Allergies, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer are all examples of the most common chronic diseases UK citizens face today. The emotional toll of chronic illness is well documented: from depression to stress that an illness can cause, to the breakdown of self-esteem and relationships. However, no one ever really talks about the financial burden of being ill. Chances are, if you have an acute environmental illness, then you are likely to spend on over-the-counter medication or maintenance prescriptions.
UK’s Take on Healthcare
According to the NHS, the current cost for a medical prescription is £8.60, as of April 2017. The aging population requires £5 billion additional expenditure in health and social care. In fact, the number of individuals with three or more long-term conditions increased from 1.9 million in 2008 to 2.9 million in 2017. UK citizens have more health benefits those most countries across the globe, due to its all-access healthcare system. We have free access to physicians, consultants, emergency care, scheduled operations, treatments, and low-cost medications. However, the price will rise for those with more than eight monthly prescriptions for maintenance of chronic illness – averaging about £600 a month.
Follow Healthy Financial Habits
While you might have already found yourself in debt, start paying all medical and non-medical bills in full before the due date. Your goal is to pay off all medical expenses as soon as possible. Once you miss a payment, they will cause further damage to your credit and financial savings. Not to mention, you will be charged extra late fees that could be used towards repaying your medical bills instead.
Start a Budget
If you have a long-term illness, you need to understand the ins and outs of your medical costs and insurance. When it comes to chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer are among the most common. Some primary causes of those diseases are due to the lack of physical activity, excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor dietary habits – many of which can alter your health and put a dent in your finances. It is important to track all medical expenses, secure your funds, and plan a flexible savings account that will allow you to pay any sudden out-of-coverage fees.
While the UK offers a phenomenal healthcare infrastructure and support system, not all forms of treatment are available without costs. Many citizens cannot afford to manage their diseases, creating an endless cycle of relapse – treatment – and maintenance. Thankfully, learning to budget and following healthy financial habits will help you save on medical costs, pay off debt, and reduce the burden for those suffering from chronic disease.
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