Paying health insurance can be a big financial burden. However, it is something that you need to have if you want help with the cost of medical procedures. Although it may not pay for everything, it can help to spread the cost of health care. It can seem like a lot of money disappearing each month, but you have to consider that it will cover the health costs for you and your family. There are some things that you can do though, to bring the cost down or make sure that it stays lower for longer as you age.
Do not Smoke or Give Up
If you are a smoker then your health insurance will be higher. This means that if you have never smoked then do not smoke and if you do smoke give it up. This is easier said than done of course but if you find out how much of a difference you could make to the amount you are paying in insurance, then that could inspire you a bit as well as working out how much you will save by not having to buy tobacco products. If you have family health insurance then encourage other family members not to smoke as well. If you have young children, threaten them that you will make them pay the policy if they ever take up smoking!
Editor: Quitting is not easy, even with the graphic labels required on cigarette packs, but not only is quitting a life or death decision; it also determines how slow, painful, expensive, and scary your death will be.
Mom & dad both smoked 2-3 packs a day as I grew up, and maybe that’s why I never started. Even after dad’s first heart attack, which forced him to stop cold turkey, mom continued to smoke. Dad died a month later from a second heart attack, but mom continued smoking until she developed emphysema and needed supplemental oxygen to breathe.
If you don’t know what it’s like to live with emphysema, try breathing through a soda straw and being tied to an oxygen tank. Because you can no longer drive, you lose your independence and must depend on others. The potential impact on your dignity alone should be enough to force anyone to stop smoking, but it’s just not that easy.
This website is dedicated to mom (pictured in the banner graphic above). I hope you and others can benefit from its information.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity can lead to higher health insurance and so it is best to do what you can to maintain a healthy weight. Use a BMI guide to find out what weight you should be. Like smoking, making the necessary lifestyle changes to become a healthy weight can be difficult. Most people know what they should do, but they do not find it easy to stick to it. Try to work with the whole family so that you all adopt a healthier lifestyle and you all will benefit from staying at a healthy weight that will help the price of the policy.
Do not take up any Dangerous Hobbies
Hobbies that have a high risk of injury or even death will make your health insurance premium higher. So make sure that you keep these to a minimum or eliminate them. This will also apply to your job, as dangerous jobs will also increase the cost of the policy.
Until recently, shopping for health insurance has been difficult, but the free Health Insurance Network makes it easier, and so will the state insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The exchanges go into effect by October 2013 so you can get insurance coverage by January 2014 as required by the new law.
Shopping for the best price for medical care is also difficult. Imagine buying a new car and not knowing ahead of time what it will cost, then getting dozens of bills afterwards, spread over weeks or months, for the engine, drive train, tires, electronics, paint, dealer prep, transportation, administrative services, and even each rag used to polish the car at the dealer. That’s our “modern” healthcare system and what your bill for a hospital stay would look like, until recently.
A few weeks ago the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took an important step by revealing once-secret hospital charges that can vary widely from one hospital to the next. A procedure that costs $7,000 in one hospital might cost over $100,000 at another hospital down the road, irrespective of care quality.
Now, at least it’s possible to comparison shop, if it’s not an emergency and you’re not unconscious, and new services are starting to appear and make it easier still.
Have a healthy lifestyle
Having a generally healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of picking up diseases and illnesses. This means eating healthily and exercising gently as well as managing stress [and getting plenty of sleep]. If you can avoid being unwell then you will not have to make claims on your policy and this will help to keep the price of it down.
Educate Your Family on Being Healthy
Make sure that you get the whole family involved with working towards keeping the healthcare costs down. It will encourage everyone to be more conscious about their health and what they are doing to help it. It is a good thing as well because it should improve their quality of life and help them to live longer, so it is not all about saving money.
Do you have any tips of your own? Please share in the comments below.