Private Medical Insurance

Whether you have your own private medical insurance policy or are covered through your work, make sure you benefit from fast access to private healthcare when you need it most.

Prior to your consultation with us

Mother and child flying a kite

Ask your GP for a referral

In most circumstances you will need a referral from your GP. Your GP will either give you a referral letter at your appointment, or they will make the referral to us on your behalf.

  • I have my referral letter
    If you already have your referral letter, please call us on 0800 096 2906 to book your consultation.
  • My GP has made a referral on my behalf
    If your GP has made the referral on your behalf, a member of our team will call you directly, usually on the same day, to arrange a convenient appointment time.

Call your private medical insurer

Make sure you have the referral details to hand as your insurer will need this information to confirm you are covered by your policy.

Getting your GP referral

  1. Your GP may not ask you whether you have  private medical insurance so remember to tell them during your appointment.
  2. You can choose which BMI Healthcare hospital you would like to be referred to.
  3. Depending on your insurance policy you may be able to choose which consultant you would like to see. You can view profiles for over 6,000 Consultants who work with us so make sure you take the opportunity to research your consultant. If you don’t have a preference, or are unsure who to see, ask your GP for advice.
  4. Your GP may encourage you to try treatment on the NHS first. However if you would prefer to use your insurance and go to a private hospital, you have the right to do so and can insist on a private referral.
  5. In most cases your insurer will require a GP referral before approving your treatment. However some insurers will allow you to claim for physiotherapy treatment without a GP referral. Call your insurer to find out more.

Your insurance claim

As we work with all of the major insurers, your treatment is likely to be covered at your local BMI Healthcare hospital but do check this with your insurer. Although policies and procedures vary between insurers, we’ve put together some top tips on claiming your insurance.

For specific information to your insurer, please refer to their how to claim guides or give them a call.

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  1. Most insurers operate a paperless claims process, making the process faster and simpler.
  2. Make sure the GP referral includes the recommended care you require as your insurer will ask for this at point of claiming. Remember it is important to tell your GP if you have a preferred hospital and/or clinician in mind so they can include this in the referral letter
  3. When you call your insurer make sure you have your insurance membership number and the referral details ready including, who you have been referred to and where you would like to go to for treatment.
  4. Make sure you find out whether your insurance policy covers you for your consultation and if known at this stage, any other healthcare needs such as diagnostic tests and surgery
  5. Once you have confirmation that your policy will cover your required treatment, most insurers will issue you with a pre-authorisation number for your treatment
  6. Make sure you call your insurer to authorise any further consultations or treatment if required.
  7. In most cases BMI Healthcare will send the invoice directly to your insurer, however there may be an excess (for example, the first £100) that you will need to pay. Your insurer will confirm what level of excess applies to your policy.
  8. We have a dedicated team who work with the insurers to answer any questions regarding the claims process, should you have any queries or need some advice.

Common myths about using
your private medical insurance

I will have to pay a high excess if I use my PMI.

Many PMI policies will apply an excess when you are making a claim, however that may not be as high as you would expect. For the majority of policies the excess is between £100 -£300.

It is also worth noting that many insurers will only apply the excess once during a 12 month period, no matter how many times you need to use your insurance

Claiming is a tedious process - there is too much admin work.

There is a common misconception that you have to spend a considerable amount of time when making a claim on your policy. The truth is the majority of insurers have a paperless claims process. This means that, in most cases, you can activate your insurance with one simple phone call to your insurer.

We also have a dedicated team ready to help answer your questions about making a claim or using your PMI, so just get in touch.

I have to be treated at the hospital advised by my GP or insurer.

We work with all major insurers so it’s likely that if you want to be seen by a consultant in a BMI hospital, you can. Just remember to tell your GP you have PMI and ask to be referred to the private hospital of your choice. The same applies when speaking with your insurer; in most cases you can choose your preferred local hospital and consultant.

Private hospitals are not experienced or equipped to deliver serious, complex surgery or treatment.

We are experts in diagnostics, physiotherapy and minor procedures, but we also specialise in high-level, complex surgeries and treatments such as: complex spinal, orthopaedic and neuro surgery, cancer care including surgery and chemotherapy, and cardiac care, performing over 4,000 complex cardiac procedures a year. Our Critical Care and High Dependency Units along with our highly specialist consultants and nursing teams enable us to offer complex procedures and treatments

Make the most out of your PMI and benefit from receiving private care, no matter how big or small the problem is.

I have a pre-existing condition so I can’t benefit from private healthcare.

A ‘pre-existing condition’ is a disease, illness or injury you have had in the past. Typically, insurers will not cover treatment for any medical conditions you may have had within 7 years prior to taking out your policy. This may be something you had seen your GP about, had diagnosed or treated.

However, you’ll usually be able to use your PMI for any new condition, illness or injury. If you have any queries about your cover and what qualifies as a pre-existing condition, speak to your insurer directly and find out more.

I have PMI through my work but I don’t want them to know my medical history.

You can be reassured that BMI Healthcare and your insurance company are obliged by law to keep your medical details and treatment private and confidential.

I can get the same treatment on the NHS so why go private?

The majority of treatments provided at BMI Healthcare are available on the NHS. However, the speed of access to diagnosis and treatment is generally faster within private healthcare. So if you use your PMI you are likely to find out what is wrong with you faster, allowing you to start your treatment sooner.

Also, at BMI Healthcare you’re guaranteed to be diagnosed and treated by a senior consultant specialist. Using your PMI will also mean benefitting from convenient appointment times, a calm and dignified experience and private facilities.

Want to find out more? Speak to one of our advisers today

0800 096 2906Live chat