I’m currently shopping around for health insurance. I don’t feel as though I can do this post any justice given that I have not come to any conclusions yet. So I’m offering you one long, conclusion-less post instead.
So, I said that I was shopping around for health insurance.
Why? Because HBF, my current insurer, have recently announced that insulin pumps will no longer be covered on lower tier hospital policies. A visit to my branch recently revealed that it will now cost me an extra $500 a year to retain that coverage for my pump.
My excess for a stay in hospital will also jump from $100 to $500, which is insane considering that I could just as easily admit myself to hospital as a public patient and pay nothing!
I’m a young, healthy adult. I don’t claim a lot. I can’t remember the last time I went to hospital. There’s a good chance that I won’t even need any of the additional extras included on that mid hospital policy. It sucks that there’s not an add on where I could just pay solely for insulin pump coverage. I’m simply being penalised for having diabetes, a health condition that I didn’t ask for.
I am really sad about the possibility of leaving HBF, given that they are West Australian owned, not for profit, and have plenty of branches around the place where I can visit and speak to an actual person – rather than someone in a call centre on the East Coast. Maybe I am being too hard. Is an extra $500 a year such a bad deal for the $10,000 device that I’m getting in return?
I will need a new insulin pump when my upgrade is due in two years time. With Animas going out of business, the day will come where consumables to service my late Vibe will no longer be available. I suspect that new pump options may be rolled out to eligible Animas customers sooner rather than later. Not to mention that if the Vibe packs up after my four year warranty period has lapsed, I won’t get a replacement. So, pump coverage is really not optional.
Another option is to remain on my current level of cover, which would see me lose my insulin pump coverage, and revisit the issue in 12 months. If I waited until then to upgrade, I would likely need to serve out a 12 month waiting period that would be completed just in time for my pump upgrade in May 2020.
But as I said, I highly doubt that Animas will have the capacity to service in warranty pumps for up to another four years. I suspect that new pump options may be rolled out to eligible Animas pumpers sooner rather than later. With last week’s announcement of Tandem’s tslim touch screen insulin pump finally hitting our shores later this year, that is one boat that I do not want to miss.
Then there’s the option of searching for a new health insurer. Yes, other health insurers do cover insulin pumps on lower tier hospital policies. You do need to ring them up and ask though, given that pumps aren’t commonly listed on health insurance websites. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they may make changes to insulin pump coverage in the future, leaving me with the same dilemma to deal with.
I have been following the many health insurance conversations going on in Facebook groups, and speaking to some friends with diabetes. But the reality is that everyone has different needs, so I can’t really compare what someone else pays for health insurance with my own policy.
So, now I am left trying to compare apples with apples. Comparing what I have covered on my current hospital policy, with offers from other health insurers. Thinking about what I need, and what I don’t need from my health insurance.
Safe to say, my brain is fried.
Ironically, I also happened to pull my pump off over the weekend.
So maybe I won’t be needing a new one after all…
I hoe it is easier in Australia than the US. Ugh it is almost impossible here to comparison shop.