Wear and tear affects healthcare from middle age

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“Don’t wait to be diagnosed before taking out medical insurance as you won’t get cover for pre existing conditions” is the message from the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII).

This applies particularly to those people who think they will need medical treatment for natural wear and tear which can affect any of us from middle age onwards, such as knee or hip replacements or cataracts as we get older.

This follows regular concerns that some NHS Primary Care Trusts are already delaying non-life threatening operations to save money as the squeeze on their budgets continues and waiting lists increase forcing more people to consider private healthcare rather than relying on the NHS.

According to AMII Chairman, Andrew Tripp, “If they choose to go private then insurance can be a cost effective way to pay for treatment when they most need it rather than suffering because they have to wait. However, like any insurance, you must have taken it out before an event or situation occurs otherwise you’ve left it too late.”

But it’s not only age that causes bits to wear out and need replacing. Those individuals who lead very active lives whether through their work or sports can suffer in middle age with for example disintegrating knees. If it’s work then your livelihood is affected, if it’s a hobby then you’re potentially missing out.

Tripp added, “These conditions which can often befall us as we get a bit older are relatively easy to deal with. The Coalition Government is concerned about pressure on pensions and on rising NHS costs. Longer waiting lists are certainly not top of its wish list so it makes sense politicians encourage those who can afford to take out cover for ailments that are quick and easy to treat.

“As a very general guide across the market, a knee replacement could cost approximately £10,000 and the medical insurance premiums for basic cover for a couple in their 50s could cost less than £25 per week or £4 per day depending where they live.”

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