Five common questions about self pay, answered

Faced with drug rationing, tightened restrictions and longer waiting times for treatment through the NHS, more patients are turning to private healthcare to receive the medical attention they need. One-off, self-pay treatments ensure you get the care you need, when you need it. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering self-pay procedures for yourself.

How does it work?

To arrange a one-off private treatment, start by calling up your local hospital. You can request a price guide, discuss your situation, explore options or make an initial appointment to examine your options further. Bear in mind that you will need a GP referral prior to your first appointment.

To undergo treatment, you do not need private insurance. Self-pay treatment is, in fact, designed for people without insurance - or for people whose insurance doesn’t cover the procedure they need. Patients need not worry about monthly premiums or policy tie-ins to be treated. You’ll pay for the treatment yourself, ensuring you have quick and easy access to all the clinical expertise you need. Self-pay can be arranged as a simple one-off payment, or patients can choose to pay the balance off in pieces ahead of time - whichever suits their budget best.

What’s available?

Self-pay programmes ensure patients have access to all operations, treatments and tests they require. Instead of being subject to NHS qualifications, all patients, regardless of severity of illness and physical disability, are able to get necessary care and medical attention. There are 38 Spire Healthcare hospitals available through which patients can attain treatment. Procedures range from orthopaedic, fertility, weight loss, cosmetic and cancer treatment. All services are available to self-pay patients following a health assessment.

What’s included?

One-off payment includes prices incurred for the procedure, as well as nursing care, consultant’s fees, hospital accommodation, medication, post-op care, physiotherapy and a follow-up appointment. Additional costs may result from further treatment, if necessary.

Once you approve of the fixed price and decide to go ahead with treatment, a date will be set to undergo the procedure. You will need to pay for treatment before being admitted. You can do this through cash payment, by cheque, bankers’ draft, credit or debit card. Sundries will also need to be paid for, but these costs will be charged to a credit or debit card following your hospital stay. Sundry items include things like telephone calls and visitors’ meals.

Is the price fixed?

Sometimes, private healthcare providers will be unable to offer an all-inclusive price for treatment. In this case, you would pay a deposit prior to treatment, covering estimated costs but not guaranteeing total coverage. Any additional costs incurred would later be billed to you, or charged to your card. If your deposit is in fact greater than the total cost of treatment, you would be refunded the excess charge.

Is flexible payment an option?

First Medical Loans can help you arrange affordable payments for your self-pay procedure. The medical loans company has a variety of plans available to suit any financial situation. You should expect to pay in full at least five days before you are scheduled to be admitted for treatment. Cheques should be received by the hospital no later than a week before treatment date.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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