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  • Writer's pictureProactive Medical & Life

Why Cancelling Your Private Medical Insurance is Not a Good Idea in Today's Climate


As the UK's National Health Service (NHS) faces mounting challenges, more and more people are relying on private medical insurance to ensure quick access to quality healthcare. Despite the temptation to save money by cancelling your private medical insurance and self-funding your healthcare needs, there are several compelling reasons why you should hold on to your coverage, particularly during this critical time for the NHS.


Escalating Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs in the UK have been on the rise, and while the NHS remains free at the point of service, private healthcare expenses can be prohibitive. A single private consultation can cost several hundred pounds, and the price of surgical procedures can run into the tens of thousands. By cancelling your private medical insurance, you run the risk of encountering a sudden, unexpected health issue that could leave you with a significant financial burden. Health insurance plans provide a financial safety net, ensuring that you have access to necessary treatments without the stress of high out-of-pocket costs.


Lengthy NHS Waiting Times

The NHS is a vital resource for millions of people in the UK, but it has been struggling under the weight of demand, with waiting times growing longer every year. As of 2021, over 5 million people were waiting for routine surgery, Thats has grown exponentially and the average waiting time for a non-urgent consultant-led treatment was 24.2 weeks. Private health insurance allows you to bypass these lengthy waiting periods, granting you swift access to medical care when you need it most. This rapid response can be crucial in diagnosing and treating health issues before they worsen, potentially saving you both time and money in the long run.


The latest figures for January 2023 show:

  • around 7.21 million people waiting for treatment;

  • 3.0 million of these patients waiting over 18 weeks;

  • 379,245 of these patients waiting over a year for treatment – which is around 231 times the number of people waiting over a year pre-pandemic in January 2020.

  • a median waiting time for treatment of 14.6 weeks – significantly higher than the pre-Covid median wait of 8.4 weeks in January 2020.


Pic source & data source : https://www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/nhs-delivery-and-workforce/pressures/nhs-backlog-data-analysis


NHS Under Pressure

With the NHS facing unprecedented challenges, cancelling your private medical insurance might not be a wise decision. The NHS is grappling with the impact of COVID-19, budget constraints, and an ageing population, all of which are putting immense pressure on the system. By retaining your private health insurance, you are not only safeguarding your own well-being but also easing the burden on the NHS. This helps to ensure that resources are available for those who cannot afford private healthcare, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.


Peace of Mind for the Big Things

Private health insurance may seem like a luxury, but it offers invaluable peace of mind when it comes to the "big things" in life. Comprehensive coverage ensures that you are protected in the event of a major illness or injury, which can require extensive treatment and lengthy recovery times. By maintaining your private medical insurance, you can rest easy knowing that you and your family are covered, regardless of what life throws your way.


It's crucial to recognise that sometimes, for financial reasons, we may need to cancel our insurance products. In these instances, it's important to prioritise our financial well-being and only pay for what we can genuinely afford. Living beyond our means can lead to greater financial strain in the long run, so making responsible choices is essential. If you find yourself struggling financially, don't hesitate to seek help from a financial adviser or work with a professional who specialises in financial planning. These experts can provide valuable guidance to help you regain control of your finances and make informed decisions that align with your current financial capabilities.


Cancelling your private medical insurance may seem like an attractive way to save money in the short term, but it could have far-reaching consequences for your financial security and overall well-being. By holding onto your coverage, you can avoid the skyrocketing costs of private healthcare in the UK, sidestep lengthy NHS waiting times, and contribute to alleviating pressure on the NHS. Ultimately, retaining your private health insurance is an investment in your health and peace of mind, ensuring that you are prepared for whatever life has in store.


Remember, your financial health should always come first, and sometimes that means making tough choices.

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