Money-saving Brits are turning a blind eye to serious symptoms of illness and instead playing doctor with sticking-plaster cures and bizarre old wives’ remedies in a bid to avoid medical bills.
Nine in ten told researchers for Aviva UK Health that they would rather treat themselves than visit a professional, while three in four will soldier on hoping aches and pains will simply go away in time.
The 'Make Do and Mend Medics' study conducted to support the launch of Aviva's new My Health Cash Plan product showed that Britons live with cracked teeth and lost fillings or tape up broken glasses, and regularly neglect eye and dental checks to save cash, ignore bad backs and aching joints, sprains and corns or athletes foot rather than seek treatment, favour old wives’ remedies as a way of avoiding medical bills, and some have gone as far as extracting their own teeth, or borrowing someone else’s contact lenses or dentures.
More alarmingly, seven in ten regularly ignore potential indicators of serious illness, like headaches, dizziness or chest pains, to avoid medical costs. And a third risk their health with out of date, foreign or internet ordered medicines.
Dr Hugh Laing at Aviva UK Health says, “Avoiding medical treatment is a false economy. Regular health checks can help identify issues before they become more serious or costly. A medical professional is the best person to differentiate a minor ailment from a warning sign of serious illness. A third of the people we spoke to believe there are more important things to spend their money on than their health, but there are now very cost-effective healthcare plans which allow people to manage their health and avoid unexpected bills arising from ill-health.”
My Health Cash Plan is a flexible cost effective policy that helps you manage everyday health expenses. This includes dental and optical treatment, health screening and physiotherapy.
It offers re-imbursement towards:
- Dental and optical treatment
- Therapies including physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, homeopathy and acupuncture
- Prescriptions and GP charges
- Health screening
- Baby bonus
- 24-hour GP and stress counselling helplines
- Gym membership discounts
You can personalise cover by choosing from the following options:
- Increased re-imbursement
- Hospital extras including in-patient and day-patient cash benefits, X-rays as a private patient, specialist second opinion, child support cash benefit
- Health Enhance – re-imbursement towards chiropody, podiatry, dietician, allergy advice
- Reduced re-imbursement
- Dental and optical cover only