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Private Health - ladies - your periods may be a "symptom" affecting your cover

(1 Post)
Sunshinesarahjane Fri 18-Jul-14 12:30:45

Thanks a lot #BUPA!

If I'd known my honesty regarding my medical history was going to bite me on the arse, I'd have questioned your "questions" at the time.

Let me fill you in girls, so that you don't fail to realise that nature's monthly visit (always a happy occasion, I know we all agree) may also be deemed a "pre-existing symptom" of pretty much a whole host of conditions - thereby rendering your expensive policy useless!

After a routine blood test flagged me as anaemic, I asked for a referral to a (private) doctor who was recommended personally. Given that we had medical insurance with #BUPA - supposedly the gold standard in peace of mind, and taking into account how much I enjoy discussing all my bodily functions with strangers, this seemed a good plan.

Now, as you probably are aware, the most common strain of anaemia means you don't have enough red blood cells and one of the first places to look for problems when treating it is - of course - blood loss ie periods.

So off I go to a lovely gynaecologist who explains that I'm exhausted all the time because of the anaemia and did I have heavy periods? Well yes I suppose I do doctor. Ok no worries we can do something about that!

Further specific questioning alerted him to the additional fun possibility of endometriosis - good doctor as it turns out!

A laparoscopy revealed extensive endometriosis and he performed a Novasure ablation at the same time, as my kids are teenagers and it would help to restore my red blood cell count ASAP.

Now the fun bit! The afternoon before surgery (around 4.30pm) BUPA called to say, "sorry we're not paying!"

Come again?!! Am I not already stressed enough? I gave complete and full disclosure when my partner added me to his (10 year old) policy over a year ago and answered every question candidly. No one mentioned periods then, although I answered lots of questions about pregnancy, childbirth and previous gynae history.

Here's the thing girls - if you have periods that could be described as heavy - whether you have EVER mentioned it to your doctor - OR NOT (as in my case) you need to check the small print - because they can, and will, wriggle out of covering you!!!

For having periods!

Does this seem right ladies?

I have seldom (never ?) discussed my periods with anyone other than a vague "time of the month" reference, pain killers or hot water bottles do the talking for me. I had no idea what constitutes "heavy" periods ( I do now!)

In fact the medical profession is fairly subjective, stating on the NHS website that. "Most women know if their periods are a cause for concern." Please I beg you, ask yourself the "heavy period" diagnosis questions and then wonder how anyone would actually measure it - and who would want to! Periods are a naturally occurring curse, which we all put up with every month, with little thought of whether they are "normal."

I'm 47 so I've a bit of experience with periods by now and honestly if tampon/towel manufacturers make 6 different "sizes" from Very Light to Super Absorbent - stocked on shelves in every supermarket in every town across the globe, then I'm going to go out on a limb and say "heavy" is pretty normal for a lot of women and not cause to invalidate their healthcare.

So as I said, thanks a lot BUPA for failing to provide the peace of mind you promise in your cuddly caring adverts. I realise you are a business, but should honest women really be paying the price just for speaking the truth about Flo?

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