Step 1

GP referral

To make a claim through your private medical insurer, you will usually need to provide them with a referral letter from your GP.
Some insurers may allow you to self refer for certain treatments such as physiotherapy. Your insurer will tell you which conditions and treatments require a referral letter.

Step 2

Contact your insurer

You should always contact your insurer before booking an appointment with us so that they can pre-authorise your treatment.
Your insurer will check that your policy covers you to see the consultant you want or that has been recommended to you, at a Spire hospital that suits you.
If you have not been referred to a specific named consultant, your insurer will provide a choice of consultants to pick from.

Step 3

Book a consultation appointment

Contact the customer adviser team at your chosen Spire hospital to book with us directly. You'll need to provide your insurer details, pre-authorisation code and consultant name when you get in touch.

Make an enquiry


Private medical insurance companies

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 783 1279
Existing customers: 0800 45 40 80

New customers: 0800 600 500
Existing customers: 0845 609 0111

New customers: 01475 492 222
Existing customers: 0845 722 4462

CS Healthcare
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
Existing customers:

New customers: 0844 209 0136
Existing customers: 0208 481 7760

New customers: 0800 015 0226
Existing customers: 0845 300 0867

New and existing customers: 0800 294 6796

Vitality Health**
New customers: 0370 218 5802
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.

More information on using your private medical insurance

Confirm coverage with your insurance company

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 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:

  • if there are any monetary limits for out-patient treatment
  • if outpatient coverage is restricted to claims that result in a hospital admission

Processing claims

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.

  • Bring it with you when you attend your first outpatient appointment
  • Let the Spire patient administrator know if you have a claim form and it is already with your consultant, GP or insurance company
  • If you are being admitted for in-patient or day-case treatment, please hand your claim form to the patient administrator so that we may arrange for the medical section to be completed by your consultant
  • Make sure you have completed and signed the "patient/member" section on the claim form.

Before you come into hospital

Gather the insurance details you’ll need to bring to your outpatient appointment:

  • your policy documentation even if you have attended a Spire hospital before
  • your insurance company name and scheme details
  • your membership or policy number
  • any confirmation of eligibility such as a pre-authorisation or claim reference number

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.

Payment process

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:

  • your insurer
  • your registration number
  • your scale/level of cover
  • your scheme details if you are insured under a company scheme
  • your pre-authorisation number for your treatment

We’ll ask you for a swipe of your debit or 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:

  • specialist equipment to aid recovery eg a wrist brace, crutches
  • drugs to take home if they are not already included in your overall treatment arrangements
  • personal expenses such as telephone calls, meals for visitors, newspapers

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.

About private medical insurance

What is private medical insurance for?

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.

What is not covered by private medical insurance?

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, cosmetic surgery and A&E admissions.

Are there limits on what I can claim each year?

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.

What details of my health will I need to provide to get PMI?

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.

Can I get private medical insurance if I have a disability?

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.

Can I move to a new insurer?

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.

If I am insured will I have to pay towards my hospital treatment?

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.

What is a co-payment?

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.

Is private medical insurance regulated?

Yes, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 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.

Where can I get advice on buying private medical insurance?

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

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 FCA. The Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries website can help people looking for a suitable broker. Visit  

Not covered?

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.

Learn more about paying for yourself

inSpire private medical insurance

We have worked in partnership with APRIL UK - an award winning insurance provider - to create ‘inSpire’ an innovative private medical insurance plan that combines high quality healthcare with exceptional value for money. ‘inSpire’ allows you to receive a wide range of treatments from any of our hospitals throughout the UK.

Find out more about inSpire