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Six in ten can't fund healthcare costs

engage mutual

More than 60% of people in Great Britain say they can no longer afford to pay for some or all of their family's healthcare needs as the cost of living spirals, according to research from engage Mutual.

 

Of those struggling to pay, 43% can no longer afford regular check-ups at the dentist, or treatment for dental problems.

 

engage Mutual asked a GB representative sample of 1,948 adults which aspects of their families' healthcare costs they can no longer afford, many of which are typically covered by health cash plans.

 

Health costs that struggling GB adults can no longer afford:

 

Dental checks ups

43%

New Glasses/spectacles

43%

Daily vitamins and health supplements

23%

Prescription charges for medicines

20%

Family eye check ups

16%

 

Key Findings:

  • Families with children under 16 are heaviest hit by rises in the general costs of living, with seven in ten of those questioned finding some health costs unaffordable as a result. 43% cannot fund dental check ups or treatment and prescription charges are beyond the means of one in five.
  • The over 55s are also struggling with 63% lacking the finances to cover some health costs. Of these, 43% cannot afford new spectacles, and13% struggle to pay prescription charges.

 

Regional Data:

  • Lancashire and the North East are the serious strugglers when it comes to health costs with 69% suffering. Of these, new spectacles top the list as the most common unaffordable cost for Lancastrians (48%), and regular dental check ups are beyond the means of 49% of those struggling in the North East.
  • In Yorkshire more than 50% can no longer fund some health care costs, with rising costs of living to blame. Of these, 41% are unable to afford dental check ups and new spectacles are now beyond the means of 48%.
  • In East Anglia they have fewer problems funding their healthcare costs, yet the figures still remain high with 55% stating they cannot fund some of them.

 

Karl Elliott, for engage Mutual says: “With the cost of living on the rise, our research shows a shocking number of people struggling to pay for some quite basic family healthcare necessities. engage is committed to providing a range of simple and straightforward financial products to meet the needs of the modern British family.”

 

“The engage Health Cash Plan can help families budget for and meet the costs of everyday healthcare, providing cash back on14 different healthcare benefits and services, such as eye examinations, spectacles, dental checks and treatment and health screening."

 

Choosing the Select, or basic level of the engage Health Cash Plan, at £2.40 per week, provides up to £100 cash back on dental costs every year, up to £100 cash back on optical costs every two years, and up to £500 cash back over two years towards acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy or physiotherapy treatment. These are in addition to 11 other cash back benefits also offered at this level.

 

Health cash plans: News update: September 2008