15 February 2022
Hospital Director Jonathan Head shares his views on the increase in NHS waiting times and the dedicated role Spire Healt…
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If you’re using your health insurance to pay for treatment, we’ve tried to make all the steps as simple and efficient as possible.
Simply visit your GP and ask them to refer you to a consultant who practises at your local Spire hospital. Your GP will write a letter of referral and then either you or your GP can contact us to arrange your first appointment.
Your insurance company may require your GP to complete some sections of a claim form. Your GP might make a nominal charge for this service.
Once you and your consultant have agreed on the treatment needed, we will arrange your admission for a time that suits you.
If you need any help or advice, we’re here to help. Just click here to find your local hospital or give us a call on 0800 169 1777.
It’s important you understand the coverage your insurer provides, as you’re responsible for the costs of your treatment.
Before attending your first appointment, you should contact your insurance company to check that your condition is covered for all stages of treatments.
The best way to make sure your insurance company will cover your costs is to contact them prior to each stage of treatment - such as before your first outpatient appointment, outpatient consultation, surgery and follow-up care.
Let them know then about your treatment details and confirm your insurance coverage.
You should also check your policy for any limits on the amount you can claim on certain types of treatment. Most policies will have an annual excess and limits - for example on the amount payable for outpatient treatment. Also check:
Claims processes differ from insurer to insurer. Yours will guide you through their specific process. If your employer provides your insurance, you should follow the claims process specific to your scheme.
Sometimes your insurer requires a claim form for your GP to fill out. If your insurer requires a claim form you should follow the below steps.
Gather the insurance details you’ll need to bring to your out-patient appointment:
If you cannot provide full insurance details or if your insurance does not cover the full cost of your out-patient treatment, we will ask you to pay any hospital charges on the day of your visit.
For most patients, treatment costs are based on agreements with your insurer and payment will be made direct by your insurance company.
We charge for our hospital services such as nursing, use of our facilities, medical consumables etc. Our consultants - surgeons, anaesthetists and physicians - charge independently for their time and expertise.
To make things easier for you, we have direct settlement arrangements with the major UK insurance companies. Your insurer will normally settle your bills from your consultants and us directly. In order to do this we’ll need to know:
We’ll ask you for a swipe of your credit card when you register. This is to cover any insurance excess or shortfall your insurer is not liable to pay such as for sundry items. Your details will be kept securely for up to six months and we will notify you in advance if it’s necessary to use them.
In addition to any insurance excess or co-pay, sundry items may include:
Excesses and balances not covered by private health insurance
If you do not have sufficient cover or if there is an excess on your policy, your insurer will advise you of the outstanding payment due to the hospital. They will also notify us of your excess/out of cover charges and we will send an invoice to you advising of the balance to be processed against your debit or credit card.
Consultants may invoice to your home address and it may be necessary for you to forward bills to your insurer.
Below is a list of contact details for popular insurance companies:
New customers: 0800 028 0849
Existing customers: 0800 028 0849
New customers: 0800 056 7654
Existing customers: 0800 158 3333
AXA PPP Healthcare
New customers: 0800 111 4004
Existing customers: 0800 45 40 80
New customers: 0800 600 500
Existing customers: 0345 609 0111
New customers: 01475 492 222
Existing customers: 0345 722 4462
New customers: 0800 917 4325
Existing customers: 020 8410 0400
Exeter Family Friendly
New customers: 0300 123 3250
Existing customers: 0300 123 3200
General & Medical
New customers: 0800 970 9442
New customers: 0800 028 0849
Existing customers: 0203 819 7159
Healthcare customers: 0345 606 9901
New customers: 0800 015 0226
Existing customers: 0845 300 0867
New and existing customers: 0800 294 6796
New customers: 0800 779 955
Existing customers: 0345 602 3523
New customers: 0800 298 9588
Existing customers: 01823 625 000
*Part of AXA **Previously PruHealth
If your insurance company is not listed above, please refer to your policy documents for the appropriate phone number.
Our expert care is still within your reach, even if you don’t have private health insurance.
Paying for your own treatment is a quick and easy way to get immediate access to the healthcare you need.
Below are some questions and answers we frequently get asked about private health insurance.
Private health insurance is designed to cover the costs of private treatment for unexpected (acute) medical conditions. By paying a regular amount (premium) to an insurance company, you can avoid having to pay the potentially expensive, unexpected costs of treatment and gain access to fast medical treatment from your choice of the UK’s private healthcare providers.
Many insurers describe the types of conditions that they will pay for as those that are short-term and respond to treatment. They will not generally cover the costs of treating on-going conditions that you were aware of before you were insured.
Private medical insurers will usually not cover you for any conditions that were diagnosed, treated, or for which you sought medical advice before your insurance started.
They will also usually not cover the costs of treating chronic, incurable conditions. In addition there will be a list of exclusions on your policy – these commonly include GP services, prescriptions, and A&E admissions.
Depending on the policy you have, there may be limits on the total amount you can claim on certain types of treatments.
This is common for such treatments as physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy etc. Check your policy documents or contact your insurer to find out if you have limits to bear in mind.
Some policies do reward members who do not claim on their private medical insurance policies.
Even if you make no claims, however, the cost of your annual premium is likely to rise over time reflecting your age and the rising costs of providing medical care – new drugs and technologies in hospitals are often expensive.
When you apply for health insurance you will need to make a declaration on a form regarding any pre-existing and past medical conditions. If you have any pre-existing conditions they will not normally be covered by your new policy for a set period of time – perhaps two or five years.
Yes, but you will need to disclose your disability in your medical history declaration. Your insurer may not cover treatments you require as a result of your disability since they involve a pre-existing condition.
Yes it is possible to change insurer. Speak to an insurance broker or a new insurer and they will be able to advise you about the way switching will affect the terms and level of your cover.
It is usually necessary to go to your GP and get a referral for private treatment in order to make a claim to your insurer. Often a claims form will need to be signed by your GP or the specialist you are referred to. If you do not have a claims form you should request one from your insurer. Once you have a referral from your GP simply contact your insurer to confirm that they will cover you – this is called claims authorisation. You can also clarify with them how they will pay for the claim and what to do next.
Under most private medical insurance policies you will need to pay an excess charge on each claim, while the insurer will cover the costs of eligible treatment under that claim. Some policies also require you to meet a proportion of treatment costs up to a specified limit. You will need to consult your policy documentation to confirm arrangements for your scheme.
A co-payment is when you share some of the costs of your treatment with your insurer. The amount you need to co-pay will depend upon your policy, the location and type of treatment you are having. When you contact your insurer for authorisation of a claim you can check if any co-payment will be required.
Yes, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulates the sale of all types of insurance including medical insurance. If an insurer or insurance broker is a member of the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) they will also be bound by the regulations of that body.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) publishes a free guide to purchasing health insurance, designed to help you understand more about how private medical insurance works, so that you can make an informed choice before buying a policy. Visit www.abi.org.uk
Given that private medical insurance can be a difficult product to understand we suggest that it would be worth discussing with a PMI broker who will be able to review your policy and could give you options. If you need to find a broker then you should look for one who is authorised by the FSA. The Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries website can help people looking for a suitable broker. Visit www.amii.org.uk