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Brits undervaluing health cover

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23/08/2006

Britons consistently underestimate the value of the healthcare treatments they receive on the NHS, according to new research by Legal & General.

The findings of Legal & General’s ongoing Health Uncovered Index show that Britons underestimate the cost of common medical treatments by over a third (38%), undervaluing the financial benefit of both the NHS and private medical insurance cover.

The cost of cataract removal was the most under estimated. Over two thirds (67%) of respondents thought the cost was £1,362, 58% below the actual value of £3,275. Britons would expect to pay £5,104 for a new hip and £4,107 for a new knee. However, the reality is that if they were to cover the costs of these procedures themselves, they would be looking at paying £8,530 and £5,130 respectively; 40% and 20% above their estimate.

Tessa Webster, Customer Services Director at Legal & General HealthCare said: “Few are aware of the actual costs of treatment should they need an operation, which only the minority could afford if they were expected to pay it themselves.

“The NHS and private medical insurance provide invaluable services which it would appear people may take for granted. Despite negative press coverage the service the NHS provides can be invaluable. But, for total peace of mind and quality service when you need it, private health insurance can provide an affordable way to budget for the cost of treatment.”
 
 

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