Newest Review: ... and my son. HSA covers up to four children, under the age of 18, who live with you, and they are covered free, for the same amount of ... more
A Plan Worth Having
Member Name: criple
Date: 02/12/02, updated on 27/04/05 (2914 review reads)
Advantages: Wide Range Of Benefits, Helpful Customer Servies, Easy To Complete Claim Forms
Disadvantages: Initial Waiting Period
I'll explain the basics first so you can get an idea if it's the kind of thing that you would benefit from, to be honest I don't think there is anyone that wouldn't benefit. I will also touch on a few other plans that have different uses when people become ill or have an accident.
Firstly, HSA 'IS NOT' private medical insurance. Private medical insurance is where you pay a monthly or yearly premium to receive private medical care, either by means of consultations or actual treatment. It generally covers most medical procedures and if you opt for NHS treatment then some will pay you a cash sum. People in high profile jobs or those who have their own business benefit most from these as any length of time off work costs money. Elderly people take out these plans but the older you get the more expensive it becomes.
Secondly, it IS NOT a critical illness policy. A critical illness policy is where you receive a cash lump sum on diagnosis of a specified critical illness, i.e. potentially life threatening. You do not have to die from this to receive payment like you do with a life assurance policy. The idea behind it is that any special treatment or adaptations required to the home can be achieved through receiving a one off lump sum.
Thirdly, it IS NOT an income replacement plan that provides you with some income if you are unable to work through accident or illness. For income replacement you again pay an annual or monthly premium in return for an amount of money to cover loss of earnings.
***** WHAT IS IT THEN *****
HSA is a healthcare cash plan provider that helps with the everyday cost of healthcare. Individuals, families and employees use it and there are different plans available. It is a mutual association that dates back as far as 192
2. It was formed with the aim of saving hospitals from clos
ure and helping its contributors cope financially with hospitalisation. As times change so as the needs of the contributors and the benefits that HSA provide. Not long ago dental check ups and eye tests were free. Nowadays many of the basic health care services are chargeable. An eye test is around £15-£20 and a check up and scale and polish can be £10-£15, maybe even more depending on where you live and if you pay private or on the NHS. Many dentists are refusing to take on new NHS patients and therefore people are avoiding even going for dental check ups. Eye tests are so important not just to detect vision problems but also to monitor more serious illnesses. A check up at the dentist can actually save lives. A friend of mine whose father had a dental check up was found to have cancer, mouth and throat cancer are fairly common and can be detected by visiting the dentist.
***** HOW CAN IT BENEFIT YOU *****
I have mentioned optical and dental treatment above, these are just two of the health treatments you can claim money back to help with the cost. It doesn't matter if you choose NHS or private as long as you collect a receipt and complete a claim form you will receive a payment. You can't claim for any treatment you receive free but you will get paid a small amount if you have to receive treatment as a hospital in-patient or casualty admission. You even receive an allowance to have a private consultation if you feel that you cannot wait to see a consultant on the NHS. As more alternative therapies are proving to be of benefit I'm pleased to say that HSA also include treatments such as Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropody, Allergy Testing and Homeopathy on their list of benefits. The amount you can claim towards the cost will depend on the amount that you contribute. It will also depend if you choose and individual, family or a group plan for employ
ees. Full details can be obtained from the website: ww
w.hsa.co.uk or by telephoning their customer services on 0800 08 54321, the maximum age is 60 for individual plans.
I joined through work and this is an excellent idea as the money, both for my husband and myself is taken directly from my salary. It is worthwhile checking with your employer if they run such a plan, as it is very convenient. If not then don't despair. You can go online and fill in an online request information form or write to them at:
I'm sure if you phone them they will send you a form out by post.
***** HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE *****
I will concentrate on the individual plan for now to give you some idea of what you will be expected to pay and what you will get in return. You can choose to pay a weekly premium of £1.10 right up to £8.80. If you choose the £1.10 plan for example you will received benefits of up to £37 per year for dental, £31 per year for optical, £32 for chiropody and £68 for consultation. This list is not exhaustive as physio, chiropractic, osteo treatment etc come under the same group but you can claim up to £115.
On £8.80 per week the amounts would increase to: £269 dental, £248 optical, £544 consultation, £256 chiropody and £920 for other combined benefits. You can see there is a big difference and there will be a plan to suit your circumstances and budget.
What happens is that if you contribute as an individual you will receive half the amount back you pay for any treatment up to the set limits on your plan. For example on the £1.10 plan if you had a dental bill for £15, you would receive £7.50 back. If you had a dental bill for £74.00 you would receive the £37 back. If you received a dental bill for £200 you would still only receive the maximum of £37. 00
This is per year and goes from the anniversary date that you joined. So
me benefits have an initial waiting time of six m
onths and some longer when you first join or increase your premium. One of the benefits is a maternity payment so you would expect there to be a wait on this. As with any plan you are not supposed to claim for any existing medical conditions and you may have to divulge your medical history. You don't have to have a medical but they can write to your doctor if they so wish. Once you start to suffer with a condition after the qualifying period they won't exclude you at any point in the future. I have been claiming for Chiropractic treatment for years. If you increase your membership cover you will continue at your existing rate until the qualifying conditions have been met.
***** WHAT IF I HAVE A SPOUSE AND/OR CHILDREN *****
There is an option to take out a family plan up to the age of 70. If only one adult pays the specified premium then it works in exactly the same way as above except that you can also claim for resident children up to the age of 18. If both you and your spouse contribute than you will effectively be able to claim double. The reason for this is that you can both claim half the amount paid for treatment (subject to benefit limits) for each other and for children. i.e the dental treatment referred to above on the £1.10 plan would entitle each contributor to claim for either adult or child up to a maximum £37.00 worth of treatment but as both contributors can claim up to half of the amount paid, in effect you can claim back the full cost of treatment. For example if £74 worth of dental treatment were done on one adult each contributor would receive their maximum amount of £37 as half the cost would be paid for each of them, this would total the full £74 of treatment costs. It is quite difficult to explain and if you have any concerns at all please speak to a customer adviser, they are very helpful. The family plan contributions and benefit payments are slightly different
to those for individuals. As you would expec
t they are more expensive but not much. They start at £1.80 and go up to £14.40. If you apply through your employer on a business plan it will also be slightly different but they all work basically the same.
***** WHAT HAVE THEY DONE FOR ME *****
Well, as I have a back problem I have Chiropractic treatment which needs to be paid for. Although I have to pay the money up front I always receive the money back from HSA within a couple of weeks. I had my most recent appointment on November 14th and I received the money by November 29th this included posting the claim form, waiting for them to receive it and the money being credited to my account. You can receive the money via two ways, cheque or bank transfer. I opted for bank transfer as it saves the hassle of running up to the bank. If you don't do this initially then one simple phone call or a visit to their website and it's arranged in a matter of seconds.
I have received payments of £8 which is now £9 (not much but its there) when I have had in patient treatment at the hospital. It doesn't matter if this is as a day case or overnight stay. If you stay overnight then you receive more money.
We were paid when my daughter had problems with verrucas and needed to see a Chiropodist.
We have received money back for the eyes tests that we have needed.
We have received payments for all my dental treatment that cost me a couple of hundred pounds. I claimed back the maximum I could and so did my husband as he contributes also.
I received payments for allergy testing for both my daughter and me, as this is a one off thing it covered the whole amount. This was excellent as although we don't pay anything for each child to be covered they also receive benefits on the family plan. It is hardly any more expensive than the individual plan but children and spouses are covered.
I am currently g
etting homeopathic treatment for my dau
ghter. This was not something I might have otherwise considered due to the cost. As it is £35 for an initial consultation and £20 for follow up appointments. I can be rest assured that HSA will cover that amount.
As my stepson has moved in with us I wanted to add him to the plan. I telephoned them and they simply took his Name and date of birth and said that as long as he permanently resided with us there wasn't a problem. It took a matter of minutes and they added him, they will send some documentation through the post for confirmation and it won't cost any extra.
***** HOW DO YOU CLAIM *****
This is really simple, the claim form is just one sheet of paper and for most treatments you just need to tick the relevant box, sign, date and post it with the receipt. If it is for hospital treatment that you don't pay for then they will need to fill in a small portion and stamp the form, all very painless unlike what you're probably in for. You can claim for parental stay in hospital if your child is ill at £10 per night.
Each time you make a claim they send you another claim form so you should never run short. If you do you can fill in a request for a claim form online or telephone them. They provide you with addressed envelopes but you do need a stamp.
Each person covered on the plan will have a personal code, each benefit you claim for has a benefit code and so it couldn't be simpler.
***** OTHER BENEFITS AND INFO *****
There are many benefits you can claim even nursing home, home help and mental health treatment, There is so much to mention so it's best to check out the website or give them a ring.
When you join you will be given a 24-hour helpline dedicated to HSA users. It will offer help and advice on a range of domestic and legal issues. You will pay the cost of the call at national rate but the advice is free.
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There are so many different options available so if you are unsure then consult a member of staff before making your decision. Please make sure you read all the terms and conditions and exclusions fully, if in doubt ask.
The staff members have been very helpful on each occasion I have spoken to them and I have always received my payments within a couple of weeks. I have been told that they are one of the best companies offering this kind of plan and they come recommended by many healthcare professionals. If you opt for treatment with any alternative medical practitioner it is best to check their qualifications and always consult a doctor with any medical condition prior to seeking alternative help.
I would recommend them on the basis that you will more than likely have some treatment on an annual basis, even if it is just a check up at the dentist and an eye test. If you develop problems like I have in the future it will be a godsend as waiting times for hospital physio treatment can be lengthy. It is a small amount pay for that extra piece of mind should you be faced with a hefty bill or need treatment sooner rather than later.