private health insurance that has appeared on the school bill

(39 Posts)
cungryhatterpillar Sat 09-Aug-14 20:18:55

DS is starting at a private school next term. We've just got the fees, and on top of what we were expecting are a bunch of insurance fees, including dental and health insurance.

The dental insurance is cheap so we'll go with that as it's a pain to get hold of an NHS dentist.

The health insurance costs about £60 per term.

I'm thinking - don't we have an NHS??? What is this for? I'm new to this game - is it normal for kids at private schools to have this. What exactly does it do to help things? Can I have some advice from others who've been in the same situation on whether to opt in or opt out. What do most people do?

Pico2 Sat 09-Aug-14 20:30:59

Is this actually private health insurance or is it school fee insurance that refunds school fees if you are off for over a week due to illness? £60 a term sounds like a bargain for actual health insurance. But I really appreciate private health insurance.

cungryhatterpillar Sat 09-Aug-14 20:33:59

This is actually private health insurance. The fees thing is another chunk of money and also the insurance if a feepayer dies is a third chunk of money.
It's a scheme from simplyhealth that's designed for pupils of private schools. It excludes chronic conditions. I'm struggling to see the point - the school is in a city with an excellent teaching hospital with first class paediatric facilities. Why would I want ds not to be treated by the nhs?

Parietal Sat 09-Aug-14 20:41:03

It is a boarding school thing linked to a school doctor?

I've never heard of this despite having DDs at London private schools. if you don't want the policy, tell the school & don't pay. sounds like a waste of money to me.

Pico2 Sat 09-Aug-14 21:38:47

If you don't want it, then tell the school. Private health insurance gets you access to the consultants that work in those private teaching hospitals (not being fobbed off by registrars) and potentially much quicker, in nicer surroundings without also spending hours in waiting rooms for overbooked clinics.

cungryhatterpillar Sat 09-Aug-14 22:23:58

It is a boarding school but most pupils are day and this looks like it's offered to everyone. It's not a school doctor as it doesn't cover gp appointments.

Pico the nhs has always been fine for us so I'm not convinced of the benefits of private cover. Private dentistry has been unavoidable unfortunately though.

DPotter Sat 09-Aug-14 22:26:27

we had this on DD school which had boarders but she was day. just say you don't need it and take the &60 off the total bill if you don't want it.

ohtobeanonymous Sun 10-Aug-14 06:53:10

A lot of independent schools offer a health insurance scheme in case of longterm illness etc... but have never known them to be compulsory. Talk to the fees department and opt out if you don't want it.

43percentburnt Sun 10-Aug-14 07:03:45

£180 per year seems good for private medical insurance. But do neither of you have family cover through work? You don't want to pay twice!

My friend had an ongoing problem for years, her gp and hospital kept giving ineffective treatment. Her new job gave private medical and existing conditions were covered. She was operated on and has fully recovered. Previously she was in pain every day. I too have had great service from my private medical, seen within 2 weeks, gp wasn't going to bother referring me until I mentioned private medical.

Have they given you a booklet showing what it covers.

Ladymuck Sun 10-Aug-14 09:01:15

All of our schools have offered this, but I think most people opt out, often because they already have cover.

happygardening Sun 10-Aug-14 10:13:57

We have it but I don't think it's £60 per term will find the bill and look. It is good it includes physio, craniotherspist acupuncturist (providing their recommended by a doctor), all existing illnesses are covered, and if your child needs a routine operation you're in a position to decide when they go into hospital i.e. during holidays which is exactly what we did many years ago for DS1. They also cover the costs of seeing a psychologist/therapist providing you have a GP referral and a psychiatrist who you may not be able to currently access through the NHS as their criteria for seeing children is tightening all the time, obviously you hope you won't need any of this but you can't ever know for certain.

happygardening Sun 10-Aug-14 10:15:48

Meant to say most schools also let you opt out if you wish too.
It's usually through Bupa google Bupa school health insurance.

alwaysdoinglaundry Sun 10-Aug-14 10:38:16

We were offered this but it is also BUPA who are very unlikely to pay the full cost of any private care so we didn't do it. It's optional.

happygardening Sun 10-Aug-14 11:24:03

This is not my experience we've claimed three times in 10 years once for a pre existing condition and they've covered all the costs. You don't even have to complete any paper work, the school staff can also organise everything if you wish. Bupa schools health insurance is different from other health insurance.

cungryhatterpillar Sun 10-Aug-14 13:25:48

It's not bupa but there did seem to be a long list of exclusions including chronic conditions, psychiatric treatment and some aspects of hospital care.

I expect the school gets commission to put it on the bill as parents are less likely to opt out than opt in.

Tbh we're not particularly wealthy and I've never considered getting private health insurance for the family so this made me think shit what are we letting ourselves in for - will they be trying to fleece us at everyoopportunity?

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 10-Aug-14 13:31:54

If it's a boarding school, this is probably for the foreign children who are not eligible for NHS treatment. They probably include it for all, so you can opt out.

happygardening Sun 10-Aug-14 14:13:19

Trust me on this one Lady foreign children are eligible for health care under the NHS.
Schools obviously do I suspect get a commission. I've just found next terms bill, ignored total amount due box heart is not feeling that strong this morning, we pay £67 a term.
If all that is excluded from your policy then I too wouldn't waste my money either.
My DS had surgery (many moons ago) privately on a very chronic condition Bupa picked up the whole bill £8000 (for one day in hospital and a couple of out patients appointment and a few tests). Frankly I thought the service was frankly mediocre (nice smart OPD with nice coffee and interesting orchids growing) but I wanted it done in the Easter holiday as he had to have three weeks of school afterwards and unsurprisingly the NHS wouldn't oblige.
The physio thing is definitely useful especially if your DC is sporty or alternatively save the money just in case

alwaysdoinglaundry Sun 10-Aug-14 17:09:04

increasingly BUPA will not cover full costs for treatment in London, may be different elsewhere. They have not increased what they pay consultants for ten years and have in some cases reduced it. You'll be fine if you are happy for them to choose your consultant but if you want a free chpice you are likely to find the insurance leaves a shortfall on top of your exceas.

happygardening Sun 10-Aug-14 17:21:27

Interesting I didn't know that, do you think this applies to the Bupa schools insurance as well? I recently used it and was given a choice of three doctors in my chosen region, I googled them and found they were all well regarded NHS consultants and a friends DC was recently seen at the John Radcliffe by one of the world leading experts who was on the Bupa list. I suppose luckily there aren't many boarding schools in a London.

alwaysdoinglaundry Sun 10-Aug-14 18:03:04

No idea if it applies to the schools one. Ask to see their schedule of payments I.e. what they will pay for a given procedure and compare it to an insurer with a better reputation like WPA, exeter or pruhealth.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 10-Aug-14 21:23:10

Ds's school offers/recommends all these things. Some were opt in, some were opt out but they were all optional. Are you sure there weren't some forms you mislaid or didn't fill out at some point during registration?

Pico2 Sun 10-Aug-14 21:51:55

My DM has found that about her private health cover. They employ their own, cheaper consultants, often without their own NHS consultancy posts. So rather than the local/national expert you could previously choose, you get someone with the minimum training and exams to be able to be called a consultant. Or you pay the difference.

alwaysdoinglaundry Mon 11-Aug-14 10:35:04

They employ their own, cheaper consultants, often without their own NHS consultancy posts

not worth paying for IMHO

happygardening Mon 11-Aug-14 13:41:33

Paediatrics of course is a specialised area in itself, maybe doctors are less prepared to risk their GMV registration if they are not paediatric qualified. Just a thought?

schoolnurse Mon 11-Aug-14 13:59:44

At a rough guess 50 % of our boarders have it, the other 40% have their own family private health care cover and the rest have nothing. Sod's law states it's always those who don't have anything who are the ones who wish they had. In our experience very sadly CAMHs are increasingly declining GP referrals, NHS appointments to see allergists are becoming increasingly difficult or impossible and as are also appointments for things like neurologists looking at chronic headaches. Consultants aren't easy to find so choice can be limited many paediatrician have an ethical objection to private health. But our children are always seen by NHS consultants doing private work we have one of the countries leading hospitals
up the road and many are internationally renowned in their field of expertise.
Cover for alternative therapies is very useful; psychologists, acupuncturists osteopaths etc as the bill for quickly mounts up.
We have a lot of children from abroad all are treated on the NHS if necessary none as yet has ever been charged.

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