According to a new report by The Health Foundation, 9.1 million people in England are expected to live with major illness by 2040, an increase of 37% (2.5m more people) from 2019.
The number of people living with major diseases will rise from almost one in six of the adult population in 2019 to nearly one in five by 2040.
The analysis finds that 19 of the 20 health conditions studied are projected to increase in prevalence, including a rise of more than 30% in the number of people living with conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease.
It was also discovered that 80% of the projected increase in major illness (two million people) would be among people aged 70 and over, with the remaining 20% (500,000 people) among the working-age population (20–69 years old).
There is no silver bullet to reduce the growth in people with major illnesses. The challenges of improving care for an ageing population and enabling people to live independent lives longer are not unique to England.
With an ageing population, declining birth rates, government funding austerity, climate change and cost of living challenges, countries across the globe are facing similar pressures on their health services.
Luckily for Brits, the UK protection insurance industry does offer some hope. While products such as critical illness coverage and income protection insurance cannot prevent or cure serious illness, a tax-free payout during these times can hugely impact affected individuals.
Heidi Loughlin, a mum of two boys from Bristol, has been tackling stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer since 2015. Speaking to Protect Line, a leading UK protection insurance, a leading UK protection insurance broker, she says: “In this day and age, we’re living so well with incurable illness – you need to think how long you’d live; it really could be a long time.”
“Alongside having chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and hormone treatments, I have to worry about my financial situation. I urge anyone, whether you have children or not, to get cover.” Loughlin pleads.