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Private Health Insurance Question

Hi Everyone

I have been refered to a neurologist by my GP now and I have been told to expect a four month wait. I have had private health cover with Aviva (via work) for the last 16 years, and touch wood, have never needed to use it and make a claim. I have had a brain and spine MRI done already and the results have come back with lesions onboth, so just need a neuros verdict on what is up/ confirmation.

My question is, should I try to get a referral quicker using the private healthcare (which I would have to pay a 100 excess on) or just wait my turn and wait for my appointment date with the good old NHS. To be honest, i’ve been in pain for about five years now with mega weirdness going on with my body during that time. I have simply put it all down to getting old (i’m 39 LOL) and too much socialising. So as normal I just get on with my life, albeit with a little more difficulty than my friends or work colleagues.

I have read that private health insurance policies are mainly for acute illnesses and not chronic ones, so I don’t even know if they will cover the cost for referral to the neuro if I tell them its due to suspected MS.

Has anybody else used such “corporate” health policies? Am I missing the point as to definately try to make a claim and go private? If I don’t bother to use it, would I possibly miss out on anything or would it cause me any issues down the line?

All I can see it doing is putting me 100 pounds out of pocket and possibly getting the news which I am dreading quicker. I suppose if I do get a diagnosis then I might get to be put on some medication which will slow down the relapses.

Any ideas /suggestions would be greatly recieved.

Thank god it’s Friday… :slight_smile:

I was diagnosed via my hubby’s private medical insurance through work. As soon as I got the diagnosis, I was referred back to the NHS for further care. Basically the insurance is there to speed things up but is highly unlikely to cover a chronic illness post diagnosis. Mine covered the neuro appointments (x 3), MRI and other ‘ruling out’ tests. NHS then took over. So basically, if you can’t wait, use it, but if you can, don’t bother as you’ll just be out of pocket the excess amount. The NHS in my case re-tested everything anyway (including a repeat MRI!). Mine was slightly different as I ended up seeing three other specialists before a neuro, so was desperate for answers by then! Privately I saw a neuro within a week and had an MRI the same day it was requested. Hope that helps x

It’s up to you as to whether you are happy to wait and as to whether they have given you an idea of how long you would have to wait. I used to work for a private healthcare company (won’t say there name but its the biggest company) and so I can advise from their point of view point as well. The bonus of going privately is that you can choose a specific consultant and hospital that you want. What I would tend to do in this circumstance is find a consultant that works through the nhs at a nearby hospital to you but also that has a private clinic somewhere that isnt too difficult for you to get to. The reason for this is that after seeing him/her privately they can then refer you back to themselves on the nhs which means continuous care from this consultant. Each consultant has different neurology specialists so by paying privately you can actually see an ms specialist who would know more about ms and treatment options should it come to that point. An average consultant cost is normally around £150 but if you see a specialist consultant (i.e. an ms specialist who has experience then they charge the higher end of the scale which is normally around £200-£300 per appointment. The key thing is that you will only pay the excess once in your policy year so if you see the consultant and he wants further tests then it can be done privately which is much quicker and won’t cost you anything as its coming out of the policy coverage. Once diagnosed or a probable diagnosis is made that’s when the consultant will refer you back to themselves on the nhs as you are right in that private cover doesn’t cover chronic conditions. Hope this helps and that it wasnt too technical - just thought that it might help to be armed with all the options. X

Most policies will cover you for costs up to and including dx of a chronic disease. Thereafter a person will usually only be covered for acute exacerbations requiring in-patient treatment. I would suggest you use the policy - that’s what it’s for. You have been paying in to it (i.e. it is a work benefit on which you have been paying tax). Might as well get the good of it. Alison

Sorry, meant to say, I had work cover and did use it for the first couple of consultations and first MRI. By that time it was clear what was likely the matter and I saw the same chap on his NHS list thereafter. Alison