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hernia and health insurance
Old 03-02-2007, 10:15 PM   #1
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hernia and health insurance

I've search the forum and found a few mentions of hernias and health insurance ....

My doc says I have a hernia, but says that there is no reason to repair it citing a NEJM article. I ask him whether I should have surgery while I am still working and have great health insurance. I also say I don't want to have problems getting insurance when I retire early. From his reaction he has never been asked this by one of his patients (I'm a few years younger than he is).

Question to the forum: Has an existing hernia changed the health insurance you were able to obtain? I read that 25% of males eventually have a hernia, so it has to be common that there are lots of hernias out there with many repaired and many unrepaired.
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-02-2007, 10:45 PM   #2
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Re: hernia and health insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!

My doc says I have a hernia, but says that there is no reason to repair it citing a NEJM article. I ask him whether I should have surgery while I am still working and have great health insurance. I also say I don't want to have problems getting insurance when I retire early.
Can't answer the insurance issue directly, but if you choose to wait rather than operate there is a 30% chance you will need it done within 5 years due to symptoms (referring to graoin hernias). So, it's a real actuarial risk for the carrier. And yes, 25% of males (less than half that for women) develop a groin hernia at some time in their lives so the insurance companies have lots of data.

I tell my patients who have no symptoms that they can safely wait and see but if they plan extensive travel or live in a remote area, have a critical job position, etc. it can be done electively at their soonest convenience. One guy was a general in the army who, like Eisenhower's elective healthy appendectomy in WW2, decided to get it fixed before heading to the middle east.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-02-2007, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: hernia and health insurance

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Originally Posted by LOL!
. . .Question to the forum: Has an existing hernia changed the health insurance you were able to obtain? I read that 25% of males eventually have a hernia, so it has to be common that there are lots of hernias out there with many repaired and many unrepaired.
No. But previous routine, successful hernia surgery did result in BCBS of Arizona offering health insurance only with an exclusion related to the hernia.

I'm not sure you can win. I'm convinced that underwriters get paid a bonus if they can write exclusions. It's kinda like the stock market drivel in the media. They claim the market went up today because of X. Tomorrow X caused the market to drop. I'm waiting to hear of someone who is denied health insurance coverage because they have no history of any medical problems. They will be considered overdue for a major medical catastrophe.
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-03-2007, 04:02 AM   #4
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Re: hernia and health insurance

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No. But previous routine, successful hernia surgery did result in BCBS of Arizona offering health insurance only with an exclusion related to the hernia.
SG, did this cause you to also have to pay a higher premium at a non-preferred rate? Or was the exclusion independent from the premium they charged?

Kramer
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: hernia and health insurance

Can't answer on that, but I do know that I had an inguinal hernia a couple of years ago. Read up a lot if you haven't already and educate yourself about *your* particular situation.

What I learned was that my hernia, though painless and had never caused me problems, could potentially become strangulated requiring emergency medical attention.

I thought about it and decided that I'd rather get mine fixed on my own terms. If for nothing else , it has given me the piece of mind that I won't be going to the hospital unexpectedly because of that.

Also, I enjoy traveling, so the last thing I ever want to have happen is needing emergency surgery in a foreign country (since I can't guarantee whether I'll be in a country with excellent or poor medical care).

Your situation may be different, and as such, there are different risks/rewards.

I can't answer on the health insurance thing, but I have applied for multiple life insurance policies since then and all have never cared at all about the hernia (then again, people don't typically die of hernias so it is a bit different than health insurance).

Out of pocket, I think I paid about $300 for my surgery when all was said and done. The bill though was about $12k total, and if I didn't have good health insurance I'd have probably cared what the itemized bill looked like.
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-03-2007, 06:02 PM   #6
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Re: hernia and health insurance

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Originally Posted by kramer
SG, did this cause you to also have to pay a higher premium at a non-preferred rate? Or was the exclusion independent from the premium they charged?

Kramer
I ended up going with Humana which did not write in an exclusion, so I don't recall if there was a higher premium too. I felt like there should have been a lower premium since the risk they were going to take was diminished. They didn't go for that idea.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:41 PM   #7
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Re: hernia and health insurance

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I ended up going with Humana which did not write in an exclusion, so I don't recall if there was a higher premium too. I felt like there should have been a lower premium since the risk they were going to take was diminished. They didn't go for that idea.
Thanks for the data, and I am glad that you found suitable insurance. Apparently, some insurance companies automatically exclude you from premium rates if you have any medical exclusion.

To the OP: I would do more research, but would definitely lean toward just getting it done.

Kramer
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-04-2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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Re: hernia and health insurance

Thanks all for the comments. I have some things to read up on and to think about .
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-04-2007, 07:37 PM   #9
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Re: hernia and health insurance

LOL!, I say just go ahead & git 'er done. I just had an inguinal hernia repaired this past summer, and as mentioned above, without repair there is the possiblility of the hernia becoming strangulated, which is not a good thing, could be very dangerous. Mine never did hurt, I found it in the shower.....no comments please! Not speaking directly from experience, rather speculating that insurance-wise, you'd definitely be better off having "had" a hernia rather than "having" a hernia.....
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Re: hernia and health insurance
Old 03-04-2007, 11:00 PM   #10
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Re: hernia and health insurance

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Originally Posted by martyb
. . . you'd definitely be better off having "had" a hernia rather than "having" a hernia.....
Yes. Despite my experience with BCBS insurance underwriters, I think you'd be nuts to neglect getting the surgery.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:20 AM   #11
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Re: hernia and health insurance

Hernias need to be repaired. If you are active it will limit your activity.

Again you have insurance and the B@stards do not want to cover it.

Wondaefinful no?
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