In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) covers health services and treatments at the point of use in the vast majority of cases. However, whilst the care and services provided by the NHS are often of a very high standard; as a national service and free at the point of use, waiting times can be long, which may mean delays in treatment. There are therefore an increasing number of people who opt for their own private health insurance policies to allow for shorter waiting times, high quality care and expertise and often, some of the best experts in the country.
However, many people do not simply have health insurance to cover any medical bills that may arise. Whilst private insurance and the NHS cover most requirements in the health sphere, it may be the case that you wish to purchase a piece of equipment yourself, for example crutches, a specific kind of wheelchair or a stairlift. In such cases, the NHS is unlikely to necessarily cover the costs. You may therefore find yourself having to look at alternative avenues to find the much-needed funding to cover these additional costs.
There are a few ways in which the money you may require can be obtained, ranging from payday loans and short-term finance to asking friends and family for assistance.
Payday and Short Term Loans
These loans are by no means a long-term solution to a monetary problem. However, in cases where a piece of equipment is needed quickly, or perhaps a case where a specific, fairly inexpensive treatment (such as a chiropodist) is needed quickly, these loans can prove very handy.
Additionally, it may be the case that due to mobility issues, you require a chairlift or other form of assistive equipment at home. Short term unsecured loans such as payday loans, tend to provide a maximum loan amount of around £1,500. This is likely to cover such expenses in the short term if you are accepted for the loan in question.
A payday loan for example works on the premise that once accepted for the loan, the borrower acquires the funds they need, often on the same day into their nominated bank account. They are then required to repay the loan plus interest within around a month, usually very soon after their payday towards the end of a calendar month. So long as your wages are able to cover the costs of such a loan, it may be the case that your finances are simply a little short one month and so a payday loan can be a great help.
It is important to remember however that a payday loan and other forms of High-Cost Short Term Finance (HCSTF) are not a permanent solution and should not be relied upon time after time.
Private Health Insurance
A private health insurance policy is a means by which your insurer (subject any excess and additional charges that may apply) covers the cost of what may otherwise be hefty medical expenses. These policies work much in the same way as other insurance policies with a few exceptions in some cases. For example, for some treatments and operations, the insurer may require you to use one of their approved experts as opposed to the one you may choose. However, when this is the case it is often for good reason and often to ensure you get the best treatment possible.
A private health insurance policy works by the recipient being a member of a provider, such as Vitality, Bupa, AXA and others. The recipient will pay a fee each year as their premium to the provider. Then, upon claiming, there will often be a compulsory excess; where the user pays he first portion of treatment (usually a few hundred Pounds) and the insurer covers the rest.
Many health insurers also provide additional incentives and benefits to keeping health, for example half price cinema tickets for those that use a gym a few times a week and more.
Private health insurance enables you to often get seen much quicker than with the NHS and also covers almost all forms of conventional treatments available in the UK today. Hence, comparing health insurance is important as it means you can find the cheapest and most suitable insurance premium for your specific needs and requirements.
Family and Friends
Another way of acquiring much-needed funding for one’s health expenses and needs is through friends and family. It is often the case that friends and family, particularly one’s nearest and dearest will be happy to stump up the money you need on an interest free basis. This allows you the peace of mind that the immediate expenses are paid for and you simply have to deal with repayment to someone you know well.
It is important to consider however, that when borrowing from friends and family, you should still have a formal agreement in place and you should always ensure that you agree repayment terms from the outset to avoid falling out with anyone.
Some people do prefer steering clear of borrowing money front friends and family as although it is for medical expenses, it is often a cause of arguments and falling out.