How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

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potsandpans
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How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby potsandpans » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:06 pm

Just wondering if anyone would recommend their health insurance company and how much it would cost for a family of four with no big medical issues. I would also love to know if people feel it is worth the cost? We are debating whether to go ahead and get cover. Thanks.

 
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Bishops12
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Re: How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby Bishops12 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:25 am

Hi

We're with Vitality Health and for a family of 4 we pay £280 per month. It has risen from £235 last year because of our ages (43 and 45) and also because I had a fairly large claim. I wouldn't be without it. Last year I had a nasty bout of covid and it left me with heart issues and thyroid problems, all of which took a fair amount of investigations, blood tests, ecgs, heart scans, xrays and on going consultanf appointments. Of course I could have gone through the NHS but it would have been months (i think from memory 3 months for a first appointment and then I would have to wait again for the procedures) whereas privately I was seen within a few days for both heart and thyroid.
It can seem a lot of money but when you need it, it is such a relief to have. I can absolutely recommend Vitality too... no hassles paying out at all and they have member benefits such as diecounted garmins/apple watches.
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SWtastic
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Re: How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby SWtastic » Tue May 04, 2021 9:32 am

We are with Vitality and find them a nightmare.  We have an on-going claim after our daughter's recent operation and subsequent physio - their back office admin is chaotic e.g. I phoned to find out how many sessions she had left that would be covered last week and at the start of the call was told 8, it then changed to 2 and at the end went back up to 6 - they really don't have a clue.  

In order to have the surgery done, the surgeon required a letter from Vitality confirming that they would cover the operation as he said they are the worst company to deal with from his point of view and he often has to fight for payment for fairly routine operations that they'd agreed at the outset but then backtracked on.  We found some surgeons won't deal with them at all. 

They can also be tricky with hospital choices.  In a previous instance several years ago, the surgeon could only operate on a child at one particular hospital.  They insisted they would only cover the claim if it was done at the hospital he operated at but the hospital was not registered to have juvenile patients.  I suggested the operation should take place in our living room in the absence of a resolution!  They eventually agreed to cover at the children's hospital.

Her physio won't deal with them directly, as he does with most other insurers, as their payment system is so inconsistent so we pay up front and then claim back, which itself brings issues.  In spite of this, five weeks in to physio they started paying half of the cost direct to the physio - no one at Vitality could tell us why as it wasn't recorded on their system!

We're dumping them when our daughter's treatment is finished.  I really couldn't recommend them at all.
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dudette
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Re: How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby dudette » Tue May 04, 2021 10:13 am

We’ve always had BUPA and they’ve always been pretty easy to deal with. We have a large excess which reduces the cost of premiums but means it’s there if we need it. I have to say that the difference between private medicine and the NHS is like the difference between flying business and economy. The destination is the same but the journey is much more pleasant!
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goalie
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Re: How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby goalie » Tue May 04, 2021 10:26 am

We were with Aviva for quite a few years (until I left full-time work through which I'd been getting private insurance). Found it to be pretty good both in terms of coverage and also dealing with claims etc, but the premium kept getting hiked signficantly each year. Started at £200ish/month and kept going up 10% or so a year. It's just annoying. Yes we're a middle-aged couple with middle-aged health problems - mainly joint stuff - but actually we're healthy and it's annoying that they just kept raising the premium. Unfortunately, there aren't many affordable alternatives. Ours got so expensive that we've recently taken up my husband's insurance which we previously opted out of because it was pricey once you'd taken into account taxes having to be paid on the benefit. But Aviva got even pricier than that. 

Think you have to think about what you really want it for - you can get it affordably by choosing an NHS option - where you only use private if a wait is longer than 3 months - and/or reducing coverage limits etc. 
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Julietg32
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Re: How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby Julietg32 » Tue May 04, 2021 1:56 pm

Hi

I run a private physio company and we only deal with AXA and BUPA as all the other insurance companies vary between being slow to pay and really really useless.  Vitality are one of the worst we had to deal with and anyone who deals with an intermediary.  Lots of insurance companies tell you that their policy is with them but they then pass you over to an intermediary who have lots more stipulations and restrictions on their policies.

I stopped pay insurance about 10 years ago and now pay into a savings pot that means I've got cash if i need it and I benefit from not paying 00's in premiums per year.

Part of me thinks that in a crisis the NHS is great at dealing with it and anything else i'll just pay for.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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clare74
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Re: How much does private healthcare cost and is it worth it?

Postby clare74 » Tue May 04, 2021 3:00 pm

My family has cover with WPA. A few things that made me opt for them:
- It's a not-for-profit organisation
- I have an individual I can call, who helped arrange the cover and also can help if I've got any questions along the way. 
- Not all claims have to go via a GP as long as they're pre-approved. (We had a nightmare with my father and AXA in relation to this.)
- They have good 'cash back' on dental, optical and medical checks as a standard part of the policy
- I did get quotes from other providers, and WPA came out nearer the lower end. 

The person I deal with is Cora Corrigan - cora.corrigan@wpa.org.uk. (I just checked and she's OK with her email address being shared here!)
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