It is fair to say that I've never felt as stressed in my adult life as I do at the moment. I do not wish to discuss this in detail at this point, but I am having an issue with my insurers, who have decided that my work health policy does not cover the treatment I require. I am most frustrated at this turn of events. They are not basing this on my medical needs. They have claimed that the procedure is not a recognised procedure, but my surgeon, argueably the top in the country has provided firm evidence that it is medically the best option for me. The procedure is the only surgical option that is likely to maintain continence erectile function, which to me is a very important consideration. I could have radiotherapy, but there is a far greater risk of complications. Given that most men do not wish to be be rendered impotent by surgery, I stupidly thought that the idea that a well resepected and well read blogger recommending their cover and the benefits of private treatment may be good for business and lead to a change in their rather dubious policy. Our business has had the policy for several decades, it occurs to me that if I'd put the cash in a building society instead, I could have easily paid for the surgery. The procedure is called Neurosafe. If you are a man, you have a one in eight chance of getting prostate cancer, I believe one in four if you from a BME background.
This week saw the longest break between blogs since I started writing this blog. I enjoy writing, in the past, when I've gone on holiday, I've pre posted a few that I've been working on for a while to keep my readers entertained. I also tend to log in and write a few. However, as readers will know, I am about to undergo an operation to address a re-occurrance of prostate cancer.
If you do, then you need surgery, Neurosafe is the procedure most likely to enable you to carry on a functional sex life. Some insurers cover it. If you are thinking of taking out insurance, especially if there is a history of prostate cancer in your family, I strongly urge you to investigate their policies. When you are buying a plan, ask the question "If I get prostate cancer and I need to have surgery, will my policy cover the most appropriate treatment, with the best surgeon, at the hospital which has the equipment to perform the procedure". If the answer is no, then go elsewhere. My surgeon tells me that if we'd chosen another insurer, I would not be in this position. You cannot imagine how upset I am. My Dad would describe this as buy a dog but having to bark at the burglars yourself.
Regular, long time readers, will also know that I go away most years at this time with the HCPT charity and a group of people living with disabilities to Lourdes in France, as a group helper. I am deputy group leader of 560. I have been 15 times with the group and members are firm friends. This year, I really didn't know if I was going to go. I eventually settled on a date next week for my operation, that meant I could travel. I left last Friday and returned yesterday. I left with a letter of complaint to my insurers. I took a positive decision to immerse myself in the group and try and recharge my mental resileince batteries. For a few days, I forgot my troubles and have come back feeling mentally more robust.
I learned yesterday via email that my insurers were not backing down, despite the evidence I'd provided. They provided the following explanation