What services should you be getting for free?

Posted in Money Saving on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 11:53 by Sarah Evans.

One key way to save money is to make extra payments on mortgages in order to pay them down sooner and end up with much less interest in the long run.  Another is to be absolutely sure that you are taking advantage of all of the free or low-cost goods and services available to you.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult at times to know what services you should be getting for free; some people, it seems, have a vested interest in obscuring this information.  New reports have surfaced from the Office of Fair Trading that as many as 500,000 dental patients each year may be paying for private services they could have had for free through the National Health Service.

Based on these findings, the Office of Fair Trading is now calling for revisions to the UK dental care market.  Currently, patients are not allowed to contact dental care workers on their own; if they need to see a hygienist, they must have a referral from a dentist.  This kind of restriction tends to reduce the ability of the patient to exercise a full range of choices and in some cases is causing them to be steered into private care.

In addition, the regulation cuts down on competition.  Should patients desire private dental care, they will probably pay more in such a scenario than if they were allowed to contact as many professionals as desired.  It makes no sense to allow comparison shopping for a car loan but not for something much more vital to human health: high-quality dental care.

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