Health insurance and coronavirus

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  • EasternPedlar
    Participant

    My BUPA International health insurance policy has an exclusion for “Epidemics and Pandemics”. I called them a few weeks ago, and was assured that treatment for COVID-19 was covered. I called them again last week after the WHO declared a pandemic, and was advised that “as of now” COVID-19 was still being covered despite the general use of the term “Pandemic”. Clearly there was a suggestion that things might change if they had a flood of claims for this illness.

    I’ve paid a small fortune to them over the past 30 years for health insurance, and our claims haven’t been excessive. It terrifies me to think that BUPA might give us the short shrift at a time when we might really need help. The state of affairs in most parts of the world isn’t particularly encouraging and we are all at risk from this wretched virus.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Unprecedented times. How do insurers, inter alia, cover themselves against a deluge of claims which could ultimately bankrupt the whole system of insurers, underwriters, and so on?
    The payout policies have to be managed in a way which is fair to all parties – one hell of a challenge.
    I think with Covid 19 – I stand to be corrected – the treatment is not the main expense, it’s the claims related to travel, event cancellations, etc.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Congy
    Participant

    My BUPA International health insurance policy has an exclusion for “Epidemics and Pandemics”. I called them a few weeks ago, and was assured that treatment for COVID-19 was covered. I called them again last week after the WHO declared a pandemic, and was advised that “as of now” COVID-19 was still being covered despite the general use of the term “Pandemic”. Clearly there was a suggestion that things might change if they had a flood of claims for this illness.

    I’ve paid a small fortune to them over the past 30 years for health insurance, and our claims haven’t been excessive. It terrifies me to think that BUPA might give us the short shrift at a time when we might really need help. The state of affairs in most parts of the world isn’t particularly encouraging and we are all at risk from this wretched virus.

    I hate it when people say they’ve been with the company for X amount of years so they expect special treatment…it’s a company!! you’re not in a personal relationship! Get over it. lol


    EasternPedlar
    Participant

    I hate it when people say they’ve been with the company for X amount of years so they expect special treatment…it’s a company!! you’re not in a personal relationship! Get over it. lol

    @Congy – Coming from a service industry, I can tell you that customer loyalty is highly valued. The cost of retention is far lower than the cost of acquiring a new customer. Old and loyal customers make great referrals, and get you business. They also make a good barometer on the quality of your company’s offering. Showing a customer that you value them is the best way of retaining them, and that often means going out of the way to hold on to them. That’s why successful companies invest in CRM systems and relationship teams. There are innumerable examples of companies rewarding customer loyalty, including my BA “Gold for Life” card! The ticket sizes in the health insurance business are significant – we aren’t talking £50 phone contracts here. Companies such as BUPA, which are at the premium end of the spectrum, have to maintain the impression that they care for their customers. All put together it’s a two way relationship and I’m entitled to my expectations from them.

    @capetonianm – you do make a valid point about companies needing to protect their solvency. At the same time, I expect them to do the best that they can to support their customers in such times, even if it involves taking a sizeable (but bearable) hit – they’ll make it up in the future. The BUPA policy is a pure medical cover, so we are talking about the cost of treatment. This could be significant if someone has complications and needs to be put on a ventilator. Evacuation might also be required if someone was in a location where appropriate medical care was unavailable.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    openfly
    Participant

    I’m beginning to think of pulling the plug on BUPA. It’s a total waste of money, thinking that I have given them £40,000 over the years, for peace of mind, and I now won’t get a bed if I fall ill due to giving the beds to the NHS. Bye BUPA.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’m with Eastern on this, and have also been wit BUPA for about 30 years. I don’t expect special treatment, but I do expect to be covered if I fall ill for whatever reason as that’s what I’ve paid my premiums for. I’ve been lucky (touching wood) that I’ve never had to claim, but I elected to have a high excess of £5,000 a few years ago in order to reduce the premium. I figured I can afford £5,000 but not if it’s something major. My average doctor’s bills, including health checks have been +- £ 700 a year v a 30% reduction in premiums.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    I have just had to renew my health insurance through AETNA here in Asia and they are fully covering both my husband and I for any effects of the virus or related illnesses which is good, but not on the impending operation I need to remove 12 pins from my back after my accident at the back end of last year, they will not cover this under “pre existing coverage” …. Apart from this everything else covered as standard inc hospitalisation here and in Singapore should be needed

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I appreciate the views on insurance, and we are all old and smart enough to make our own decisions. That said, a cautionary tale.

    My parents had had BUPA for many years, literally since we were kids. As they got older the premiums increased and eventually, in their 70s, they decided that it was ‘too expensive’ and cancelled the cover, which they could perfectly well have afforded. As they each became progressively worse, each with a terminal illness, they paid out a fortune in hospital and care home fees, much of which would have been covered by BUPA. I never did the sums as there seemed no point, but I am reasonably sure that in their case, self-insuring cost them far more than maintaining BUPA would have done.

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    EasternPedlar
    Participant

    @capetonianm Thanks for your post. That has also been my dilemma, wondering whether or not to continue paying the fast rising premiums. I’m quite upset about the COVID-19 situation, as it appears that my “safety-net” might not be as safe as I thought, but there are worse things that could happen which would cost a fortune to treat. I’m inspired by what LuganoPirate has done, so I think I’m going to shop around for insurance with a hefty excess. That should make the premiums more affordable and yet not break the bank in case something terrible happens. This forum is a great source for some good ideas!


    AussieJohn
    Participant

    My BUPA International health insurance policy has an exclusion for “Epidemics and Pandemics”. I called them a few weeks ago, and was assured that treatment for COVID-19 was covered. I called them again last week after the WHO declared a pandemic, and was advised that “as of now” COVID-19 was still being covered despite the general use of the term “Pandemic”. Clearly there was a suggestion that things might change if they had a flood of claims for this illness.

    I’ve paid a small fortune to them over the past 30 years for health insurance, and our claims haven’t been excessive. It terrifies me to think that BUPA might give us the short shrift at a time when we might really need help. The state of affairs in most parts of the world isn’t particularly encouraging and we are all at risk from this wretched virus.

    It’s an INSURANCE company. It sounds like you have had a few trips round the sun so you should know by now that they are a law unto themselves, and will do as they please, when they please. Long term customer or not, you have absolutely no say in the matter. You could threaten to go elsewhere, but it is an exclusive club, you won’t get treated any better by another INSURANCE company. Remember the Golden Rule, those who have the gold, make the rules.


    K1ngston
    Participant

    My BUPA International health insurance policy has an exclusion for “Epidemics and Pandemics”. I called them a few weeks ago, and was assured that treatment for COVID-19 was covered. I called them again last week after the WHO declared a pandemic, and was advised that “as of now” COVID-19 was still being covered despite the general use of the term “Pandemic”. Clearly there was a suggestion that things might change if they had a flood of claims for this illness.

    I’ve paid a small fortune to them over the past 30 years for health insurance, and our claims haven’t been excessive. It terrifies me to think that BUPA might give us the short shrift at a time when we might really need help. The state of affairs in most parts of the world isn’t particularly encouraging and we are all at risk from this wretched virus.

    It’s an INSURANCE company. It sounds like you have had a few trips round the sun so you should know by now that they are a law unto themselves, and will do as they please, when they please. Long term customer or not, you have absolutely no say in the matter. You could threaten to go elsewhere, but it is an exclusive club, you won’t get treated any better by another INSURANCE company. Remember the Golden Rule, those who have the gold, make the rules.

    AussieJohn I think thats a generalisation I have had some excellent service from my Health Insurance Provider and by my Travel Insurance provider, yes they can be quite pinniky at times but when I have needed both (2019 was one of those years) I was treated with the utmost respect and their service was both second to none, I will call out AETNA for Health and AXA for Travel Insurance as being there for me last year. And no I dont work for either company nor am I in the Insurance business just a satisfied customer

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