Question: I am filling in a form for private healthcare and asked if it covered RSI. As I already have this condition before joining, I may not be covered by any insurance now or in the future. I have been asked to fill in the forms but might not be successful. Does anyone have any advice?
Answer 1: I was in a similar position about three and a half years ago when I started working for my present company. I put down on my form that I had mild symptoms of RSI since I had already seen a GP about it and therefore it would be on my medical records. When BUPA sent me my cover details, they specifically excluded treatment in respect of RSI. If you’ve seen a GP about it, it’ll be on your medical records and you’ll have to declare it. Recently, the company changed to using CIGNA instead of BUPA.
After a recent meeting with HR, they called CIGNA to see if I was covered and CIGNA said that I was. I don’t know whether it was that some kind of qualifying period applied or whether there was an administrative cock-up in the switch or what. It means though that I’ve been able to get an appointment with a rheumatologist for Monday, instead of waiting to get onto a waiting list to see someone via the NHS. So you might still be able to get private treatment, but perhaps not straight away.
Answer 2: I have a similar thing with my knees which I’d seen my doctor about on various occasions. As nothing had been diagnosed they just excluded my knees. If I were you and RSI has not been diagnosed then I wouldn’t declare it. I don’t think you can get into trouble for this. I’m in the position now that my knees have a firm diagnosis (it’s biomechanical i.e. just the way that I’m made) but I’m petrified now that they’ll exclude other things as well (such as hip problems) if I ask for a reassessment. It’s often a catch 22 situation but as I said before, if you’ve not been firmly diagnosed then I think you can get away with not declaring. My BUPA form also said visits to the doctor in the last 2 years which at the time I’d been seeing him a lot. If your form says the same (or similar) then you might be able to not declare it via that route.