Healthcare Costs in the U.K.
She is a single female who is self-employed and self-insured. Until this year, the only doctor’s visits she made in the last decade were for annual physicals. Her insurance covered the cost of that preventative care. However, the thought has occurred to her that she might be better off putting her monthly premium in an interest bearing account and paying for those annual visits with money from that account. As a healthy individual, she pays £130 each month only to have a deductible of £3200. In essence, she would have to pay £3330 each year before her insurance would cover any non-preventative claim. Even if the annual office visit cost me £130, she would still come out ahead with her medical savings idea.
However, alarmists continue to tell her she will go bankrupt if her annual visit reveals cancer or if she was in a major car accident. Even if she had saved £1430 per year for the past ten years, she still wouldn’t be able to put a dent in unforeseen hospital bills, so she remains trapped on the insurance escalator. There is no discount for the healthy; the insurance company pads its pocket because she might have an accident or major illness someday.
She’s not the only one trapped. She has a friend who runs his own podiatry practice. A little known fact among the average population is that people with Down Syndrome frequently have foot problems. This doctor sees residents from a local group home regularly. They love him and he takes good care of them. Payment, however, is a headache. These individuals qualify for government assistance, but the podiatrist’s assistant has to fight a battle after each visit from the group home in order to see any kind of payment. The group home residents are not at fault. Most don’t understand healthcare or insurance. Neither should a physician have to provide service to these individuals at no cost simply because the government is unable to fund its own programs. He loves his job, but the fact that he is struggling financially because the government and insurance companies refuse to pay in full has him considering retirement.
The elderly couple had enough foresight to purchase long-term care insurance before both were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After losing her only son and her husband within two months, the widow had to move to assisted living. Her family had been using a sitter to watch the couple in their own home, but when her husband passed away, half of the long term care coverage vanished as well. At the time, she was healthy aside from the dementia and grief, but when her family calculated the cost of keeping full time care in the home and looked at the couple’s savings account, they realized that even with the long term care insurance they couldn’t afford to keep her in her own home.
It is too easy to discuss the increasing cost of health care and long term care by citing statistics and census data. The reality is that each number represents a story like these of people who want to do what’s right, but whose hands are forced.
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This article is provided by Cheseldan. If you live in the UK, contact them about how to avoid care home fees.
Photo credit: flickr
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