benenden health review – A detailed look at benenden health


One of the great concerns many people have is just what would happen if we or our loved ones were to get sick? As well as the health implications, this can cause a massive headache if you don’t know where to turn for help or get caught up in long waiting lists.

No matter how well organised we appear to have our lives, a serious health issue for any of our family members could turn our lives upside down. This is why health insurance and health plans are seen by so many people as offering a great chance to get some peace of mind.

One alternative to a standard private health insurance plan that has received a lot of attention in recent times is the one from benenden health. If you are thinking of protecting your family with this sort of discretionary cover then hopefully this review will outline some of the most important points to bear in mind.

What Is benenden health?

The company offering these healthcare services isn’t an insurance company. Rather, benenden health is a mutual society that offers the same low rate of £10.25 to all of its customers regardless of age or medical history and uses those funds to provide assistance to those members who need it most.

Their services are designed to complement the NHS and they say that their personal health membership stands at around 900,000 people. The cost doesn’t change as a member gets older and additional family members or friends can be added onto the membership as needed, for the same low cost per person.

What benenden Offers

Some of the services under this plan are available immediately on joining, while others are available after 6 months of membership. Among the most useful services that can be used from day one are a 24 hour GP advice line, a 24 hour Stress counselling helpline, and discounted health screening. There is also a members’ magazine and independent care advice service.

After 6 months membership you can then request further services such as diagnosis and consultations, treatment and surgery, physiotherapy and counselling. In addition, there is also financial help for cancer and TB cases. The services are provided on a discretionary basis, which means that they can be offered when they are most needed, for example, when members are having difficulty obtaining prompt help through the NHS.

What benenden Doesn’t Offer

Of course, it is just as important that you find out what isn’t offered on a health policy as it is to see what is.

In the case of the personal healthcare product from benenden health, the list of things that aren’t offered is pretty much what you would expect to find as these services are already offered by the NHS and benenden’s aim is to complement the services of the NHS and not to replicate them. This means that services such as emergency care, heart surgery, cosmetic operations and cancer treatment are not on the list of benenden health’s membership services. If benenden health were to offer these types of services, they would have to substantially increase the cost of personal healthcare and it could also impact on the services that they do provide.

As with any type of health policy or insurance, you should be sure to check what is included fully before signing up, to make sure that you are fully aware of all of the things that are and aren’t covered.

The good news is that this kind of alternative to private health insurance doesn’t cost a lot to get arranged.  With a bit of luck you will never have to use it. This means that you will have paid out a small fee for getting some peace of mind. On the other hand, if you do have to use it at some point then it could turn out to have been worth every penny you paid for it. The monthly cost at the time of writing is a flat rate of £10.25 per person. This is a fixed cost regardless of the age or health of the person joining benenden health.

What the Customers Say

Before taking out any sort of health policy it is always a good idea to see what other people have to say about the service.

The official site from benenden has a range of videos from customers talking about the services they have used and how it went. This is interesting because it shows the kind of treatments and solutions that real people have benefited from in the past.

For example, we can see the moving video of a lady called Jean whose successful carpal tunnel surgery allowed her to recover full use of her hands again. There is also another interesting story of a lady, called Rebecca, who was delighted to be able to get physiotherapy treatment the same day that she asked for it. Another case well worth checking out is that of a man called Derrick. He was able to use the service to get keyhole knee surgery 7 months earlier than would otherwise have been the case.

We’ve also had many benenden health customers leave their own personal reviews of the service in the comments section below. Please feel free to scroll down and read them. You can also leave a comment yourself if you’ve used benenden before.


In the end, whether or not to pay for healthcare services like those offered by benenden health is a personal decision that we all must take. The first step to doing this is to realise that such things exist in the first place. After this, some research on the price and the services offered should let you work out whether it is something that will give you sufficient benefits to make the cost worthwhile.

In the case of benenden health, the low cost and the wide range of services on offer mean that it could be well worth taking some time out of your day to give this personal healthcare product some serious thought. Of course, a low cost product like this could never offer you the same benefits that private health insurance could.

9 Responses to benenden health review – A detailed look at benenden health

  1. Greg Trumper says:

    After twenty years and helping me twice in that time they refused to help me have subacious cyst removed as they “don’t do that sort of thing” it’s a minor surgery but as they have a discretionary clause and now are open to enyone they are refusing more and more cases.

    Save your money in a pot and pay private when needed.

  2. Greg Trumper says:

    The key word is Discretionary

  3. Mr r brewer says:

    Was a recent member of beneden health .I needed urgent cateract treatment in Feb 2017 .got a hospital letter and sent it to beneden. I was granted consultation and treatment after the consultation they refused to pay the the bill. After 6 months I had to pay this myself.beneden is full of broken promises.I even had confirmation of treetment from them.DON’T JOIN BENEDEN.YOU WILL WASTE YOUR MONEY.WAS A MEMBER FOR 10 YRS.

  4. Irene Lilly says:

    Having been a member for 30 years I was bitterly disappointed that my individual circumstances and the impact my health problem was having on my life were not considered when I gave the operator the code the consultant gave me for the operation I needed. Call centre is run by non medical staff there are no medical staff available to discuss the situation no explanation as to why not covered. I had what I thought was the same operation a few years ago it was covered then but different code so not covered. No escalation process to put your case forward or ask for individual circumstances to be taken into account. Only contact is with call centre with no medically trained staff and no route for escalation for other things to be considered. Very disappointing and making me reconsider my membership after about 30 years of being a member.

  5. Huw Pritchard says:

    I’ve just had a very similar experience. The consultant I originally chose from Benenden’s list prescrbed treatment, but then it turned out he was not willing/able to travel to a Benenden-registered hospital to carry it out!

    So I got a second diagnosis at a Benenden-registered hospital and this consultant recommended three treatments, only two of which Benenden would fund because the third wasn’t on their list of codes. I discovered the cost of the treatment and, to me, it did not seem that expensive.

    I’m gathering my thoughts now and will probably cancel membership for me and my wife later today. Have paid for not as long as you, but you pay for some peace of mind and find out when you call on the service you’re let down.

  6. Huw Pritchard says:

    Discretionary is the thing, isn’t it. You don’t really know whethere you’ll be helped or not until the case comes along, and then disappointed when they can’t fund treatment

  7. Clare Brown says:

    Hmmm. Was just thinking of joining for me and my husband but after reading so many bad feedbacks, think I will leave it.

  8. Tricia Frewin says:

    During my recent working life I ran several medical insurance schemes for client companies. Over the years premiums went up and service went down and in some cases the old adage of you only get what you pay for wasn’t true. Given the monthly premium with Benenden I am not surprised that telephone contact seems poor and payment for procedures not at all clear to say the least. I think perhaps some people’s expectations are unrealistic. My monthly medical insurance premium at age 60 when employed was well over £100 a month. It is sad but true that if you want private medical treatment then you have to pay or wait on the NHS. I am depleting my savings at present on private treatment that sadly isn’t working that well.

  9. Benenden Customer says:

    I am fed up with Benenden as every time I call to see if they can help the answer is no. I am beginning to wonder just exactly what they do cover. Following my latest refusal got help with a surgical brace for my son (not available on the NHS) I was given information about the Benenden Charitable Trust. Having looked into it anyone with more than £15K in savings isn’t likely to get any assistance. So I am now seriously asking myself just why am I paying Benenden money each month to get nothing other than a letter by email saying sorry we can’t fund that!

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