If you’re self-insuring or thinking about it, read these pros and cons and discover why it’s definitely not going to be your smartest move.
If you’re one of the group of people who choose to “self-insure” rather than use the NHS or take out insurance, this article is for you.
And if you’re someone who’s not sure what on earth they should do, and are considering self-insuring, then it’s for you too.
What is self-insuring?
The term is a bit confusing. Kind of sounds like you are merely taking out independent health insurance, rather than relying on the already over-stretched and understaffed NHS.
But what people mean when they refer to themselves as “self-insurers” is simply that they’re saving up a pot of enough money to cover the expenses that would occur if you got injured or ill. Expenses like:
- Lost earnings while you take time out to get better
- Private treatment
- Aftercare, like physiotherapy
These are the sorts of things that a private medical insurance pay-out would cover, so if you’re self-insuring, you’re taking the risk on yourself and hopefully saving enough to pay for the bills you’d receive should you need treatment.
Generally, people do it to save money. They cut out the monthly payments that would go to an insurance company and hope for the best that nothing will happen that’d result in bills coming in.
Fair enough, in away. It is your life and your choice, after all.
But if you’ve got dependents relying on you, or if your lifestyle is hinged on the entrance of your monthly salary into your bank account, self-insuring is probably not the right way to go.
Insurance policies are there to protect your finances and protect you and your loved ones from going bankrupt should you fall seriously ill.
Because the thing is, private medical treatment isn’t cheap.
If you’re already self-insuring, it’s highly likely that you’ve already done the research. But if there’s any doubt in your mind about the sorts of costs involved with the kinds of treatments usually covered by insurance, here’s an indication:
Typical condition insured
£30,800 per year
£1,932 per night
Coronary artery bypass graft
Of course, there are many, many more conditions than those that are covered by insurance policies, several of which would require even costlier treatment.
And remember, that this table takes no account of the cost of aftercare or the amount of time you might be forced to live off reduced or zero earnings either. Now ask yourself, is your pot of self-insurance money going to cut it?
Is self-insurance a sustainable healthcare option?
It won’t surprise you to learn that at Sustainable Healthcare, we’re concerned with offering advice and support on, well, sustainable healthcare. We want to help you make the most responsible choices for your future, and for that of the National Health Service.
Always talk to an adviser when buying Private Medical Insurance. They will match your requirements to the many different policy options and get you the best deal.
In the private medical insurance arena, these people act more like pension or mortgage advisers than your typical insurance salesperson. And they’re always going to be on your side.
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It’s for this reason that we want to reiterate that self-insuring is not a safe or sustainable option.
Though you might think you’re saving money by avoiding monthly insurance payments, you’re taking a huge risk and one that might end up costing both you and the NHS more than you can bear.
Will you realistically be able to save enough to cover the cost of the private medical treatment you’d need to get back to earning a steady salary as quickly as possible?
What happens when you’ve spent your entire pot of self-insurance money on treatment for cancer, but then your cancer comes back?
Where will you turn when you’ve spent your savings on an expensive operation but don’t have enough to pay for the aftercare you need?
How will you feel when you’re forced to sit on an NHS waiting list because you can’t afford to pay for private treatment after your self-insurance pot has depleted?
The safe, sustainable and responsible solution
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that private medical insurance offers a much more sustainable and secure solution than self-insurance.
Not only does it remove unnecessary pressure on the NHS, but it’ll get you back to fighting fit the quickest, most comfortable way too, should you get injured or ill.
And if you do get ill, the serious likelihood is that you’ll end up paying less to recover than you would if you were self-insuring.
Not everybody knows it, but private medical insurance typically doesn’t cost that much. A premium for a healthy family could start at as little as £26 per month. Do the maths, and you’ll soon see that it’s highly likely that private medical insurance will cost you far less in the long run.
And the peace of mind it’ll give you? Can’t put a price on that.
Use this calculator to find out just how little private medical insurance could set you back, and please, please consider switching to a safer, sustainable option.