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How to go private with Medicash?

edited 17 February at 6:09PM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
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hopeitwillhopeitwill Forumite
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edited 17 February at 6:09PM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hi all,

I have been battling with pulsatile tinnitus, plus rosacea and muscle twitching all over my body for the last 1,5 years. On top, I now have daily headaches.
I had a sudden onset of floaters in my eyes, and my astigmatism got worse rapidly within a year.

I have medicash through my employer but I have no idea how to go about it. I was already referred to an ENT specialist on NHS but that was 40 weeks ago. I realise Covid is putting the rest of us on the backlog but things have gotten worse and there is nothing left that I haven't tried to get rid of these.

I also know tinnitus is irreparable but pulsatile tinnitus can be a sign of something else, especially with all the other stuff that I am experiencing.

Does anybody know if it is possible to go to a private specialist without a GP referral when you have medicash (the basic cover)?

Thanks!

Replies

  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    You can go to a private specialist whether you have health cover or not.
    I don't think you can go straight to a consultant but  you can  go through a private GP first who will then refer you if necessary.
    However, if your GP has already referred you for an NHS  consultation  you could ask for a referral for a private consultant.
    Whether your plan will cover the treatment will depend on the value of your plan.
    Your plan documents should give you information or  contact then through their  website https://www.medicash.org
     
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    sheramber said:
    You can go to a private specialist whether you have health cover or not.
    I don't think you can go straight to a consultant but  you can  go through a private GP first who will then refer you if necessary.
    However, if your GP has already referred you for an NHS  consultation  you could ask for a referral for a private consultant.
    Whether your plan will cover the treatment will depend on the value of your plan.
    Your plan documents should give you information or  contact then through their  website https://www.medicash.org
     
    Many, perhaps most, consultants will accept self referrals these days. Normally their own website will tell you as will the website of any private hospitals where they practice.

    That said, most medical insurers will require you to have been referred by a GP if they are going to pay, certainly for the first consultation.

    As you say there is the option of paying for a private GP appointment, probably around £80 to £100 for 20 to 30 mins.
  • hopeitwillhopeitwill Forumite
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    @sheramber and @Undervalued, thanks to both of you.

    I was re-referred to NHS a week ago, but I am not sure if the clock starts from the beginning with that, so probably 40 more weeks and I just can't wait.

    If I ask my GP to send a referral for a private specialist consultation then, and I'm sorry I have no idea how the system works, do I need to then tell which specific consultant they should send the referral to or shall I just ask that to my GP?

  • edited 18 February at 11:04AM
    UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    edited 18 February at 11:04AM
    @sheramber and @Undervalued, thanks to both of you.

    I was re-referred to NHS a week ago, but I am not sure if the clock starts from the beginning with that, so probably 40 more weeks and I just can't wait.

    If I ask my GP to send a referral for a private specialist consultation then, and I'm sorry I have no idea how the system works, do I need to then tell which specific consultant they should send the referral to or shall I just ask that to my GP?

    No, the GP should be able to write a "Dear Colleague" letter and send it to you so that you can foreword it whichever consultant you choose. The GP could charge you for this letter, as it is not part of their NHS duties, but may well not.

    You can also ask for a copy of the NHS referral and that they would have to give you for free. 
  • hopeitwillhopeitwill Forumite
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    @sheramber and @Undervalued, thanks to both of you.

    I was re-referred to NHS a week ago, but I am not sure if the clock starts from the beginning with that, so probably 40 more weeks and I just can't wait.

    If I ask my GP to send a referral for a private specialist consultation then, and I'm sorry I have no idea how the system works, do I need to then tell which specific consultant they should send the referral to or shall I just ask that to my GP?

    No, the GP should be able to write a "Dear Colleague" letter and send it to you so that you can foreword it whichever consultant you choose. The GP could charge you for this letter, as it is not part of their NHS duties, but may well not.

    You can also ask for a copy of the NHS referral and that they would have to give you for free. 
    Thanks ever so much, I will contact my GP!
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
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    Does your health board offer tinnitus retraining therapy?   Mine used to and the lovely Angela saved my life, I think.  Sadly she wasn't replaced when she retired. 

    When my tinnitus changed to pulsating she referred me for a blood test and further hearing tests. Fortunately, it changed again to the hose pipe. 
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • hopeitwillhopeitwill Forumite
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    Does your health board offer tinnitus retraining therapy?   Mine used to and the lovely Angela saved my life, I think.  Sadly she wasn't replaced when she retired. 

    When my tinnitus changed to pulsating she referred me for a blood test and further hearing tests. Fortunately, it changed again to the hose pipe. 
    I had no idea that they might have! I will def check it out, my GP never mentioned anything about it, but they may not know either.
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