provident Association Limited,

Rivergate House,

Blackbrook Park,

Taunton,

Somerset,

How to claim on WPA health insurance

WPA have worked to make it as simple as possible to submit a health insurance claim to them. There are 3 steps you will need to take:

1. Contact your GP about any symptoms you are experiencing and they will refer you for any investigations or tests you need

2. Start your claim via the WPA app or over the phone (before having any treatment)

3. Your claim will be authorised and WPA will contact the treatment provider directly to pay your bills

WPA health insurance telephone number (claims)

You can start your claim with WPA online, via the WPA app or by calling the WPA helpdesk.

Telephone (Existing members) – 01823 625230

WPA health insurance hospital lists

Most providers will have several hospital lists to choose from when you apply for health insurance. WPA is slightly different as their core cover is already very extensive.

When you claim on a WPA health insurance policy, you will have the choice of over 1,000 UK hospitals to receive your treatment. You have the option to choose a Premium Hospitals list as well as this for even more cover (mostly London based hospitals).

WPA has a dedicated page on their website where you can search for the best specialists near you by typing in your postcode and the type of specialist you need.

How to cancel WPA health insurance UK

You can cancel your WPA health plan whenever you need to or want to. All you need to do is contact either WPA or your insurance broker to let them know you wish to cancel.

How to complain about WPA health insurance

Although WPA aims to provide great products and customer service, they understand that sometimes mistakes will happen. This is why they have a comprehensive complaints policy in place.

You just need to get in touch with WPA and explain why you are complaining and include as much information as you can. WPA will then escalate your complaint to the appropriate line manager who will resolve it as quickly as they can. They aim to respond to and resolve complaints within 3 working days where possible.

If your complaint will take longer than this to resolve, WPA will conduct a thorough investigation and send you a written response.

WPA – Make a Complaint

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Making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an impartial and free service for financial services customers in the UK. This service can be used to settle any disputes between life insurance companies and their customers in the United Kingdom. If they feel that you have suffered any financial loss as a result of your life insurance policy, then they may rule for compensation to be awarded.

Telephone – 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Telephone (outside the UK) – 0207 964 0500

Emailcomplaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

NHS hospital cash benefit (non cancer) – You are covered up to a combined limit of £4,500 for NHS hospital stays (non cancer related). This will be £150 per day/night less than 3 nights of NHS day/in patient treatment, £200 per night for NHS in patient treatment and £150 per day for NHS outpatient complex scans and procedures.

Health and Wellbeing benefits – WPA aims to support their members with 24/7 health and wellbeing services including 24/7 remote GP services and a health and wellbeing helpline

Extra benefits – On top of standard health cover, WPA will also hep with the cost of private ambulances, parent and child hospital accommodation and home nursing expenses (up to 4 weeks)

Flexible health insurance policies – With a wide choice of excess or shared responsibility options, you can perfectly tailor your policy to how much you can afford to spend

Optional benefits of WPA health insurance

You can add additional benefits to your policy for a higher level of cover including:

Cancer care benefit -Enhanced cover from diagnosis through to palliative care (if needed). You can also add NHS hospital cash benefit for cancer treatment (up to £6,000 per year)

Enhanced outpatient tests and consultations – You can choose to up your outpatient cover limit from the core amount up to unlimited cover

Therapy cover – You can add therapy cover up to £500, £750, £1,000, £1,500 or unlimited

Enhanced mental health cover – You can add on enhanced mental health cover to your policy including up to 28 days/nights of in or day patient treatment, up to 20 structured counselling sessions and either £1,000 or £2,500 worth of treatment and therapy cover.

Overseas treatment – WPA will also cover you for emergency medical treatment when abroad if you add this benefit to your policy. You can choose up to 35 days of cover or up to 70 days of cover (per trip).

Winter sports cover (UK) – If you are injured taking part in winter sports, this benefit will pay out for eligible treatment on your return to the UK.

Premium hospitals – You can increase your choice of hospitals (already 1,000) by adding WPA premium hospitals (mostly London based)

WPA private health insurance reviews (TrustPilot)

It is helpful to look at reviews from other customers before buying your health insurance policy. WPA is extremely well reviewed by their customers on independent review site TrustPilot.

WPA Insurance (TrustPilot score) – 4.7 out of 5.0 stars (as of 04/09/2023)

Other policies sold by WPA

WPA specialises in health insurance policies, meaning they don’t sell any other form of insurance. They do however sell other plans alongside traditional health cover known as ‘cash plans’.

These policies pay you cash back if you need treatment in an NHS hospital. The two types of cash plan are:

Is WPA health insurance any good?WPA health insurance includes a range of customer benefits plus flexible and comprehensive cover.  
WPA can be a good option for many people, but it’s worth doing some research before making any decisions.
What is WPA health insurance fee schedule?WPA has a set fee schedule which outlines how much they will pay (maximum) for specialist operations or procedures.  
The costs can vary depending on the area you live in and the specialist you choose.  

More information – WPA – Medical fees
Is WPA better than Bupa?Bupa and WPA each have a lot to offer to their customers.  

One insurer is not necessarily ‘better’ though some people may prefer the benefits offered by one provider compared to the other.  

Find out more – Bupa health insurance
What does WPA insurance stand for?WPA stands for Western Provident Association.

You have a few options for buying a health insurance policy from WPA. You can get a quote online from the WPA website or you can apply with the help of a health insurance specialist.

If you need some extra support, our friendly health insurance specialists are here to help you find the perfect cover that matches your needs. They can quickly and easily compare WPA health insurance quotes for you to ensure you don’t pay more than you need to.

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