Health insurance is a valuable benefit that goes a long way towards helping make treatment more affordable. In recent years many of the major insurers have introduced requirements on osteopaths that forces them to provide treatment according to their financial rules which have the potential to conflict with the arrangement in place between the patient and their osteopath.
When you call to speak to them, some insurers ‘insist’ that osteopath’s fees are paid directly by them rather than you submitting receipts and being reimbursed. This may be because insurers will settle your account on a different time frame to their providers (your osteopath). It is not uncommon for it to take as much as six weeks for invoices to be paid, only to find that an excess has already been deducted from our payment, leaving us short. Unfortunately, this means that we then have to chase you for the deficit – not only is this embarrassing for you but it may come as a surprise as often this call may be many weeks after your treatment has ended.
Also, many insurers will only pay a set amount per session and expect you to make up any shortfall, we do not believe it fair to offer different pricing to insured and uninsured clients.
Because of this, we cannot offer an account service for treatment provided, whether for insured or private patients. Each patient is asked to pay for treatment at the time of their appointment but of course you remain able to claim those fees back from insurers subject to the terms of your policy.
We strongly advise you speak to any insurer prior to undertaking treatment as you will remain liable for all fees incurred, unfortunately there can be no exceptions to this policy.
If you intend to reclaim the cost of your treatment, we recommend that before you attend:
- Call your insurer and inform them of your intention to attend for osteopathy
- Tell them the name of your osteopath (call reception who can help you with this information, please be aware that some insurers have practitioner preferences)
- Ensure they will refund you on provision of receipts, be prepared for the above scenario but remember, as their customer, you do have a right to choose how your account is managed
By telling your insurer this information, and where possible, getting written/emailed authority to proceed, all you need do is ask for receipts when paying for your appointment.
Every insurer has different rules which may have changed since your last claim, so it is important that you have a conversation with them. We are not involved in any way with your policy and will not communicate with your insurers without your express consent, we therefore cannot become involved and hold no responsibility in any dispute related to cover or insurer payments.
Asking you to manage your insurer account is a simpler way of managing fee payments for all parties and we hope you understand our reasons for enforcing this policy. Should you have any questions about the information on this page please get in touch.