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Critique my British Budget!

Critique my British Budget!

Old Jul 18th 2020, 12:14 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Scotland is amazing and definitely worth considering (although the weather leaves a lot to be desired). If you do consider Scotland, I did find that the weather seemed a bit better on the east coast than the west. Also, and with regard to your health budget, you may also want to consider adding private health insurance. I was hospitalized in the UK in an NHS hospital with a near death experience and then had several months to recover. I wished at the time that I had private health insurance as staying on a ward and seeing the lady next to me get blood transfusions and the one across from me crying several times a day because she was going to the loo in her bed and could not get anyone to help was very unsettling! I had BUPA for years after and stayed in a private hospital in Edinburgh for a surgery and it was a great experience (they even brought a menu to my husband to order off of while he waited with me). Best of luck to you
Excellent thanks for the reply, we've been on holiday to Edinburgh (we know it's a lot different being on holiday) and really liked the town and we liked the collar towns (we stayed in Portobello) we saw, close to the highlands and lowlands, so will definitely put that on our list (post to follow on destinations!).

Good point about health care when I am over there, any idea roughly how much that would cost? I'll do a bit of research.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 12:40 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
Excellent thanks for the reply, we've been on holiday to Edinburgh (we know it's a lot different being on holiday) and really liked the town and we liked the collar towns (we stayed in Portobello) we saw, close to the highlands and lowlands, so will definitely put that on our list (post to follow on destinations!).

Good point about health care when I am over there, any idea roughly how much that would cost? I'll do a bit of research.
You can get a quote on bupa.co.uk after putting in some information. For both of us, in our late 40s, it comes out to around 73 GBP per month (so 36.50 each) for the premium plan - so when compared to US healthcare, a drop in a bucket really.

With regard to the outer towns/communities to Edinburgh, there are some really nice ones (I also like Linlithgow as it is about 15 mins by train and property is quite a bit cheaper). When I moved to Edinburgh in 2007, it seemed like a dream as it was honestly one of the best times of my life. Every day I walked and walked and walked and felt like a tourist for years. I just loved the beauty that much. It also felt 'international' as I made a group of friends from all around the world. The people there were warm and welcoming to me as an Expat. Would I live there again? That's difficult to say. In the last years that I lived there (left in 2016), the city had been constantly inundated with tourists. Unlike in 2007 when it was a gem of a best kept secret, by 2016 it had reached world wide awareness (mostly likely due to many new international routes serving the city and the Instagram generation). Perhaps a post-Covid age will take it back to more manageable numbers of tourists, but that remains to be seen. If I were moving back (and believe me, I am considering it in the next few years), I would look at Stirling, Linlithgow, Gullane, and perhaps some towns in the Scottish Borders as there is now the Scottish Borders railway line.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
Excellent thanks for the reply, we've been on holiday to Edinburgh (we know it's a lot different being on holiday) and really liked the town and we liked the collar towns (we stayed in Portobello) we saw, close to the highlands and lowlands, so will definitely put that on our list (post to follow on destinations!).

Good point about health care when I am over there, any idea roughly how much that would cost? I'll do a bit of research.
My wife and I (mid-60's) have private health insurance through Aviva for £98/month for the two of us. It includes dental and vision and works well. My wife had cataract surgery last year at our local Nuffield hospital. Claims and payments are all done easily enough online, I've done plenty of claims for dental and vision (new glasses since eye tests are free for over 60's). Compared to the claims process we were used to in the USA it was trivial, a single "E.O.B." from the hospital which included everything including follow up visits. No surprise costs, our deductible/excess was exactly as expected.

My wife's sister lives just outside of Edinburgh and has BUPA. She had open-heart surgery through them in February, at the same NHS Trust hospital in Edinburgh that she would have been at if she had gone through the NHS.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 12:54 pm
  #34  
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That seems like a great price, so how does it differ from the NHS care? Or is it just a 'jump the line' premium or do you literally see totally different doctors and in non NHS hospitals. This sounds like a great way to ease the 'fear' of what the NHS is like now as though it is a wonderful institution a lot of the experiences I've been hearing about from family and friends over the last few years are a bit troubling. That said people like to complain so maybe it's not as bad as it's made out to be in the media. That being said a small price (from a US perspective) to go private.

Dear me the militant youthful me would give me a good slapping if he could see this post!
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 1:12 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
That seems like a great price, so how does it differ from the NHS care? Or is it just a 'jump the line' premium or do you literally see totally different doctors and in non NHS hospitals. This sounds like a great way to ease the 'fear' of what the NHS is like now as though it is a wonderful institution a lot of the experiences I've been hearing about from family and friends over the last few years are a bit troubling. That said people like to complain so maybe it's not as bad as it's made out to be in the media. That being said a small price (from a US perspective) to go private.

Dear me the militant youthful me would give me a good slapping if he could see this post!
In my experience, private consultants are also NHS consultants - so the expertise is spread through the public and private systems. For you as consumer, what you get is yes, the opportunity to jump the queue, and better surroundings when you do. I had a colleague in London who broke her ankle while filming on set. She went to a NHS hospital and had to hop around from admissions to xray, etc. as they had no crutches. The NHS, is awesome - but yes, there are numerous challenges. It is a good idea to have private as a back up or even main source of healthcare. One caveat is that one still has to go through a NHS GP to get referred to private in many cases. If I go back, I plan to also secure a private GP as a result.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
That seems like a great price, so how does it differ from the NHS care? Or is it just a 'jump the line' premium or do you literally see totally different doctors and in non NHS hospitals. This sounds like a great way to ease the 'fear' of what the NHS is like now as though it is a wonderful institution a lot of the experiences I've been hearing about from family and friends over the last few years are a bit troubling. That said people like to complain so maybe it's not as bad as it's made out to be in the media. That being said a small price (from a US perspective) to go private.

Dear me the militant youthful me would give me a good slapping if he could see this post!
There are a great many private hospitals in the country, some even run by NHS Trust hospitals, with the "profits" going to the NHS Trust hospital that runs it to help balance their budget. Our local Nuffield hospital does many procedures including knee and hip replacements and they advertise a fixed price for those even without insurance. £10k for a new hip including all the follow up and physio appointments.

I think the doctors and surgeons work in both the private and NHS hospitals, and will use and pay for NHS facilities where needed. (My sister-in-law's open heart surgery for example).
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
One caveat is that one still has to go through a NHS GP to get referred to private in many cases. If I go back, I plan to also secure a private GP as a result.
With our Aviva insurance we also have to go through our GP first. We do each have 5 video GP appointments per year available as part of our insurance cover. I used it once a couple of years ago and it was pretty easy to get an appointment and use. In that case the video-GP said that a physical examination was going to be needed and told me to book an appointment with my GP. Still, I found it a useful screening tool and done from the comfort of my home.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
With our Aviva insurance we also have to go through our GP first. We do each have 5 video GP appointments per year available as part of our insurance cover. I used it once a couple of years ago and it was pretty easy to get an appointment and use. In that case the video-GP said that a physical examination was going to be needed and told me to book an appointment with my GP. Still, I found it a useful screening tool and done from the comfort of my home.
That's really nice tor read. It seems things have changed a bit (availability of video sessions) since I was there. I've used the video sessions recently here in the US since Covid happened. I also found it to be quite useful as what I had did not require actually going to the office. A prescription was ordered and problem solved pretty much virtually.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
With our Aviva insurance we also have to go through our GP first. We do each have 5 video GP appointments per year available as part of our insurance cover. I used it once a couple of years ago and it was pretty easy to get an appointment and use. In that case the video-GP said that a physical examination was going to be needed and told me to book an appointment with my GP. Still, I found it a useful screening tool and done from the comfort of my home.
Am I correct in my understanding that no private insurance in the UK will cover preexisting conditions?
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Am I correct in my understanding that no private insurance in the UK will cover preexisting conditions?
Correct. Like all insurances you can’t get it once you have a problem. You don’t wait until you have a leaking roof before taking out house insurance. With the existence of the NHS there is no government mandate for insurance companies to accept existing conditions.

Since I have been using Aviva I have had a heart issue, AFib, resolved completely in October 2018 with an outpatient procedure, a cryoablation. In 2019 when I contacted the insurance broker to look for the best rates I was told that now I had a preexisting heart condition Aviva was the only option even though I am cured and on no prescription drugs. Absolutely no change in premiums from Aviva in 2019 or 2020 so am very grateful for that.

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Old Jul 18th 2020, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Correct. Like all insurances you can’t get it once you have a problem. You don’t wait until you have a leaking roof before taking out house insurance. With the existence of the NHS there is no government mandate for insurance companies to accept existing conditions.

Since I have been using Aviva I have had a heart issue, AFib, resolved completely in October 2018 with an outpatient procedure, a cryoablation. In 2019 when I contacted the insurance broker to look for the best rates I was told that now I had a preexisting heart condition Aviva was the only option even though I am cured and on no prescription drugs. Absolutely no change in premiums from Aviva in 2019 or 2020 so am very grateful for that.
Thanks. Trying to weigh up whether there would be any actual benefit for us in buying private insurance. It costs a fraction of what it does here, but seems to mostly either speed things up or get you a private hospital room? I'm healthy as a horse, touch wood, but OH would have a preexisting. Here, there is group insurance through work where preexisting conditions are covered because no individual's condition is taken into account. You pay a group rate, but through the nose. At my job, I was paying over 600 USD per month for the premium for the three of us. If I were to pay the whole premium, it would have been over 2k per month. And of course there is no NHS.

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Old Jul 18th 2020, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Thanks. Trying to weigh up whether there would be any actual benefit for us in buying private insurance. It costs a fraction of what it does here, but seems to mostly either speed things up or get you a private hospital room? I'm healthy as a horse, touch wood, but OH would have a preexisting.
We agonized over this but since it only is costing 1/9th of the premiums we were paying in the USA​​​​​, not including dental or vision we decided to go ahead. My wife developed cataracts in both eyes in 2018 and since she had RK surgery on both eyes in the 1980s it was going to be more complicated, and the recommendation was for a particular surgeon which was not a problem as the NHS allows a choice of consultant. However it was a long waiting list so we decided to contact him as a private patient in our local Nuffield hospital where he also is a consultant. Aviva said that we could use him but they would not cover his entire fee and also pointed out that they would not pay for any non-standard lenses. He has been brilliant, did all the tests then did the “easy” eye first at the Nuffield. He also waived the excess fee, accepting what the insurance paid which was £300 less than his invoice.

He then recommended that my wife switch to the NHS for the other eye because he was not sure it would be fixed in a single procedure plus it needed a specialized “toric” lens that the insurance would not cover but the NHS would cover it because the astigmatism was too great to be fixed by glasses. He told her not to worry about waiting lists because he set the schedules. He also said that our local NHS hospital had THE best equipment available anywhere. She has not needed a second operation and he has been absolutely great. That second eye has been the troublesome and she continues to use eye drops every evening to help stabilize the vision during the day. One Sunday morning at 8:30 we were walking down to the town to have breakfast when he called her up to tell her that he had just got back from a conference in the USA where a colleague told him about some different eye drops he uses on his RK lens replacement patients, and he’d like her to give them a try so would it be okay if he she came in on Tuesday afternoon so she could try them out for a few weeks. Don’t worry about an appointment he said, I’m just running a children’s clinic, turn up at the hospital and ask for me.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 3:57 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Correct. Like all insurances you can’t get it once you have a problem. You don’t wait until you have a leaking roof before taking out house insurance. With the existence of the NHS there is no government mandate for insurance companies to accept existing conditions.
Alright that just rained on my parade! I have a couple of preexisting conditions so I'll have to do a bit of research on whether it is available for me. I suppose I could get it for the wife and only and that would be a bit of protection for her. It would also be a bit of protection for me against a "this is crap compared to America" moan too. I'll just run the gauntlet with the wonderful NHS after all, maybe!
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

Originally Posted by GOALFIRE View Post
Alright that just rained on my parade! I have a couple of preexisting conditions so I'll have to do a bit of research on whether it is available for me. I suppose I could get it for the wife and only and that would be a bit of protection for her. It would also be a bit of protection for me against a "this is crap compared to America" moan too. I'll just run the gauntlet with the wonderful NHS after all, maybe!
I’ve had a great experience with the NHS this last 3 years and not actually used my policy. We can always get a same day appointment with a GP, very fortunate in that respect.

I was diagnosed with paroxysmal AFib in 2017 and referred to the arrhythmia unit at our local hospital which happens to be a regional heart care centre. After several visits, lots of tests and a few months of monitoring (no drugs needed) I was told that I was a good candidate for cryo ablation which I had done as an outpatient in 2018 and have been absolutely great since. If there had been any delays longer than 6 weeks then I could have used my private insurance.

In 2018 I had a mole on my back that my wife was concerned about so went down to see my GP who said there were actually 3 moles/lesions that were suspicious and he referred me to the skin cancer unit. I had an appointment the following week where the consultant said they were probably okay but he would feel better if they were incised and tested. 6 weeks later I had them removed as an outpatient and tested.

There endeth my NHS advertisement.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Critique my British Budget!

The NHS is a really marvelous institution. My 84yr old Mum had a mild case of Covid 19 and was dealt with in a really compassionate way and is back at home pottering in her garden again. Nothing was too much trouble at the hospital even though we couldn't visit. The evening shift nurses were more than happy to get Mum's mobile out so we could talk to her..... Also think the OP has a very doable budget as long as he is not going into the heart of London.....
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