If you’re one of those lucky people who have full benefits at your workplace, excellent! But if you are like many Americans who don’t have health insurance right now, or have been forced to opt for a plan that doesn’t cover anything short of a catastrophic health emergency, staying healthy could be the best way to save big bucks.
Let’s start with the list of the things you absolutely MUST do, then we’ll talk about the things you should do in addition to that.
You absolutely MUST:
- Get health insurance. Get a cut-rate insurance policy if you have to. It might have a very high deductible and might not cover your regular doctor’s visits. But if you have a heart attack or cancer comes calling, you will have coverage that keeps you from going bankrupt.
- Learn to cook. Healthy choices are tough to find in the fast food world. Learning to cook your own food can also lead to buying items in bulk or taking advantage of grocery store sales in order to ease the strain on your pocketbook. And when you cook it yourself, you know what goes into it.
- Get moving. We’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s true – exercise can help you lose weight and strengthen your body in all sorts of ways, and that means you are in better health. The better your health, the less likely you will have to visit the doctor, and that means more money in your pocket.
- Pay attention to your body. Knowing your body well can help you figure out when something is going wrong inside it. Pay attention to how you feel. What little aches and pains are normal for you? What foods make you feel better? How much sleep do you need each night? Are you getting enough water? Understanding your body means being able to spot something going wrong early, and early treatments often means a better outcome.
What you SHOULD do:
- Take advantage of alternative therapies. Massages, acupuncture, chiropractor care and other remedies can help keep your body healthy and strong. These treatments can help lower stress, fix minor aches and pains before they become serious issues, help you understand your body and cost much less than most doctor’s visits do.
- Keep stress levels in check. Stress can lead to serious health problems, and that can lead to even more serious medical bills. Get plenty of sleep, have a good support system around you and see a counselor if necessary – many of them will see you on a sliding income scale. Now is the time to reduce stress as much as possible in order to stay as healthy as possible.
- Be careful! Accidents happen, but a little bit of vigilance can help you avoid most of them. Drive carefully, use caution in the kitchen, avoid any unnecessary risks and stay mindful of the world around you. One bad accident could mean high medical bills, lost wages and plenty of that stress you were trying so hard to avoid.
- Weigh your options. Every few months, look into new health insurance possibilities. You might be surprised at how your health insurance premiums can go down if your weight drops! You also might find new plans that are more affordable than you first thought. When you choose to upgrade, keep in mind what you need most – lower copays? A lower deductible? Or more catastrophic coverage?
Accidents happen. Illnesses come at the most inopportune times. Make sure your health issues don’t lead to financial issues. Stay healthy, get at least some insurance, and keep that emergency fund healthy – just in case.
To help with your healthy living, here are a few health blogs The Dream Team recommends: