The Beacon Hospital in Dublin has said it has reached agreements with the three main health insurers to cover the cost of tests for Covid-19 for their subscribers prior to admission to its facilities.
Beacon Hospital said that VHI, Irish Life Health and Laya Healthcare had agreed that they would cover the cost of the test in the future .
Subscribers who had attended Beacon in recent weeks and who had to pay the €250 cost of the Covid-19 pre-admission test themselves will be reimbursed by the hospital.
Beacon said on Tuesday that it was the first private hospital in the country to have negotiated an agreement with all three major insurers on the Covid-19 test.
Beacon Hospital said that in line with national guidelines from the HSE some patients were tested for Covid-19 prior to admission. It said these included patients attending for surgery under general anaesthetic, those that were identified as being in the higher risk categories and those that required admission for overnight stays.
Beacon Hospital chief executive Michael Cullen said:"The priority at all times for Beacon Hospital is the health and safety of our patients and staff. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have reinforced and introduced a number of enhanced safety measures, including pre-admission Covid-19 tests for certain patients in line with national guidelines. While the tests are imperative, we are delighted to have secured agreements on behalf of our patients which will ensure that our partners in the private health insurance sector will cover the cost of tests deemed clinically necessary."
Beacon Hospital also said on Tuesday that members of the public could avail of testing at a new facility it has put in place.
“ It will be open to the general public from August 1st for those who wish to be screened for Covid-19.
“ People who wish to avail of the service do not need to be symptomatic, or may, for example, display mild symptoms.”
“ If they are not a Beacon Hospital patient within the relevant category for pre-admission screening, they will be required to pay the €250 fee for their test as it will not be covered by insurance.
“ The clinic will be open Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm, by appointment only”, it said.