Aneurysm Size and Medipac Coverage

Fall 2013 CSANews Issue 88  |   Posted date : Oct 10, 2013.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I was unable to get a favourable quote from Medipac (last fall) as I have a 4.6 cm abdominal aortic aneurysm. I am 67 years old. My surgeon will not operate until it gets to 5.5 cm. I have been spending three months in Myrtle Beach for the last 12 years and am now encountering difficulties in getting travel insurance, as most insurers want to know if it’s stable for the last six months or longer. As I am having an ultrasound every six months, it’s difficult to say if it's stable as it is increasing in size…although nominally.

My inquiry is this. Medipac has now increased its aneurysm size to 4.6 cm for coverage. My cardiovascular surgeon and, apparently, most surgeons will not operate until it's 5.5 cm, which seems to be the norm for corrective surgery. Statistics seem to say that you have a one in 100 chance of a rupture at 5.5 cm. My question, I guess, is why will Medipac not provide coverage up to 5.5, if surgeons will not operate on anything less? My uncle had a 9.0 cm abdominal aneurysm and they never operated on him. He died at 91 from breathing problems. Why would Medipac increase their coverage to 4.6, but stop there? Ruptures can occur at any stage.

As an aside, my wife and I both enjoyed the magazine. Bird Talk is very informative and it is refreshing to get a magazine that is not 90% retirement homes and European cruises. Thanks for listening to my frustration.

Marcel Fortier
Orleans, ON

Response :
I totally understand your frustration. I am 68 and have a 4.2 cm aneurysm myself. My doctor advises me that he will book my operation when I am 5 cm and, by the time he can get an operating room scheduled, I will probably be 5.5 cm. I suggest that you ask your doctor to do the same. Your uncle was possibly not a candidate for the operation due to his breathing problems and, as best I can determine, the 5.5 cm size is the point at which the risks of rupture outweigh the risk of an operation.

It is very likely that we can provide complete insurance for you through our underwritten plan, but we will need your medical information and it could be more expensive, depending on your exact circumstances.

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