One in three people feel stressed about the extra expense they or their family will incur whilst in hospital with half of this group fearing their stress levels could hinder recovery.
These are the findings according to new research conducted by Medicash.
The survey questioned 400 Britons who had all recently been in hospital or were undergoing regular outpatient treatment.
The top five costs respondents said they were unprepared for were car parking charges, TV cards, food, travel expenses and medication with patients being out of pocket to the tune of £50 on average.
Car parking, TV cards and travel expenses were ranked as the most expensive items and people in employment reported an average loss of earnings of £190 per day. With an average hospitalisation period of nine days, this amounts to an average total of over £1,700.
Family and friends were asked to fork out for extra food or drink for 40% of patients in hospital and in areas such as the North West this figure rose to 60%. Other areas where family members met the cost included the purchase of nightwear, toiletries and pharmaceuticals with travel being rated at the costliest area.
Chief Executive Sue Weir said: “The survey demonstrates that the true cost of being ill is far higher than people realise and people are being affected by stress which can severely impact on their recovery. When you add up the costs of parking charges, TV cards, food and travel, the financial burden for many people is considerable and people who haven’t been able to budget in advance can be hit hard. We want to encourage people to take steps to plan ahead so that, in event of sudden illness, they can have peace of mind that they are prepared.”
Medicash healthcare plans provide a range of benefits which give members cash back on day to day healthcare expenses as well as pay outs ranging from £16-£105 each night for inpatient stays in hospital and £14-£90 for outpatient stays in hospital.