Making The Most of Your Private Medical Insurance

There is a trend amongst the Private Medical Health Insurers (PMI) to advise you on who to see when you contact them to get authorisation for treatment. They will offer you ‘specialists’ in each particular field. However, you should be aware that this is not based on expertise. It is purely based on whether the professional has signed up to their fee structure which in turn tends to be well below the market rate – particularly for Osteopaths outside of the M25. Following referral, recommendation or personal research, you can – and should – insist that you want to see the practitioner of your choice and most insurers (with the exception of BUPA) tend to allow this. Our clinic and the practitioners working here are registered with all companies apart from BUPA because BUPA still insist that you are treated only by their cheaper practitioners and they do not allow you the option of paying the difference yourself.

The same will often apply after a car accident: If you require treatment, the insurance company – or their agents – will offer only those practitioners who have accepted a low rate of treatment fee and NOT practitioners who are particularly specialist in their field, as they tend to imply. This allows the agency to take a larger ‘cut’ from the treatment fee for themselves. We have heard of agencies who act as middle men charging £60 to the insurers for a treatment but paying only £30 of that to the practitioner. Unfortunately this will often also result in considerable travelling distance which is not in the patient’s best interests for a rapid recovery. Again you can state that you want to see a particular practitioner, the only issue being that you may initially have to pay for the treatment personally and then claim it back from the insurance company afterwards.

AXA / PPP are in the habit of telling their customers that we are not registered with them when in fact both Dawn and Mark are registered as individuals. The problem is that PPP will not register the clinic as a whole as they say they already have enough clinics!

We hope that you can understand and sympathise with the various problems we encounter when dealing with the different PMI systems. However the important thing is for YOU as the policy holder to INSIST on seeing the practitioner of your choice. Try to avoid using agencies and websites offering to make appointments on your behalf as they will obviously put their own financial interests as a priority and not your health and convenience. Make appointments with us directly by telephone (01732 453956) or by using our online booking system at www.springbankclinic.co.uk and should you need any help or advice, please do not hesitate to discuss this with us.