By Dr. Samuel McGinnis, D.C.
Do you remember pulling up the couch cushions and rummaging for loose change when you were a kid, or scanning the big box store parking lots for unclaimed money? In my experience, I haven’t met too many people that don’t like gaining a dollar or two at the end of the day. Though I am no financial expert I do know a little bit about healthcare and how much it costs. Americans are the number one spender in the world when it comes to healthcare. The average adult American spends close to $10,000 a year on healthcare related expenses, and with an average median wage of about $60,000 in America, roughly 16.7% of the average person’s income is devoted completely to their health. Even though some health insurances can help with offsetting these costs, higher deductibles are creating more out-of-pocket expenses for families. The average family insurance deductible is over $8,000 a year. But there are many ways to save yourself thousands on healthcare costs and live ridiculously healthy lives.
Here are my Top 5 Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs.
1. Create a Health Savings Account: For those who qualify, creating a Health Saving Account (HSA) is a great, non-taxable way to save money for your high deductible insurance plans. HSA accounts roll over so the money that you don’t spend will accumulate. No one likes to pay taxes, so why not kill two birds with one stone: pay less taxes and save for your high deductibles.
2. Chiropractic care: A recent study showed that people who use chiropractors as their primary care providers had 60% less in-hospital admissions, 59% less hospital days , 62% less outpatient surgeries and procedures, 85% less pharmaceutical costs. In the Chiropractic profession we are focused on helping our patients not only recover from injury and illness, but to take steps to prevent sickness. Because health is not a destination, but a journey, chiropractors have been proven to help guide their patients into a healthier lifestyle.
3. Walk 20 mins a day: I don’t need to source any studies to let you know that walking is good for you. It is so good that some scientists speculate that most chronic disease can be helped with walking as little as around the block a few times each day.
4. Pay cash: Now you may wonder, “What about my insurance deductible?”, “If I am paying cash, then why do I have insurance?” Most insurances plans today often have a minimum of a few thousand dollar deductible. Most healthcare clinics or hospitals will give you a cash discount if you pay on the same day of service. These discounts can be up to 40-80% depending on the clinic or hospital. It is always worth comparing the cash price to the insurance price. Insurance is designed to cover catastrophic events, but the day-to-day healthcare costs may be more affordable to cover yourself.
5. Stay healthy: This may sound like a no brainer but people often forget that most causes of disease are in their control. The CDC stated that 80% of cardiovascular disease, 80% of type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer could be prevented with certain lifestyle changes, such as balanced diets and moderate exercise. People don’t often change their lifestyles until a catastrophic event occurs, which is often more difficult and costly than preventive health measures. It is much easier for your body to keep its health than to recover it when it has been lost.
Hopefully this will give you some insight on saving a dollar or two on your healthcare. If you have any questions about how you can live a healthier lifestyle today, check-out our website: www.mcginnischiropracticlifestyle.com
JMPT 2007 (May); 30 (4): 263–269
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [01 Jul 2008, 40(7 Suppl):S512-8]