88% would cancel or delay a health care appointment rather than cut back on socialising
New research by Sovereign Health Care has revealed that 63% of UK residents have delayed vital health care treatments to save money over the past 12 months, with women being the worst offenders (34%). Meanwhile more men (54%) than women (42%) said they will have to put back health related appointments this year in order to make their household budget stretch further.
The survey revealed that the economic climate has resulted in a growing number of people neglecting their health in order to try and save money. What’s perhaps even more worrying is that the vast majority of respondents (88%) say they would cancel or delay a health care appointment (such as dentist or opticians), rather than cut back on socialising and entertaining to make their money stretch further.
Although only 20% of those polled said they had been more ill over the last year, compared with previous years, 43% said they have been living with health care conditions such as a bad back, bunions and eye sight problems, as they can’t afford to get treatment - men are the worst culprits (22%). With these findings, it comes as no surprise to learn that 43% of women and 37% of men say it’s quite possible that they have forfeited their health over the past 12 months.
The survey findings also revealed that many people view certain complementary therapies as luxuries rather than necessities, including reflexology (91%), chiropody (73%) and physiotherapy (54%).
Russ Piper, Chief Executive of Sovereign Health Care says: “Delaying health care treatment is tempting when budgets are so tight, but neglecting your health is potentially more expensive and dangerous in the long run as you can increase both the severity of the problems you face and the cost of the treatment you need.”
He adds: “Treatments such as chiropody and physiotherapy can be costly, which is probably why people think of them as a luxury. However, they are beneficial for many people with health problems or injuries and they can be affordable with a health care cash plan as you can often claim back some of the costs.”
It’s not only physical health that is suffering due to the recession, but mental well-being is also being affected, with 81% of people saying they have grown increasingly more anxious about managing their household budget over the last 12 months - women were revealed as the most worried at 52%.
Sovereign Health Care is one of the UK’s leading provider’s of health care cash plans, which are designed to help you manage the cost of everyday health care so that you don’t have to sacrifice your health to make ends meet. However, it seems the vast majority of people (77%) are unsure of what a cash plan is and how it can help them.
An affordable alternative to private medical insurance, health care cash plans are designed to be used. Individuals can claim tax free cash back towards a wide range of everyday health care including: glasses/contact lenses, dental treatment, hospital stays, physiotherapy and even complementary treatments such as reflexology.
Russ concludes: “A health care cash plan can help you manage your household budget better and can give you added peace of mind that affordability doesn’t have to be a reason for delaying treatment and compromising your health, as you will get cash back towards the costs.”