Insurer handed me £500 bill
A few months ago, my GP advised that further investigations relating to “pancreatic irregularities” were required as soon as possible. Sadly, I lost my wife to ovarian cancer just over four years ago, essentially because the diagnosis came too late. Therefore, I, and especially my children, felt that urgency was imperative.
The hospital that was nearest and could offer the quickest appointment was not an option, according to my health insurance policy details. The other hospital at which I was eligible for full cover lost the record of an appointment I had made. Subsequently, it was put under special measures. I found both these factors offputting.
I was then advised by Health-on-Line, my health insurer, that if I paid 40pc of the costs, it would pay the remainder for me to go to the hospital of my choice. This was confirmed by email.
Now, though, it has reneged on the figure it quoted, claiming that there was a £500 excess on the policy that I should have known about. I don’t dispute I did but it should have made this clear when I asked: “What will be the costs I will have to bear?” PO, EAST YORKS
You were insured with Health-on-Line, which is part of Axa PPP Healthcare, and is something of a budget option.
A lot of toing and froing had gone on about the costs involved and, for example, what kind of CAT scan you would have. Along the way, it seems that rather a lot was lost in translation. The bill the hospital sent to you was £923, which was £500 more than you had expected because you hadn’t thought the excess would be applied to the insurer’s amount.
Health-on-Line said it reminded you on a number of occasions that this £500 excess applied to the claim. However, after discussing this with me it does believe it could have been clearer when it responded to you about the hospital costs and your share of the bill. In light of this, it is paying you £500 as a gesture of goodwill.
You have now stopped the policy and begun self-insuring. The £500, along with the £90 you were spending each month on premiums, is being ring-fenced should you ever need funds for medical treatment. However, after waiting for three hours with no sign of the bailiffs, I eventually learned that they had gone to the wrong place. The bailiffs’ office acknowledges that the mistake was not mine but theirs. Naturally, the locksmith charged for his time.
I sent his £120 bill to the bailiffs asking them to reimburse me. In spite of chasing them, I have had no response. SS, LONDON
Further to my contacting the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, it investigated the matter. Its spokesman said: “We have investigated the matter and apologise for the inconvenience caused. We will be offering a full reimbursement to the individual concerned.”
You received the payment a month after my approach.