Personal Medical Insurance

Personal Medical Insurance asks if you've considered having zero back up?

Some people cannot bear to live without the assurance that, if they get ill, or have an accident, they will have the wherewithal to cover their costs.

This page was update by Dr Barrie Lewis on 18th January, 2019.

› Personal medical insurance

In some countries, like the Netherlands, it's not permissible to live with inadequate cover. In Britain there is free hospitalisation under National Health, but the quality of care, and options like chiropractic help may be lacking.

In other countries the cover is so expensive that the only option for many folk is none at all, even if they are desperate to have it.

What will happen if, through no fault of your own, you are involved in a terrible car accident ask the salesmen? Indeed, who will pay the bills?

Or, if you get cancer, they cry; or you become diabetic. Just who is going to pay those expensive hospital and chiropractic bills?

When traveling, if you can afford to go abroad, I would recommend emergency medical insurance. It's startling just how often folk become ill on vacation. Year round there's pressure to perform, no time to be sick, and then you go to the Greek islands and relax; and bingo, you desperately need that cover.

Personal Medical Insurance

Personal Medical Insurance suggests that only if you have a very healthy life style is it possibly an option.

Emergency insurance medical travel

No Medical Insurance

It's not usually expensive, and you may be covered in part by your credit card. But it's worth being certain of where you stand.

Here's an interesting aside; I personally once came very close to a burn out. Only then did I realise the importance of regularly taking a proper holiday every year. We all need time to smell the roses, especially if we are in high stress jobs, and that's most of us.

Are you limited to taking only two weeks a year of annual leave? That's totally inadequate; all that happens is that your get stressed and ill. Talk to the boss about taking an extra week of unpaid leave. Half of the income lost you would be paying in tax anyway.

Personal Medical Insurance

Others, like myself, choose the no personal medical insurance option, even if they can afford it. But then the onus is on you to follow the fundamental health rules of life, or you'll pay dearly. In all honesty, it's not rocket science, and it's not that difficult either to take a walk every day, apple in hand, with a hat on your head? It's the little things that will improve your health.

So, what are those rules?

  1. Open a dedicated medical account, and every month deposit what you would be paying for your personal medical insurance into that account. You'll be astonished how quickly it mounts up, but do not dip into it for the annual holiday. Or a new car. It's sacrosanct, until it reaches one million dollars. Yes, I'm serious, you'll be astonished how that personal medical insurance account quickly mounts up.
  2. Always take out emergency insurance medical travel, and for that you can dip into the medical insurance account.
  3. Look long and hard at your hobbies. Do you love gliding like Bernard Preston does, or riding a Harley, or carpentry? Then it's worth making sure that your personal medical insurance covers an accident.
  4. If you live in countries like South Africa or the United States which have such a high incidence of motor vehicle accidents then it's perhaps wise to make sure you have whiplash chiropractic cover. And worse, do you have insurance against sudden death on the road? Through no making of your own you can be seriously injured. And the guilty party may have no cover.

Holiday Stress tips

5. Take regular holidays. I've alluded above to how often people get sick on vacation. It's one of the good things about the Netherlands. Three consecutive weeks' holiday is the norm; and one of the bad things about the United States. Only the mega rich get the opportunity to take that much leave per year. No wonder they need so many psychologists! These holiday stress tips are worth a read, particularly if you're without personal medical insurance.

6. Anyone with no medical fund who does not take regular exercise is a fool! There is now so much research proving that folk who just take a walk every day have far less arthritis, heart disease, stroke, take no antidepressant pills; apple in hand, a brisk fifteen minute walk at lunch time would change your health prospects immeasurably. And, of course, even if you do have good personal medical insurance, but you don't like pain, then take regular exercise!

7. Add to that specific exercises for those parts of your body that take strain in the work place. Sit all day? Then you should be looking at our lower back exercise programs.

Google appears to frown on too many links, so phrases in bold, like that above, need to be put into the Site Search function in the navigation bar on your left if you want more information.

8. Eating a healthy diet, high in fibre, rich in avocado, olive, flax and fish oils, low in starch and animal protein, and with a minimum of five of your mandatory colours per day. The B&W diet is a guaranteed recipe for illness; and with minimal high Glycemic Index foods. Have you visited our healthy living tips page? It's one of the most popular at Chiropractic Help.

  • Anti inflammatory omega 3
  • Glycemic Index and carbohydrate count chart

9. I don't really need to mention smoking. Every smoker knows without being lectured that they need maximum personal medical insurance.

This aside may be of interest to you; there's no research that I know of but I'm convinced that those who regularly consult chiropractors have less medical problems. I'm not boasting but, on recently consulting my doctor for a speck of brick dust in my eye after chasing the walls of our new house using an angle grinder, she noted that it was my fifth consult in the twenty years she has been our general practitioner. I've saved a fortune by having no personal medical insurance.

On the other hand I had two episodes of skin cancer treatment, the scourge of those who, hatless, enjoy the outdoor life; I'm now wiser about the dangers of fierce sunlight. And, after two threatening detached retinas, probably thanks to all the time I spend on the computer, I've changed to the best monitors, and eat plenty of berries. In my seven year sojourn in Holland I was not displeased to have compulsory personal medical insurance.

The secret is plenty of physical activity, a healthy diet full of fruit, coloured salads, legumes and the healthy oils; stimulation of the mind, and of course chiropractic help when things go wrong with your joints.

I'm sorry to belabour the point, but that annual holiday is sacrosanct if you want to stay sane; alternatively make sure you have good cover for the shrink because you'll be needing it, not to mention the cost of a divorce. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy; and a sick lad too. If you read Bats in my Belfry, my second book, you will understand that I'm not talking theory; I have the T shirt.

I get a lot of letters at this site from folk complaining that they can't afford personal health insurance, but now have an issue. They won't go to a DC for one of the many sometimes serious chiropractic conditions they are suffering from because they have no cover.

But, like me, they've been making huge savings over the years by not paying for personal health insurance. I know, because I too have been pocketing tens of thousands.

It makes no sense; that's exactly what that nest egg is for. Go for that chiropractic help for your sciatica or arm pain, before it costs you ten times as much under the knife. Or you get an ulcer from anti inflammatory drugs.

There's nothing like constant nagging pain to drive you crazy. And chronic discomfort progresses unerringly to disability which is even worse; an ounce of prevention and all that.

This is not the time to be whinging that you have no health insurance. See your chiropractor, pay up, and think only of the thousands of dollars you've saved, not the paltry dollars you will have to fork out. Waiting in the wings, is a surgeon ready to take a very large slice of your savings; prevention is indeed better than a cure

So, in short, now, before the proverbial stuff hits the fan, make time to exercise and enjoy healthy living or plan to work an extra two or three days a month to pay for your health insurance.


Probably half of the obese know full well that they have date in the future with pain, disability and death; they certainly need fully comprehensive personal medical insurance; the bills will ultimately start rolling in. They choose to look the other way. If you're one of them, read no further.

But if you're one of those who desperately wants to lose weight, and are despairing take a look at our free weight loss programs page.

Perhaps you've been taken in for years that the high carbohydrate, low fat diet is the way to go. Unfortunately it makes you constantly ravenous and actually contributes to your obesity.

Whilst I have some reservations, which you can read to Banting diet rebuttal, I am convinced that it is high glycemic carbohydrate foods that makes us fat, and usually not the fat. White bread and rice, delicious soft rolls, mashed potato, cakes, soft drinks and cookies; that's where the problem lies; they are low in fat and high in carbohydrate: exactly what we've been advised to eat.

If you are serious about losing weight, put the fat back in, but limit your carbs. All tastes are acquired, except that for mother's milk, and with a little patience you can retrain your tongue that salads and fruit, foods like hummus and even high GI bread are the way to go. Give the colas, sweet cakes and cookies and donuts the kick; really, it's not difficult. It takes three weeks of gritting your teeth; the higher fat diet doesn't leave you constantly craving for food.

Nine years with no personal medical insurance

It's now nearly nine years since we returned to South Africa from Holland. The medical insurance industry severely loads the premiums of those who have not been contributing; even if they are in sparkling good health, and were contributing to a fund whilst they were overseas. We would have none of it, and plotted the lonely path of no personal medical insurance; many think we are crazy.

The savings in those years have been enormous and within a year or two, even a major medical disaster would still have us ahead. But we do follows the rules of good health. And now have sufficient savings from no personal medical insurance to pay for said disaster.

Nevertheless, it's a seriously personal decision; I wouldn't encourage you to follow it unless you sense in your spirit that it's right way to go.

If you are a smoker, eat a crappy diet, follow no exercise regimen, take no holidays, have no hobbies and a driver who is always chancing your arm you need that personal medical insurance; you probably will get your money's worth!


Whilst some hobbies like gliding introduce an element of danger, there is nothing more dangerous than sitting at home with nothing to entertain and stretch you. You will soon get sick and die of boredom. Even my most dangerous hobby, keeping African killer bees is relatively safe if you follow the rules. How to start beekeeping; the hobby of a lifetime and raw honey is without equal. Do you have nothing to entertain and occupy your mind? Take out full personal medical insurance. You're going to need it.

Have A Great Story About a visit to the Chiropractor?

Please only submit your question from a computer. I will not answer anything written in smartphone grammar.

I'm not looking here for funny stories. That we'll find a place for elsewhere, and you can find an abundance of them in my books at James Herriott genre books.

Here I'm looking for things that you particularly love / hate about a visit to the chiropractor. Share it! If we get too many, and we probably will, we'll split them.

Are there things you hate about a Chiropractic consultation? Let's hear about it. Hopefully even more stories about things you love.

You see, we Chiropractors can learn from your feedback, both positive and negative.

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Bernard Preston ...

Read one of my chiropractic books? You won't be sorry! Juicy anecdotes from the clinic... cheap on your Kindle, smartphone or tablet. See how hobbies like gliding have helped me keep sane in this insanely stressful world. Ah, soaring this weekend for nearly an hour up to cloudbase, chasing a fish eagle who was marking the thermals for me. It's not as expensive as you might think; but you should have personal medical insurance then.

  • Stones in my Clog enjoy a couple sample chapters.

Stones in my Clog

Useful links

› Personal medical insurance
  • Chiropractic Conditions is a central page at Chiropractic Help. It provides you simply and easily with the sorts of conditions that the average chiropractor would be treating.
  • Healthy Living Tips is another vital page at Chiropractic Help. Sparkling good health is not just about having your subluxations adjusted. Our healthy living tips page gives you some insights into different foods you could and perhaps should be eating.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.