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Health Insurance - is it worth it?

(47 Posts)
lovebooks Sat 02-May-20 18:17:26

Does anyone on here still have health insurance? Is it worth the continuing expense? Thoughts, recommendations/caveats please.

purplepatch Sun 03-May-20 18:27:16

I have it lovebooks. Best to go through a broker though to get competitive rates.

I valued it particularly when I was working for myself, so no sick pay etc. and I could not afford to rely on the vagaries of the NHS waiting list system.

However, that was because my particular health needs so far have been "mechanical" e.g a new knee and it enabled me to agree a fixed date for the op. knowing it was not going to be cancelled and could be fitted in with my work.

For a serious life threatening disease e.g. cancer I think you are better off in the NHS with access to teaching hospitals and clinical trials.

Coolgran65 Sun 03-May-20 19:34:05

I'm retired and can't afford full private health care.
However, I do have Benenden Health Insurance. This costs about £11 per month. It will pay for a private consultatio, tests, physio. It won't pay for long-term treatment. Anyone can find it on line
I joined about 3 years ago. Recent I was referred to
an NHS neurologist. Waiting time is over 3 years so Benenden authorised that I could privately see a neurologist and have an MRI done and tests. The neurologist then wanted to refer me to a Respiratory consultant for tests and they gave approval for this. Now there is a cap to what they will pay, this can vary. But it is very beneficial.

joannapiano Sun 03-May-20 21:00:49

We have BUPA. DH’s chemo has continued at the local private hospital. We are so fortunate.

BlueSky Sun 03-May-20 21:11:24

No now even cancelled annual holiday insurance! Can't see us going anywhere for a long time.

suziewoozie Sun 03-May-20 22:05:33

I suppose it depends on the premiums and any exclusions/ excesses. What we do is generally see a consultant privately and then either use the NHS or private sector for treatment depending on the issue. If I add up what that’s cost over the last twenty years, I’m pretty sure health insurance would have cost us more but of course, that’s with hindsight.

Blinko Thu 14-May-20 06:43:00

We're with Benenden. We've had several tests and procedures done which would have taken forever on the nhs. For instance, cataracts, Gall bladder removal, diagnostic scans. Can't recommend them enough. At only £11 per month per person, it's a no brainer.

maelao Thu 14-May-20 08:08:09

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Oopsadaisy3 Thu 14-May-20 08:14:11

We have just taken the huge leap of cancelling ours, we’ve had it and used it for nearly 30 years but the last price increase took it into the realms of make believe and as DH is retiring very soon we really had to reconsider.
We’ve now gone with another provider for less than half the cost, the only thing is if we have an existing problem it isn’t covered for 2 years. Tempting fate to talk about this really. So I’ll stop.

Froglady Thu 14-May-20 09:20:01

No, just the annual travel insurance. I have paid for my funeral in advance so if anything happens to me if won't be left to my family to have to fork out for a funeral.

lovebooks Thu 14-May-20 09:22:44

We had BUPA through my husband's work scheme, and I kept it up after he died. It has been invaluable at times, but costly, and now its age-related premiums have gone through the roof. Also all the private hospitals have been requisitioned because of the pandemic, so with reluctance I cancelled. Our NHS is indeed wonderful, but I had some hair-raising experiences in recent years, when it was the only option. Looking at Saga as a possible alternative to BUPA, but the virus changes everything.

Venus Thu 14-May-20 09:32:20

I am just renewing with BUPA. The cost has gone up considerable but decided to go ahead. I can see consultants within a few days and it gives me peace of mind. I view it like any other insurance that I take out. I don't want to use it but, if it's there, I can. NHS is excellent, but sometimes the wait is too long, as far as I'm concerned. I will pay for private health as long as I can afford to.

Shazmo24 Thu 14-May-20 09:39:31

We have insurance thriugh Saga...(AXA PPP) & I had to use it last year for my knee problems. Will need to use it again as suffering from constant shoulder pain. It may take longer to get sorted out now because of the Virus but still quicker than the NHS

Pinkrinse Thu 14-May-20 09:50:21

Hi, not since I stopped working, we carried on paying for 1 year and realised that the premiums were more than the benefit. We put the same amount in a regular payment savings account and it’s surprising how it builds up. This pays for osteopaths, private consultations, and any treatment that we want that we would have to wait a long time for. It also covers vet bills. Over the last 10 years since I stopped working we have aged more then we spent. The insurance industry is profitable because on the whole you pay more premiums then you claim back. Savings account every time!

GreenGran78 Thu 14-May-20 09:51:25

When we could really have done with Health Insurance, we couldn’t afford it. Now that I can afford it, I don’t really see the point. When my hip was giving me a lot of pain I was referred to our local Wrightington hospital, which is a centre of excellence for joint replacement. Within six weeks I had been assessed and had my hip replacement done.
I’m otherwise in excellent health, and rarely visit my GP. Obviously that could change in a moment. However, at 80, I don’t think there would be much point in starting with insurance now.
As for travel insurance. Very few companies will cover an 80 year-old for three months at a time in Australia. The few that do charge an eye-watering amount. My emergency health care in Oz is covered by a reciprocal arrangement. I can’t insure myself just for the flights - heaven knows why not - so I just go without insurance and cross my fingers that I don’t take ill on the plane.

LJP1 Thu 14-May-20 10:08:29


My DH had a heart attack halfway across France and was taken into hospital for a week, stented and assessed for drugs needed. The insurance (after some haggling) picked up all the bills for that, my hotel and flew us home.

Brilliant! We couldn't have done it alone and I speak French.

Good luck, have fun and avoid the alien virus!

Cambia Thu 14-May-20 10:12:54

We just have travel insurance and we spend a lot of our time in our house in Greece. Last summer I had to go to hospital in Crete for three days. I used my EHIC card and there was no charge at all. The medical care was amazing, they cured a bug I had picked up in Peru which the UK hadn’t been able to find. The nursing care does not exist! Your family look after you instead! All I had to pay for were the prescriptions from the pharmacy which were so cheap.

In the last couple of weeks, my husband has had a herniated disc and sciatica which was hugely painful. After trying acupuncture and physio, the pain became too much and we went to the doctor. We just turned up, took our turn, no appointments necessary. So far, he has had a cortisone injection and when that didn’t help a course of steroids and painkillers. The grand total was thirty euros for the injection, painkillers, magnesium and steroids and twenty five euros to see the doctor!

If it doesn’t improve we can pay for an MRI scan which would probably be around eighty euros. No waiting time, just ring and make an appointment.

We had been thinking should we take out health insurance as we get older but quite honestly with these sorts of prices and quick treatment, we probably don’t need to!

Why can we not apply these principles to our health service in the UK?

nipsmum Thu 14-May-20 10:39:30

My Sil couldn't be seen for suspected Hernia in private hospital was told to contact NHS.

Rosina Thu 14-May-20 11:11:15

My DD and SiL have private health insurance, but her experiences over the past two years have been far from good. My DD was passed around from one specialist to another, for what was a commonplace condition , until she began to feel that these constant referrals to 'get a second opinion from my colleague Mr So and So' was simply a way of their claiming extra consultation fees. She had the necessary and very common operation performed, and the aftercare left a great deal to be desired. In considerable discomfort she was told to wait for painkillers as 'we are all on our break' - thank god nobody had a haemorrhage while seemingly every single member of staff was having a hot beverage - and that response was offered several times to other patients in need of some attention. I had BUPA cover when working, for many years, and was grateful for the opportunity to choose when and where to have a couple of procedures done, but I fear the service has gone downhill dramatically in the last decade, and the fees have rocketed.

Bazza Thu 14-May-20 12:33:15

We’ve cancelled ours earlier this year. The rise was stratospheric and they wouldn’t cover us for anything existing. I always felt of it as a bit of a safety net, but now it’s gone I’m hoping the NHS will look after us.

Saggi Thu 14-May-20 12:38:54

Cool gran..... I’ve been considering Benenden.... regarding your MRI scan , did you have to pay for that separately.

dragonfly46 Thu 14-May-20 13:05:36

It does not cover pre-existing conditions so we thought it wasn't worth it.
I have had my cancer care under the NHS and cannot fault it.
If necessary we will do as others and pay to see a specialist but have treatment on the NHS.

Elizabeth1 Thu 14-May-20 13:13:14

Would you believe I’ve paid for an annual holiday insurance in January and I’ll just keep it as who knows I may be insured for future holidays which hopefully is in the not too far away future good luck everyone with your claims should you need to.

GillT57 Thu 14-May-20 13:17:43

I am not keen on the idea of private health insurance although I do understand the reasons behind paying for it if you run your own business and cannot schedule in repeated surgery cancellations. But, my chief reason for not being keen; the age groups using the NHS the most are the very young and the very old, and also these companies are able to fit you in for your hip replacement/hernia repair only if you have no other health conditions which may require ICU as this really expensive service is one they do not supply. It is interesting how many people pay for private health insurance all through their healthy middle years, and then when they may need it, it is too expensive. Far better, in my mind, to save the premiums in a savings account. I apply this principle to pet insurance too!

dogsmother Thu 14-May-20 13:34:02

living in the Channel Islands we have no NHS, so no option but to cover our own.
Sadly a lot of people don’t go to the doctor until it’s too late or wait for a trip to The ED and pay a fortune.
Also a hefty ambulance fee if they don’t insure against that.