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People with a serious illness ‘face higher living costs’

Bills go up by an average of £1,835.60 a year

Three quarters (75%) of people with a serious illness spend more money on basic necessities due to their health condition, a poll shows.

Most of those living with a serious illness – such as a stroke, heart attack or certain types of cancer – have seen an increase in their travel costs (39%), medication (37%) and home adaptations (24%).

On average, people with a serious illness estimate they spend £35.30 more a week, or approximately £1,835.60 a year.

People with a serious illness visit the hospital on average 35 times a year, with 30% going at least once a week. They spend roughly £7.71 on taxis, £5.72 on public transport and £4.69 on parking per visit.

Younger age groups (18-34) were the most likely to see extra costs (94%) due to their illness, compared to those aged 55+ (64%).

People who spend more money on medication estimate paying £17.57 extra a week. Again, 18-34 year olds were the worst effected with 48% of this age group noting an increase.

Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, which carried out the survey, said when someone is diagnosed with a serious illness everyday tasks often become far more difficult, frequently preventing individuals from working, resulting in a loss of earnings at the same time as living expenses are increasing. “Critical Illness cover can help protect people against the financial impact a serious illness can have on someone’s life. It could help towards additional travel costs or household bills whilst you’re unwell, enabling you and your family to continue day-to-day life,” she stated.