Choose your employer carefully: it could save your health
Choose your employer carefully: it could save your health
26 January 2023
If you’ve been referred for a laparoscopy to diagnose suspected endometriosis, you’re probably thinking, what now?
Choose your employer carefully: it could save your health

Obtaining treatment through the NHS means joining a waiting list of over 600,000 women, with many being quoted up to one year for a procedure. A long time for someone suffering debilitating and chronic pain, which could potentially worsen the longer the condition is left untreated.

Another option is to go private but expect to pay around £5,000 for your initial surgery. If an excision laparoscopy is required to cut out visible endometriotic tissue, the cost can quickly surpass £10,000. Given that the average salary for women aged 22-39 is £26,000 - £31,000, few will have the disposable income to afford such an expense.   

So, what is the solution? It could be your employer.   

Thankfully, more and more companies are offering private medical insurance. What many don’t make clear, however, is what level of coverage this includes. A lot of business health insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, and if the word ‘endometriosis’ is mentioned even once in your medical notes, it will be considered just that. The good news? If a company has at least 20 employees, they’re eligible for something called Medical History Disregarded (MHD), a health insurance option that dismisses any pre-existing conditions. With this, you can receive the treatment you need now without paying a penny.   

If you’re looking for a new job, make sure you clarify with your prospective employer what kind of medical insurance they offer; it could be something they’re willing to explore if they don’t utilise MHD already. PwC and Adobe are two exemplars of women's health in the workplace, providing insurance that cover issues from infertility through to menopause. Alternatively, if you like your current employer and have no desire to leave, but MHD isn’t currently an option, raise this with your HR department and find out what’s possible. If they’re not willing or able to switch to an MHD alternative, it might be worth considering your options.   

It's time we make our health a priority, starting with our employers. Whilst we can’t control the state of the UK gynaecological waiting list, we do have some control over who we work for and how we advocate for ourselves.   

If you’d like to explore potential employers, Great Place To Work recently published a report on the best workplaces for women. Check it out here.

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