Podcast with Plastic Surgery Hub’s Trish Hammond & TLC’s Tim Boon – Finance Options for your surgery

Podcast with Plastic Surgery Hub’s Trish Hammond & TLC’s Tim Boon – Finance Options for your surgery

New to the market, TLC (Total Lifestyle Credit) are here, and I’m pretty excited by it. Sometimes we need to have procedures done and can’t afford them. Well TLC can help us with options. I know myself I had back surgery last year which set me back almost $30,000 (YES IT’S TRUE!) and without options such as TLC, I could still be walking around with 9/10 pain if I couldn’t get access to funds to have this life changing surgery. Today, Tim chats with me about options that are available to patients in a variety of health areas that might be needed.


Trish: Hey, podcasters. Once again, we’re here today, and I’ve got something a little bit different for you today. Today, I’m going to be talking to Tim Boon. Tim is from TLC, which is Total Lifestyle Credit, and today we’re going to have a bit of a chat about what your options are when you’re looking to have a procedure and you can’t afford it, or can’t get your hands on the money straight away, or just some other options that are available to you and what TLC has to offer. Welcome, Tim.

Tim Boon: Hello. Hello. Thank you for having me.

Trish: Thank you so much for joining us today on this lovely Saturday, where most people have got a day off, but we’re still working. How’s that?

Tim Boon: Too true. Too true. Yes. Exactly.

Trish: Tim, I know TLC has just come on to the market. Can you just tell us a little bit about it?

Tim Boon: Sure. Total Lifestyle Credit has come about … I’ve been involved in the medical and cosmetic sector for over 11 years, and fundamentally, one of the things that I noticed about the medical and cosmetic sector was that the cost for specific treatment was always a significant one, because the skillset of the doctors and surgeons involved were of a very high level and therefore demanded a specific level of price point. I’ve re-launched my business, TLC, to provide a service so that people that were looking at having treatments have an opportunity to be able to go with a surgeon they really want to without having to worry about coming out with the cashflow themselves.

Trish: Right. Okay, so what you’re offering is like a payment plan for people that, as opposed to like it’s a different-

Tim Boon: Using their credit cards or yeah, exactly. Yeah, so basically, the funding line option that we’ve got for clients allows them to get a payment plan from between two to fifty thousand. The cool thing about what TLC does is that we provide funding for any type of medical treatment, so anything ranging from IVF, cardio, urology, going all the way through to things like bariatric, cosmetic, plastic surgery, but we not only cover the surgeon fees, but we also cover also the extenuating costs, like anaesthetists in hospital, if flight and accommodation needs to be covered, or pharmaceutical device costs. It’s a great opportunity, because there are a lot of out-of-pocket expenses from having both elective and non-elective treatments, so we provide that service opportunity so that people that want to have a payment plan for plastic surgery or payment plan for a treatment like bariatric, they can get the funding available. The cool thing about our service is that the payment plan is structured around people getting medical treatment, so any private health or Medicare benefit rebates can be put straight back on to the payment plan at no charge.

Trish: Okay, so is it … What sectors do you enable, are able to offer this for? Because like I had back surgery last year, and that cost me a fortune. That cost me 30,000. Having said that, it was the best 30,000 that I ever spent, because I was in a 10 level of pain for so long, so would something like that have been something that you could have helped me with?

Tim Boon: Absolutely. Yeah. Look, there are so many people that either don’t have the funds or have to save up or procrastinate over having the right treatment. Yeah, there are some treatments out there in the orthopaedic and spinal sectors that can be unbelievably costly, and a lot of people now don’t have private health insurance or such, so yeah, we cover any type of medical treatment out there in the market. The great thing about it is, is that the funds are always paid directly into your account so that you can then organise the correct payment to the correct business sector, because invariably, with every treatment, there comes a charge for not only the surgeon, like I said. You’ve got anaesthetists in hospital. There’s a whole lot of other costs, and unfortunately, private health and MBS don’t cover all of that, so we just assist and make sure that we cover that gap payment.

Trish: Okay, so even like incidental, so for example if I needed to, like it was … Actually, I suppose you just need a total cost from the surgeon, or …

Tim Boon: Well, do you know what, that’s so funny you say that, because in a lot of instances, people have procedures but don’t realise that there are a lot of extenuating costs that come with it, like devices need to be bought, like compression vests, or a lot of subsidiary pharmaceutical costs that come with having a treatment, as you would have known, having back surgery as such, there’s a lot of expense coming to that, so we also make sure that the patient is covered for that, because invariably a lot of people have a predisposed idea of what costs are. It’s funny you mention it, because you have got an extreme, like something like back surgery, but then you’ve also got something as simple as someone wanting to get their child a tonsillectomy. It might only be 5,000, but a lot of people haven’t got the funds available for it, and you only get a specific portion back from the MBS and private health option, so we can cover anything from simplistic stuff like that to major spinal work as well. There’s nothing that we can’t do.

The great thing about it is, is that the funding that we provide, the client has complete control over, so if they want to pay it off in a month, they can. They only get charged interest on the term they use, and that’s why people like using us, is that people have the flexibility to control how they manage that side.

Trish: Yeah. I’ll give you a classic example where it can come in really handy. I’ve got a girlfriend who just recently had a, she had to have an endoscopy, because she got some results back or whatever, or she did the poo test. That’s why she had to have an endoscopy, and … I know. She went, she was going through the public system. It was going to be six weeks before she could have her endoscopy, and something just sort of said to her, “You know what? I think I need to get this done sooner,” which meant she had to find the money to get that done, but you know what? It actually turns out that if she had waited the six weeks, she could have actually been in a bit of trouble, so as it was, they got it within that time that it was actually, that she could actually do something. You just don’t know when you might-

Tim Boon: You just-

Trish: … actually need the-

Tim Boon: … don’t need. No, you’d be absolutely right there, Trish, and do you know what? I was speaking to a patient only recently who was having rhinoplasty for medical purposes, because they had a deviated septum, and again, the cost of the treatment, they was still over seven or eight thousand dollars out of pocket. There’s been instances where we’ve worked with a lot of device businesses that, help people out in the cardiology and urology sector, and it’s able to enable people to be able to get on with their lives and have the treatment they decide to want to proceed with, as opposed to having to wait, either on the public system, and go through that rigmarole-

It’s all about having that level of control back. There’s also a large sector in the plastic surgery market, like abdominoplasty. Obviously, it’s now been taken off the MBS scheme, which is a real shame for all the mums out there getting mummy makeovers and they’ve, unfortunately, had body change because of having children, as such, and they can’t claim on the MBS anymore, which means that going to the right surgeon and getting it organised with someone that you know is going to be able to provide a great level of surgery, sometimes comes at an extra level of cost. Invariably, we want people to make the right decisions about going to see the right specialists and surgeons.

Trish: Exactly.

Tim Boon: That’s what I think’s so significant about what I’m trying to do. There’s certainly not an area where … We even do something as simple as funding for a child and adolescent disorder, or a psychotherapy, or dieticians, because there are so many other treatments that are involved after having surgery that people need to get sorted out as well. We’re trying to make it so that every client has that opportunity to be able to get the funding so they can get the treatment they want.

Trish: Yeah. No, it makes so much sense. It’s about being able to provide people with the service that they need, basically, because it is that kind of a world these days.

Tim Boon: Well, there is … Look, I’ve had three children. I’m so blessed to have three kids, and I’m also very fortunate that I was able to go through the private system, but there are so many people that would prefer to go through the private system that go through that situation, and it still is, out of pocket, three to five thousand dollars. There are people out there that would love to be able to use that service and that opportunity but just don’t know what’s available. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about trying to make sure people are aware that they do have options, and it means that they can make the right decisions for themselves and their kids.

Even if you look at how things go, I mean, I know you’ve got kiddies, but my kiddies are a lot younger than yours, and when you look at simplistic things like going to see a paediatric dentist, which is not covered at all by any backend option at all, everything is an out-of-pocket expense, having kids can be quite an expensive and onerous thing on parents out there, but you want to make sure that you’re giving them the best as well.

Trish: Oh, totally. Yeah. Yeah.

Tim Boon: There are so many areas that invariably come at such a high cost, but are the correct things to do for both parents and kids.

Trish: Of course. Just giving a heads-up, although your son might be younger, my son’s 20, and he’s just had a visit to the dentist that cost me 2,500. The reason it cost me-

Tim Boon: Still cost you, Trish. Wow.

Trish: I’ll tell you, the reason it cost me is because he’s only just started work. Do you know what I mean? He’s not going to have those funds. He needs those teeth fixed, because you’ve only got one set of teeth, and so it doesn’t get any better, Tim.

Tim Boon: Look, do you know what? That’s the great thing about TLC, is that if your son was looking at getting a treatment but was unable, and we do have a specific criteria. You’ve got to be able to show that you’re working, and you’ve got to have a relatively clear credit file, but essentially, you could apply on your son’s behalf if you wanted to, and…

Trish: He can… pay it back. Yeah.

Tim Boon: Yeah. It gives you complete flexibility, because there’s a lot of people. We’ve worked with The Butterfly Foundation, we’ve worked with the Stem Cell Foundation, to assist a lot of people that need to be able to get the correct treatment. Invariably, it doesn’t actually come from the patient here. It has to come from a family member or partner, and we can absolutely provide that service for them as well.

Trish: No, that’s awesome. Tell me, so what is the actual process, so like can you give us a bit of an insight of what someone has to do to.

Tim Boon: 100%. Yeah. Great. Well, look, I’ve tried to make it as simplistic as possible. What we do is, we have like a really simple online application that takes about 30 seconds to complete at tlc.com.au. Once you’ve completed that, we actually have account managers, and they will actually call you up and go through your specific situation and the medical sector that you’re looking at getting funded for, and then we’ll confirm a few more bits of information. It generally takes about two to five minutes to confirm the rest of it, and then the whole process is managed by my team. There is no running around for the client to have to worry about. When we organise funding, we update the client, transfer the funds into their account. We also update the clinic to let them know that we’ve organised funding for it. The great thing about it is, is that we’ve taken the stress out of the process. It’s all privately done through us. Invariably, if people can provide the information to us within a given time, we can organise funding within 24 to 48 hours.

Trish: Oh, that’s great, so if-

Tim Boon: Which helps if you’ve got emergency dental work to have to do, which has happened a lot.

Trish: Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so it’s not … Basically, I mean, not that it’s … You want something like this to be easy, but it is good when you’ve got all that stress going on that you don’t have to worry about that side of it. The only requirements are that you’ve got to be working full-time?

Tim Boon: No, no, no. You can be working full-time, part-time, casual, self-employed. As long as you’re able to show a proof of income and you don’t have any adverse issues on your credit file, they’re the kind of minimum criteria, and yeah, we can then look at obtaining your payment solution for the medical treatment. Really, the whole process of TLC is just to de-stress someone, because going to have a medical treatment can sometimes be unbelievably stressful, like you said, going and having back surgery. It certainly isn’t a walk in the park, is it? It’s a pretty serious thing.

Trish: Exactly.

Tim Boon: The last thing you want to worry about is, “Where am I going to get the 30 grand from? How can I get this together?” The amount of people that I’ve spoken to over the years that have said, “Oh, my God, if I’d have known that I could have got a payment solution rather than having to ask family and scrimp and scrape and delay my … “

Trish: Totally.

Tim Boon: ” … opportunity to have the surgery, I would have so much preferred this, to be aware.” That’s what I’m trying to do, is just make everyone be aware that there are options for them.

Trish: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like because people are drawing on their super and stuff like that, because they’re thinking there’s no other options, but there are other options out there. You don’t need to … Sometimes-

Tim Boon: Goes through-

Trish: … I think-

Tim Boon: … that rigmarole, exactly, yeah-

Tim Boon: … and take those-

Trish: Medical tip.

Tim Boon: risks. Yeah. I mean, there are options like that, and it really depends on the specific situation, but like I said to you, we just want to make TLC as easy as possible to the extent of making sure that there’s no extra stress in your life because you’re making a very, very important decision about either yourself or a family member, and you want to make sure this is one thing that you don’t have to worry about.

Trish: Yeah. No, that sounds great, Tim. I reckon it’s great what you’re doing, and I’m really excited, because we’ve actually, Plastic Surgery Hub is a real advocate for what you do, and we’ve kind of, I don’t know, formed an alliance, I suppose, so that anyone sends any queries through to us about that, we’ll put them straight on to you, because…

Tim Boon: Do you know what? Look, TLC have got such a great respect for Plastic Surgery Hub, because you bring real information to real people about what’s going on in that specific market space. I think that’s so important that people are aware of that doctors are accessible, and information is accessible about having treatments, and you don’t just make a decision because of the price point. You actually make a decision, and you do your due diligence. It’s about having a treatment because it’s the right one for you.

Trish: Yeah. That’s true. Thanks, Tim. We appreciate those words, and it’s true, it’s about making an informed choice. It’s the same thing, we just kind of want to do what you do. We just kind of want to help people in the way that we know how, so same as what you-

Tim Boon: Well, you’ve been doing that for so many years, so I’m so happy to be affiliated with Plastic Surgery Hub.

Trish: So have you. The mutual admiration society here.

Tim Boon: A mutual admiration, absolutely. Absolutely.

Trish: Well, thanks, Tim. That’s been really lovely chatting with you. Thank you.

Tim Boon: Look, thank you so much for making time on a Saturday for me.

Trish: No problem. Well, listeners, so if you’re looking at having a procedure done or need something done, and a payment plan is definitely, definitely an option for you to have a look at if you haven’t thought of it before. As Tim said, you can look him up on the website at tlc.com.au, or you can also.

Trish: … drop us an email to info@plasticsurgeryhub.com.au. Thanks, Tim. Thanks very much.

Tim Boon: Thank you so much, Trish.

Trish: No worries. Bye.

Tim Boon: Bye.


*This transcript is taken from an interview with TLC Director, Tim Boon and Trish Hammond, founder of Plastic Surgery Hub. We have very gratefully reposted her work to inform and educate our customers. You can find more of Trish’s wonderful articles at: www.plasticsurgeryhub.com.au

Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn’t mind a little bit of ‘help’ from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.