CHOICE membership

Changing health insurance

My wife and I have been insured with HBA /BUPA for over Forty years. Now I have to have an operation in a hospital which comes under Ramsay Health Care which for undisclosed reasons BUPA is parting company with at the end of July. It looks though unless we switch we will be billed for all operating and hospital costs.

Is there a reputable insurer that we would be justified in switching to without having to lose money with a waiting period?

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Most insurers will waive waiting period if the same insurance policy (inc. excess amount) is taken out with them. If you plan to upgrade to a higher level of cover, then waiting periods will exist for items which weren’t covered in the past by your old insurer.

Extras may be different. See:

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@phb is correct. Select another insurer and ring them to discuss the details so you are confident it will pay as you expect/need.

If you are a Choice member try

and even if, and if not, the government comparison site

but avoid iselect, comparethemarket and other comparison sites owned by one or another of the underwriters.

As for BUPA, they are contracting with providers who will meet their own price targets - eg it is about profit/costs as are US health insurance companies. They contract with low cost providers and claim it is to contain costs, which could be an outcome. OTOH accountants increasingly manage one’s healthcare. You could still use your preferred hospital but with a lesser cover/higher out of pocket as compared to one of their preferred ones.

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Is it possible @grav7s to have your particular operation at a hospital that your private health insurer does have an agreement with? Which should cover all or most of the costs.

Anyway, your private hospital insurance should cover most of your costs regardless of what hospital you go to. After all, that is the point of having private insurance. Sure there maybe some out of pocket costs, but the bulk of it will be covered.

Perhaps of interest.
https://www.ramsayhealth.com.au/Protect-Your-Cover/Bupa-Negotiations/Information-for-Patients

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Ramsay Health have indicated there will be an additional out of pocket cost (tba) for BUPA hospital patients. The link @Gregr provides the dates the changes apply from and services affected. The following may assist to further clarify.

https://www.ramsayhealth.com.au/protect%20your%20cover/bupa%20negotiations?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlu7G0aTE-AIV1gkrCh39ZwcOEAAYAiAAEgKFdPD_BwE

Our experience of specialists is they typically only use the services of one or selected hospitals. It may pay to ask your chosen specialist surgeon what the options are.

BUPA is noted as being one of the most expensive fund providers. It’s disturbing to hear they cannot within the value of their gold plated policies reach agreement with Ramsay who has said, (note the wording relates ‘additional out-of-pocket cost’ and not all patient costs).

BUPAs offered rate of indexation is well below inflation and fails to cover these cost increases. Being unable to agree on a rate means Bupa patients at Ramsay hospitals will be required to cover the shortfall as an additional out-of-pocket cost.
Ramsay has successfully collaborated with all other private health insurers, so this change will only impact Bupa patients.

Ramsay and BUPA are both profit making enterprises with shareholders. It’s a little like two kids fighting over the money in the Christmas pudding and wanting more when you have already filled it with your last dollar.

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