Over 15% of the UK public have cancelled a dental appointment due to cost, says a new study by Saga Health Cash Plan has revealed.
Routine healthcare is becoming a victim of the current economic climate, with over a quarter (27%) of Brits cancelling fee-based appointments.
The older generation is more aware of the importance of regular health checks than the younger generation, who are more likely to cancel appointments. One in ten over 50s have neglected dental check ups in the past 12 months compared to one in five under 50 year olds. This trend is reflected across all types of health appointments, including optical and physiotherapy appointments.
The average Brit expects to pay £96 a year on dental care and £124 on optical care, but the over 50s anticipate these costs to be higher, with £109 a year to be spent on dental and £131 on optical care. With some dental conditions costing up to £198 for a complex course of treatment on the NHS and more when treated privately the expectations of yearly healthcare costs vary dramatically from that of the actual costs paid.
When added to other healthcare costs, it seems many people feel these bills are an unnecessary expense in a tough financial climate. Health cash plans, such as those offered by Saga, allow you to claim much of the cost back for everyday health expenses such as dental and optical costs. Customers can expect to pay as little as £16.50 per month for the standard cover.
Having a cash plan in place, for NHS and private patients alike, can make a visit to a health specialist less of a financial burden as the contributions it delivers means your treatments will not cost the earth. 42% said they were more likely to go to the dentist if they had such a plan in place, and almost a quarter would also visit the optician more, as their financial worries are eased.
Andrew Goodsell of Saga says: "Your health should always be a top priority and it is encouraging to see the over 50s recognise the importance of optimal health. Having a cash plan in place helps lift the financial burden of paying for treatment, as well as encouraging customers to make regular visits to health professionals."
Dental insurance: News update: 01/06/2009