How you will source your private medical treatment will depend on your insurance provider but the following article provides an overview of the common methods of finding private health treatment for those with a private medical cash plan.
Once your claim has been approved you should have the option of finding treatment yourself and negotiating the price or using the insurance company’s independent treatment sourcing service.
Your insurance provider should give you a “benefit entitlement figure” or a budget of money for procedures covered by your plan. This budget has been worked out to cover the likely cost of medical treatment for particular procedures. However, should the procedure cost less, you will be able to keep the difference.
Figures from private health insurance provider Patient Choice found that the average amount if money left over after private medical treatment is £500.
Similarly, patients also have the choice to get their treatment, or part of it, on the NHS if they wish to do so. In this case they will be able to keep their budget.
In the unlikely event that the treatment you require costs more than your cash plan budget allows, you’ll be expected to pay the shortfall yourself. However, with fixed price packages this should not be a problem. You can also choose to have all or part of the treatment on the NHS to avoid paying out yourself.
Fixed-price treatment packages
Fixed price packages are offered by a number of medical insurance providers and offer a cost-effective way for people to buy treatment using their own money or a cash plan budget.
The packages are an ‘all-in’ way to manage treatment payment. They normally include:
• Fees for the consultant surgeon/physician and anesthetist
• Any charges related to use of the operating theatre
• X-rays etc. (in-patient)
• Physiotherapy (in-patient)
• Any treatment for the original condition which is required within 30 days of the procedure
You can also pick and choose a tailor-made treatment package to suit you using your benefit entitlement figure. For example you might prefer to pay extra in order to have a private room. Alternatively you might want to economize by opting to share. You should be told what any costs will be in advance and this will enable you to manage your cash plan budget effectively.