Health insurance : I’ve had RA for 12 years . I’m well... - NRAS

NRAS
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Health insurance

DiHi
DiHi

I’ve had RA for 12 years . I’m well,and the medication works well.I would like private Health insurance-when I mention RA-the answer is a loud NO! As a precondition they are just not interested-hopefully I’ll not need surgery,the NHS is great, but,I’m 73,and would like insurance for anything that may happen as I age-does anyone have any good ideas,that won’t break the bank?

17 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

Hi I am sure Nras helpline will be able to give you the benefit of their experience. I don't know the answer but someone will!

DiHi
DiHi
in reply to Hidden

I’ve rung than! No luck-they have never had that question in fact it they that suggested this website!

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to DiHi

Hmm... my OH has recently had 2 procedures, one NHS, one private. The NHS was friendly and efficient in every way, the private hospital had lost pre op assessment notes, took 2 hrs to produce 8 tablets from pharmacy etc, need I say more.. The difference is in timing to suit you and seeing a Consultant each visit.. Insurance is a peculiar thing thats for sure! I hope you find a comfortable solution.

Its the 73 years old that is the issue not the RA, I'd quess as they can't be seeen as agest. I think its great when the Council paid, now retired I can honestly say the NHS is great. Private pays for convience and good food but I'd not pay every month for it now. I just put a bit by and if it means seeing the Consultant faster then self fund. Get a quote over 60 and the cost rises hugely, but you could look at Benenden instead which is a sort of half and half plan. Most importantly and why I think this is that pre existing conditions will not usually be covered so an operation down to inflammation from RA its an on your bike response.

DiHi
DiHi
in reply to medway-lady

Sadly I can’t ride a bike! Driving is just fine-but nothing more than 5 miles! The world seems ageist at times,certainly the workplace-I think the NHS is great,but,if one needs an appointment with a consultant,the wait can easily be over 2months.Im not interested in hospital food,I hope to never have any further need of surgery or admission-just trying to look

After my future needs-as I’m sadly widowed! I’ll look at Benenden ,Thanks

medway-lady
medway-lady
in reply to DiHi

If its life threatening then the NHS is superb. I live South East and been in hospital a few times (blood clots, surgery ) and promise you food is important but our local big hospital now has and M&S Foodstore. I have most done private but to be fair would agree its the wait but as I said I pay the £200 for a private consultation. Its just an existing condition will not be covered anyway so why not just put the money by. I think at 73 a private hospital may not be equiped to deal with some issues as usualy only junior doctors on site as the consultants have gone home. i've just had a fast track appointment and was seen in two weeks and the camera was the following week. Really quick if its necessary.

Pre-existing conditions and chronic conditions are rarely covered by health insurance. So one option would be to ask for a quote for insurance with the RA excluded. The difficulty with that is that the company could argue that anything that happens to you was because of the RA and will refuse to pay.

But generally insurance increases hugely as you age, and at 70+ it starts to get horrific. My sister uses Benenden and finds it a good alternative.

That is awful ! It's almost like getting persecuted for having RA! The insurance companies are quick to take people's cash otherwise! Just had a quick look online, apparently under the affordable care act, health insurance companies CAN'T refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a pre existing condition. I just quickly had a check for you so haven't read the dreaded ' small print' but certainly worth researching. Where there's ten blunt NO's ! there usually is one welcoming YES!

Good Luck

Suzie x

helixhelix
helixhelix
in reply to Shalf

That's USA insurance, which is very different. In the UK your healthcare is free at the point of delivery, and provided by the state healthcare system. However you can get private health insurance too, which helps you get quicker appointments and private care.

Shalf
Shalf
in reply to helixhelix

Yes, I read more into the ACA and seen that it's unfortunately in the US.

Sad for us here in the UK ( re private care) however there is the Insurance Surgery based in Macclesfield UK who apparently deal with pre existing medical conditions on a case by case basis and is dependent on the person's particular situation. It's a damn shame if that option is taken away even though we are very fortunate with our NHS. Worth putting case forward. They can only say no ( again) !

Suzie x

Hi, DiHi.........I don't want to throw cold water on your aspiration to Private Health care, but no Private Health Insurance Company will cover RA as a pre existing condition for any age, as they regard it as an incurable condition.....if you develop RA whilst you have Insurance they will often not cover expensive tests/scans or blood tests related to the RA, & they will try to associate anything you claim is RA related.....& won't pay up. Believe me I know!

Unfortunately once you are 70+ you would find first time Private cover- if you could get it - would be really expensive......I have friends who have had Private insurance for 50 years & they pay £500 per month each,& they don't have RA,& they have to pay the first £1,000 for any treatment every year.

I had a minor procedure entailing an overnight stay in a Private London Hospital recently & it was £5k+....but it would be cheaper outside London.

If you definitely want Private treatment why don't you open some sort of account & put as much as you can afford into it each month? At least then you could afford a quick Private first Consultation.

If you Google Private treatment costs you will see simple blood tests,an X-ray & scan plus a Consultation could go into thousands.

Once we are 70+ the NHS really comes into it's own....once you eventually get an appointment of course!

I do hope you find an acceptable solution, but do take advice before you sign up to anything......any insurance is a minefield,but medical insurance needs extra care.

Aged crone this is exactly my point and I do this as in put money by, the RA was covered when diagnosed when it was a Council (works) policy but after retirement I thought at £400 a month in a few months I'd be able to use that money to see someone privately. The BUPA hospitals are nice but to be honest the NHS isn't perfect but its saved my life twice to date and when its a life threatening condition then NHS is without doubt best. I thank the NHS every day, for every day. I believe that paying is a luxury I can, and do do but its for convience as the treatment is faster but same doctors. In fact drugs can be cheaper on private prescriptions which is a laugh, if not you could end up mortagaging the house to pay for a few months of biologics. lol x

Exactly ML, I was speaking to a physio & she opened my eyes, by saying if I fell over & broke my hip, if I was taken to A&E...my private insurance company would not move me to a private hospital to see my own specialist as they would describe that as being "an unstable patient" & refuse any claim! They would however pay up if it was a pre-arranged surgery, but not an accident.

What darn good is that?

Private Insurance has always been a minefield , but with any AI disease it has become impossible, as the people you speak to for authorisation have no understanding of what you are talking about, & you now need even more special codes to access treatment .

Years ago when I had sinus surgery i was sent to have a brain scan....when I queried it.......it turned out one number in my code was wrong & they had me down as a brain surgery patient.

Minefield hardly describes it !

As you say thank goodness for the NHS....waiting lists & all!

I’m in the USA where health insurance is the only option and I can tell you why they don’t want to cover you. My insurance pays $4,800 per month just for my Enbrel pens and $400 every three months for my Rheumy visits. There is clearly no room for profit from RA patients on their roster. Thankfully, I am part of a group from my former employer and they can’t just dump me.

DiHi
DiHi
in reply to dbestdeb

Luckily I get l my meds,including my Chimza injections on the NHS! So that’s great-it’s just that I’ve aleays had private insurance,but,Bupa Global,are now so expensive,and they didn’t pay for a couple of claims! As I had only a few claims over the last year-the premium is just not reasonable! Which is thy I’m looking for another company!

They like to deny claims. Mine didn’t want to pay for Enbrel but my doctor knows some magic words to say to them and they okayed it after all. And yes, it’s expensive here too, to have a good plan, and with RA that really isn’t optional. Good luck finding what you need. :)

Hidden
Hidden

Hey DiHi,

I’m from Australia, but we have a similar national scheme as the UK. At 73, I can understand the issue of trying to get PH at that age. I would go and have a good chat with your GP about how you feel. I’m thinking that NHS should be good. Our guys triage stuff on the basis of urgency (not related to age - more related to incapacitation) - so, have that chat. I know it’s mercenary, but it’s cheaper to keep you functioning at home that have you go into care - hope that’s not too brutal, but it’s the truth, cheers Deb :)

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