For many people in the US, trying to maintain good health is a costly business. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be fit and healthy, you may find that paying for superfoods, gym memberships and insurance premiums is a constant drain on your resources. If you suffer from underlying conditions, it can be particularly difficult to afford the help you need. If you’re struggling to get by or you’d like to make changes to your lifestyle without breaking the bank, here are some money-saving strategies to try.
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Investing in preventative measures
You often hear medical professionals say that prevention is better than cure. This usually relates to the fact that preventative measures eliminate painful symptoms and the risk of a condition developing or progressing, but there are also financial benefits in adopting this mantra. Routine checks, tests, and assessments tend to be much cheaper than courses of treatment that are recommended for advanced conditions. The cost of regular dental appointments, for example, is likely to be significantly lower than the cost of treatment for gum disease and decay. If there are preventative treatments available to you, it’s worth considering your options. Keep up to date with general health examinations and don’t hesitate to see your doctor if you do develop symptoms that get worse with time.
Getting to grips with health insurance
It is estimated that around 11 percent of the adult population in the US doesn’t have health insurance. Health insurance is a means of covering healthcare costs, which may not be affordable without a policy. Even if you’re the picture of health, you never know when you may fall ill, and it’s always wise to consider insurance options carefully. If you don’t already have insurance, or you’re worried that you’re paying too much for a policy that isn’t as comprehensive as you’d like, it’s time to get to grips with health insurance and make sure you’ve got the best plan at a price you can afford. Do some research, read up on your entitlements and compare prices online.
If you’re eligible for Medicaid, do your homework and get some advice so that you know the difference between the different plans and you understand which plan would suit your needs best. Medicare plan F is very different to plan A and plan B, for example. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, there are other options out there that could help to lower the cost of insurance and ensure you have access to a wider range of medical services. If you have an underlying health condition, such as fibromyalgia, this can affect the price of insurance significantly. It’s worth finding out more about social security insurance to see if you could benefit. Even if you’re looking into basic policies, it’s still worth taking a few minutes to shop around and look for deals and discounts. You may be surprised at the difference in prices between policies that appear to be very similar.
Saving money on medical treatment and medication
If you become ill unexpectedly or you receive treatment on a regular basis for a chronic condition, the cost of medical care can spiral into hundreds, even thousands of dollars per year. For many people, this simply isn’t affordable. Insurance covers the cost of some health services, but there are other ways you can bring down the cost of care. Look out for generic drugs rather than buying branded items, as they offer the same benefits, but tend to be much cheaper and shop around to get the best prices on medications you take continually or frequently.
Drug stores charge different prices, and you may find that you can save a substantial amount of money by comparing charges from different retailers. It’s also worth looking into buying medication online. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, using reputable sites could save you money. If you need treatment, compare prices at different clinics, check which hospitals, doctors, and services are included in your health insurance policy and consider options like dental clinics run by final year students. Students carry out dental work under the supervision of qualified, trained dentists for a fraction of the price.
Eating well for less
Many of us want to enjoy a better, healthier diet, but often, wholesome foods are more expensive. To improve your diet without blowing the budget, buy frozen fruit and vegetables or buy fresh items in bulk. Look out for deals on healthy foods and check the discounted section for lean meat, fish, and poultry. If items are approaching their sell-by date, you can freeze them and use them at a later date. It’s also a good idea to look for simple, nutritious recipes that feature cheap ingredients. You can prepare a tasty pasta dish for the whole family with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil with a side of spinach for a few dollars, for example. There are lots of superfoods and exotic ingredients that appear on Instagram feeds and cookery shows that are expensive to buy, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to eat well.
Cheap alternatives to the gym
Exercise is one of the best natural tonics out there. It boosts mental health, increases strength, stamina, and flexibility and reduces the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Many of us assume that getting fit involves spending hours in the gym, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are many inexpensive ways you can improve your fitness. Go jogging, take your dog for longer, brisker walks every day, cycle, swim or join a local team or club. If you enjoy the gym, but you don’t want to pay for membership, have a look online for used equipment and machines and set up your own mini home gym.
Most of us consider our health a priority, but sometimes, the cost of trying to be healthy can be too high. If you’re searching for ways to lower the cost of healthy living or you can’t afford to pay for medications or health services every month, hopefully, this guide will prove useful.