Few self-employed people have medical insurance cover, a survey has found.
Self-employed people like contractors and umbrella company workers tend to feel the bite more than people in other sectors when it comes to illness and hospital stays, according to a report.
Health plan company Medicash surveyed 400 people who had recently been in hospital or were undergoing outpatient treatment, finding that self-employed people lose more than £3,000 on average when hospitalised, while some reported losses of more than £5,000.
Additionally, just 28 per cent of those polled had any kind of healthcare insurance in place to protect them against loss of earnings.
Sue Weir, chief executive of Medicash, said many people do not think about how they would cope financially if they lost their ability to work.
“Self-employed people are particularly vulnerable if they are diagnosed with an illness … it can cause considerable strain for both individuals and their families,” she said.
The survey also revealed that many patients were not prepared for additional costs, like car parking charges and travel expenses.