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Individual medical insurance

How "bands" affect your choice of hospital

Some providers of individual medical insurance offer different "bands" that dictate which hospitals you can and cannot use in the event that you require treatment. The smallest band is the cheapest, but it may mean your treatment cannot take place in the hospital nearest to you.

Many providers of individual medical insurance group hospitals into three "bands", and each band comes with a different price tag. The cheapest band, sometimes called Band C, covers low priced private hospitals and teaching hospitals outside London; Band B covers London private hospitals, some of the more expensive private hospitals in the country and some NHS teaching hospitals; the most expensive band, Band A, covers the most expensive hospitals (many of them in London).

Unfortunately, providers of individual medical insurance don't always agree on their ratings, so a hospital that one firm classes as Band C might be in the more expensive Band B with another healthcare firm. You may also find that the same hospital is classed in two bands, with the more expensive option offering a higher quality of accommodation.