People needing routine procedures such as hip operations and cataract surgery in the UK are being encouraged to thoroughly research their care options and the costs as new figures indicate more are paying out of their own pocket.
The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) is the independent, government-mandated source of information on private healthcare in the UK and says it is noticing a rise in people self-financing their care compared to using insurance policies, which do not typically cover pre-existing conditions.
New figures from PHIN show that in the first half of 2021 (January to June) people self-funding hospital-based private treatment made up a third (32.9 per cent) of all private admissions for the first time.
Figures show that for the quarter running from April to June 2019, 50,000 people opted to self-fund private treatment, while for the corresponding months in 2021 – as the pandemic restrictions eased, 65,000 people chose this route. This indicates a rise of 30 per cent in people self-funding treatment between these two periods. Self-paying is at its highest among 60 to 79-year-olds.
The growth in self-pay is particularly evident for some procedures including cataract surgery and hip replacement with both now more commonly self-funded than paid for through insurance.