Mark here – administrator to this Who Wrote Me site.
So you want to know how I get half-price David Lloyd membership?
How I get a free Starbucks coffee, and free cinema ticket, every week?
Maybe you’d also want to know about my free Amazon Prime membership each month?
I could also tell you that I just brought new running trainers for half price. That’s right – the Saucony Omni ISO 2 shoes from Runners Need, normal price £120, caught in a sale at £85, 50% off, so my price £42.50!
Oh, and my Apple Watch Series 3? That was half-price. I’m now on the Series 5…..yes, also half-price.
My mountain bike from Evans Cycles? Half-price.
By now you’re thinking I’m talking rubbish!
Oh I could go on! Cashback at Waitrose; cashback by spending on an American Express card; a massive 75% off luxury spa’s; lump sum cashback’s……I’ll stop there – you get the point.
But all these perks are not the point. Don’t worry – I will tell you the secret to this – but first let me tell you the WHY.
The why is that – as the sole income earner for my family, my health is a top priority. I must protect that. If something’s wrong with me, it needs to be fixed – ASAP. I need to keep healthy and functional in order to support and provide for my family.
We are fortunate to have free public healthcare. The NHS are fantastic – within the constraints that they work in. No fault of their own, but services are squeezed. Crazy waiting times to see a specialist or get treatment. Some services now being pushed out of service (like common ear and foot issues). And unfortunately, some hospitals aren’t the most comfortable of places.
Private healthcare is filling the demand. Fast direct access to a private GP. Fast referrals to specialists. Access to private facilities.
As one example – I need to be careful with my ears, as I get compacted wax very easily. Going underwater in a swimming pool, or wearing in-ear headphones, my ears don’t like these and I get a very quick build up of wax, that compacts deep against my eardrum and blocks. I lose hearing and the pressure is horrible. Now, going through the NHS for this is tricky. The GP will insist on self-treatment with drops like Otex to try shift it. They expect you to self-treat for weeks and weeks before they consider anything else. I’ve never had any luck with this approach – not in the two weeks that I’ve persevered with it anyway. And during that time I’m absolutely miserable. Going private on the other hand – there are quick, easy, instant solutions to compacted wax. I kid you not – after 10 minutes being in there I had completely clear ears. They use a treatment called micro-suction – a little tube like a vacuum that sucks out the wax. So I’m told that the NHS aren’t interested in this kind of issue now – that they’ll always expect you to self-treat or seek a private service. So look at the market now – Physio’s, Opticians doing additional services for ears, etc – all these you need to pay privately for.
For private healthcare, personally I choose Vitality. I have a Health Policy with Vitality. It gives me that peace of mind to get the best treatment, fast, if something is wrong with me. It offers:
- Full cover for hospital fees, specialist fees, and diagnostic tests;
- Full cancer cover for a whole bunch of advanced stuff I hope to never have to experience;
- Full cover out-patient chiropractic; osteopathy; chiropody/podiatry; acupuncture; homeopathy and up to two dietician consultations;
- Mental health treatments such as psychiatry and counselling;
- NHS cash benefit (£250 each night to a maximum); Childbirth cash benefit (£100 for each child); Parent accommodation (with insured child); Pregnancy complications cover; Oral surgery cover; Home nursing cover; Private ambulance cover.
(a lot of the above is my own words reading from my policy document – please don’t take this as advice or indication of guaranteed service)
And how much am I personally spending for this protection? My policy is £43 a month. I’m 41 years old. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink (like I said, I prioritise my health). Again, this is very personal to me – please don’t take this as advice to you or a suggested price for you, as there are so many other variables – such as Excess. I set my claim Excess amount to be high – on the basis that I only intend to claim against the policy if it were something serious or I’m desperate, and not for any and every minor ailment I might get.
[As you’ll see in the above screenshot on the right-side – I’m so impressed with Vitality’s offering that I’ve actually also got Life Insurance with them, as they go beyond just Critical Illness to also include Serious Illness – which is a massive difference if you compare what issues you could actually be paid out for. Yes, £42.67 for Life Insurance sounds very high – but note that the ‘upon death’ portion is around £8 – the same as most other life cover, but whilst I can afford it and because I’m serious about protecting my family, I pay the extra £32-odd for the ‘serious illness’ portion of the policy. But lets focus on Health cover….].
All of the perks and goodies I started with saying above are all part of Vitality’s reward programme for staying active. Activity like your daily step count and clocking into the gym all counts towards your weekly and monthly points, which turns into rewards. You might be thinking that here is the catch – that you have to work your ass off just to get a free coffee. Not so! I’m on the Platinum level (from having 2400+ points each year) and I don’t consider myself overly-active. It’s all from my daily travel (with an office-based job, sat down for 8 hours) and clocking into David Lloyd a couple times a week for a swim or badminton with my son. I hit the maximum 40 points a week, no problem, and with that comes all the goodies that I mentioned above.
So get this – I was a David Lloyd member before I joined Vitality. I immediately saved around £60 off my membership by spending £43 on a health policy. So its like I’m being given £17 quid and getting health insurance along with a bunch of the other stuff.
It’s a no-brainer. It’s almost impossible to believe!!!
Vitality aren’t the only player in the private healthcare market. There are other big names like Bupa and AXA. I’ve personally got no experience of others. A former colleague who I worked with had a cancer scare – she was with Bupa, and she described the service she got with them as ‘priceless’. I can totally appreciate that.
You need an advisor to get signed up, and better still, an independent advisor that can represent all options to match you to the right provider for your needs.
You don’t pay for an advisor. So don’t worry in thinking you’ve got to spend money just by talking to an advisor! An advisor would receive a commission from the health provider for each person they refer – so that’s how independent advisors (no different to mortgage advisors, investment advisors, etc) can operate as a business.
I recommend you give Mr Cohen at Competitive Health a shout, for a personalised, individualised experience. Click this banner to be redirected –
Unlike these ‘corporate’ advisors that you experience at your high street bank that of course are leading you to the bank’s own products. In my 20’s I stupidly met with my bank’s advisor, who of course led me to their own investment & protection offerings, which were totally painful to set up and and super-expensive. All because I didn’t think for myself and use someone that is truly independent from any one brand.
Similarly – for the importance of full disclosure – if you do take up a policy through Competitive Health, then they will pass down a small commission to Who Wrote Me for guiding you through to them in the first place.
I hope you found this interesting and that it helps you on your journey of life.