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Topic History of : BUPA & AVIVA

Max. showing the last 6 posts - (Last post first)
11 Jun 2020 17:02 #11


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Performed by Optical Express surgeon Dr Amir Mani, lens exchange surgery (RLE/NLR) in December 2018 left patient Mark with vision problems from day one: he was repeatedly told to wait, give it time… they would contact him before his 12 months aftercare period was up...

In keeping with OE's modus operandi, of course no-one did contact Mark :kiss:

And after calling them in January 2020, finally examined by an optometrist in February - not by a surgeon! - Mark was told he needed YAG laser, and that the cost would be £800-1000. (OE also tried to charge him for the appointment, which he refused to pay).

Having private health insurance with Aviva, Mark was shocked when he contacted the company last month and told they wouldn’t fund his surgery! (‘IOC’ presumably typo for ‘IOL’)

More shocking perhaps is the fact that Aviva not only have a partnership with Optical Express (for cataract ops), but also house the company in their Uxbridge premises.


Utter hypocrisy and questionable behaviour.

Bupa UK* & Aviva private health insurers' association with Optical Express was discussed here a few years ago, when reputable and ethical surgeons told me they were unable to compete with Optical Express, who allegedly not only offer ‘sweeteners' to these health insurers, but unbeatable low rates for cataract ops - way below the amounts they charge their own customers.

"'I paid insurance for 25 years then had to find £715 extra for knee surgery': The tricks health insurers are using to cut costs

It means Bupa UK customers can no longer get treatment from surgeons who charge above this level without footing some of the bill themselves. However, Bupa says it will cover all costs if they use one of its fee-assured doctors.

Alternatively, the firm is asking customers to have cataract operations at branches of opticians Optical Express — often found in shopping centres or town centres — as part of a deal thrashed out in the past year.

Anyone considering buying a medical insurance policy with Aviva needs to be cautious, because if you had any kind of surgery performed privately, a hip replacement for example, would they similarly refuse to fund necessary treatment if you later had an accident that damaged this body part?

*I have no idea whether or not Bupa UK are still in business with Optical Express, but do know that some of their members have sued OE after being referred by the company.
17 Jan 2016 18:30 #10


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If you've had cataract surgery @ Optical Express and have suffered ANY problems, please email me with your phone number urgently!
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All will be made clear in due course - unfortunately that doesn't include your vision :kiss:

01 Jan 2016 19:28 #9

Carl G

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There is a substantial difference between the approach BUPA have with OE and that which they have with other surgeons, which is that with other individuals they will deal with them - and accept charges or otherwise - by name, whereas with OE they simply refer the patient to OE. This may or may not be viewed as an abdication of responsibility on their part, depending on whether you view BUPA as a medical service or just a bunch of insurance salesmen in sharp suits. That's a difficult one to call, because BUPA colour themselves differently depending on the circumstances. They play at being a medical service, but when push comes to shove they hide behind the facade of insurance providers. In this way they claim no responsibility for the performance of the surgeons or organisations recommended by them. I offer my complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority as evidence.
BUPA are no better than a gas or electricity provider, and should be viewed as a commodity. If you can get a better deal, then take it.

In my opinion it is duplicitous of them to position themselves as anything other than insurance salesmen as they cannot be treated in law (i.e. you can't sue them) as anything other than insurance providers. For example, if BUPA recommended a surgeon to treat you for your in-growing toenail and said surgeon inadvertently removed your head, BUPA could not be held responsible. They pretend to be a provider of medical services but in fact are no such thing. The problem with that is that they are by default making decisions about medical treatment, and as evidenced by their funnelling of patients to OE (oh yes you are, I've had the sales routine myself, the FCA have reviewed it and said you were just acting as insurance salesmen so if you want to sue anyone in a fit of pique, go sue the ombudsman) they are making bad decisions based purely on cost.
02 Dec 2015 15:19 #8


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A number of independent ophthalmologists have told me over the last few years how unhappy they are with OE's financial deal with BUPA, because they are unable to compete with the same cut price costs as the high street chain if they are to provide an acceptable quality of treatment.

Unless they are prepared to pay the difference, BUPA members are therefore forced to undergo cataract surgery provided by a company currently in litigation with so many of their customers damaged by lens exchange, the majority who did not need cataract surgery but succumbed as a result of heavy sales pressure.

02 Dec 2015 13:44 #7


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Copied from RLE topic :kiss:

05 Aug 2014 22:10 #6

Bupa Bloop

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Optical Express lost the contract with Bupa is the recent news... or at least a part of the preferential treatment to send patients to OE, now all Bupa patients have the choice to choose.

Bupa didn't like their "unsupportive" relationship (allegedly).