by Jenny Smedra
Investing in your health is one of the most important forms of self-care. There are dozens of ways you can improve your wellbeing and make lifestyle choices that will keep your mind and body strong. Not only do these habits make for better overall health, but they can also save a lot of money on long-term healthcare costs. Preventive care is one way to ensure that you have better health in your later years. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly is a good place to start.
However, if you’re like me, you may struggle to make personal health or self-sufficiency a high priority. It becomes even more difficult when expensive expenses are incurred. That’s why I choose to make my health a priority in the New Year.
Average health care costs
Unlike other developed countries, the American healthcare system relies heavily on the private sector to insure its citizens. Most Americans get health coverage through their employer or union sponsored group plans. Others buy individual plans through private companies. The Affordable Care Act, while creating a state marketplace where everyone can access health insurance, is far from complete.
In 2020, the average cost of health insurance was $ 1,152 for a family and $ 456 per person. Of course, prices vary depending on which health plan you choose. Factors like the amount of coverage required, location, age, household income, and the size of your family will all affect how much you pay. After examining my options, I found myself in the same position as thousands of other Americans. No matter how I split my budget, I couldn’t afford health insurance. This means that every time I need medical treatment or medication, I have to pay out of pocket.
Weighing short-term costs versus long-term investment
Life without health insurance makes me vulnerable. I am also on constant alert. I always need to be aware of risk factors that can negatively affect my health or result in high medical bills. That’s why I do everything in my power to stay fit and safe. In addition to a nutritious diet, I exercise and stretch regularly to prevent injury. In addition, I incorporated meditation and other opportunities to maintain positive mental health as well. However, there comes a point where prevention is insufficient and you need professional health services. In my case, it happened after an accident left me with broken glasses.
I have had poor vision all my life. As a child, my father’s insurance plan covered these expenses. When I started my career, my employee health plan took care of the costly exams and vision aids. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any in my current situation. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and I started weighing my options.
After returning to the optical center where I bought my original frames, I found that replacing my glasses would cost between $ 300 and $ 500. During the consultation, the assistant also suggested that I should look into laser corrections. Although I had thought about LASIK in the past, the prices had prevented me from doing the procedure. After recovering from the sticker shock, I took some time to list my pros and cons and determine what to do next.
Invest in your health
With the encouragement of loved ones, I have arranged a free consultation with a local clinic. I figured I had nothing to lose as they didn’t need cash upfront. While funding was a primary concern, I also wanted to choose the best option for my health. I had visited other clinics and found that the average cost of laser correction surgery was between $ 3,500 and $ 5,000. I also learned that most insurers also viewed it as elective surgery. Even if I had insurance, it would have been another medical expense out of pocket.
In the face of a big financial decision, I looked at the hard facts. I had terrible eyesight and the doctors told me that it would only get worse over time. When my eyesight deteriorates, the cost of glasses and contacts increases. In comparison to each other, buying new glasses saved me immediately. However, each pair accounted for approximately 10% of the cost of the procedure. In theory, the operation would pay for itself in time.
Torn between my frugality and new goals, I decided it was time to invest in my health. While I’m not thrilled about the other major expense, I know that laser correction is the most practical option. Not only does this save money on long-term healthcare costs, but it also significantly improves my quality of life. In fact, relief from eye pain, a pinched nose, and migraines may outweigh any financial benefits.
Here are some brands of insurance you can invest in.
|Insurance brands||Best for|
|lively||Lively helps people prepare for tomorrow by making smart finance and healthcare decisions today.|
|Harbor life||An easy, affordable, and reliable way to take care of the people you love|
|To lend||Affordable online term life insurance|
Make a decision to improve your health
As I start to feel this pain when I wake up in the morning, I remember why I am investing in my health. However, it takes more effort and discipline to maintain a strong mind and body. I know that taking a preventive approach to health care saves me both money and pain as I get older.
I also remind myself daily that just like in business, one has to invest in order to get the long-term profits. The truth is that the procedure is expensive. But it’s also something that will improve my overall quality of life. You can’t put a price on that.
Finally, this entire experience has revealed another important point. If I really want to invest in my health, I need to make sure I have access to the medical care I need. While preventive care is good for health, I shouldn’t be afraid to see the doctor. Waiting for an illness to become serious is counterproductive to my goals. The next step in investing in my health is to reevaluate my budget and make room for health insurance.