"I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee some years ago, but had no idea that my hip was affected until my daughter remarked that I was limping badly"Says Caroline, who worked on an NHS transitional care ward for mothers and babies.
"I went to see the GP and was referred to a specialist who told me that, although young, I needed a hip replacement"
Receiving quality care
Caroline stayed in a hospital for six days and was very pleased with the care.
"The consultant I requested carried out the operation in a lovely private hospital just 500 yards from home. The hospital is in beautiful surroundings, it's very quiet and clean and the staff are lovely. It was great having a private room so I could rest without interruption. I had my own wet room, the food was freshly cooked and well presented, and the free parking made it easy for people to visit me."
"Privacy is also very important to me. I had been disappointed by the lack of dignity on the NHS when a previous medical problem I experienced was viewed by a group of medical students without first asking my permission. By contrast, at the private hospital everything was completely discreet."
Although Caroline is an NHS nurse she believes there is a place for both private and NHS care.
"There is no doubt that, if I’d had to have my hip replacement on the NHS, I would have waited much longer. As I love my job and wanted to get back to it quickly, that just wasn’t on. When I called Saga after being diagnosed it was all incredibly simple. There was someone I could speak to personally and they sent the forms out the next day with a letter to say I could proceed."
Taking care of the details
Caroline was especially impressed that Saga dealt with the hospital directly.
"I didn't have to do anything after I had a set the ball rolling. You don't want to be worried by financial considerations when you are trying to recover from an operation. Saga took all the worry away and sent me the details after they had paid the invoice. This year I have reaped the benefits of a No Claim Discount which has reduced my monthly premium."
"The bill for my hip replacement came to £11,000 and my previous operation cost £5,000 – there is no way I could have afforded either out of my own pocket. As a nurse I don’t earn a big wage, but good health is not something I am prepared to compromise. I would rather miss out on buying a new top or household knick-knack than not have health insurance. My Saga HealthPlan is certainly money well spent. It covers everything including cancer. I also have a policy for my husband. He’s never been ill but I know he would hate to be on a mixed NHS ward, so this gives us both peace of mind. All in all, when it comes to private healthcare insurance, this is as good as it gets."
Choosing the right provider
Caroline previously had a care package with another well-known health insurer but decided to look for something different.
"I did loads of research. I was looking for something straightforward where I didn’t have to pay money upfront and Saga fitted the bill perfectly. There are no hidden clauses and their policy was simply the best in terms of price and benefits."
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