Does Private Health Insurance cover you for the 'wear and tear' of life, including hip, knee and joint replacements?
Most insurances don’t ordinarily cover you for “wear and tear”. Your home contents insurance will not pay out when a washing machine does a kitchen-hopping death dance and your car insurer will swiftly park a claim made for age-worn wheel bearings.
But, when age withers us, private health insurance may well provide cover for worn out parts! A good example is hip replacement surgery which may be covered even when its need is age-related – most operations are carried out on people aged between 60 and 80 years old.
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis – dubbed the “wear and tear arthritis” are key causes of hip damage. These are “chronic” conditions and as such are not themselves covered by medical insurance, but the damage they can cause to joints may be. Thus an arthritis induced claim for a hip replacement may normally be covered, although if this cover is important to you then take advice before taking out a policy as levels of cover vary from insurer to insurer.
Cover may also be provided for an acute flare up of a chronic illness such as Crohn’s Disease which can cause joint pain and swelling. Some insurers may also view bunions in the same way, paying for surgical treatment if the evidence points to an acute condition arising from a bony deformity that has been developing for years previously.
As with their colleagues in the home insurance industry, private medical insurers also make provision for “accidental damage.” Take a trip at home or a heavy tackle on the pitch then your first port of call will still be the local A&E department. But once you’ve been seen by the emergency medics, if it is then determined that your hip, knee or another joint requires an operation, your policy is likely to cover this.
A health cash plan might also be of interest if you’re keen to better manage a chronic joint issue and the cost of its treatment.
Unlike most insurances which are designed to protect against the unexpected, cash plans were created to cover every day medical treatment costs, things like dentistry and optical care that you fully expect to need. Relatively low cost, many plans also include physiotherapy and some osteopathy, making them great if say, you have a troublesome knee injury that needs some prompt and expert attention.
The key with healthcare cash plans and indeed private medical insurance, is to select the scheme which best suits your needs. Think about what’s important to you, any areas of concern and how much you want or are able to pay. And remember limits, restrictions and the local availability to you of specialists and treatments will all vary depending upon the policy or plan.
If you’re considering protecting your health, that of your partner or family and are concerned about your cover then why not call us on 0800 018 3633 for free, impartial and expert advice? When considering whether you are covered for a “wear and tear” type complaint it is really important to talk to an expert adviser who can assess the restrictions of your policy.
Your Chase Templeton adviser can provide a whole-of-market perspective across both the private health insurance and healthcare cash plan sectors to determine the solution which best suits your needs, concerns and budget.