It’s the most depressing time of the year! (Sing to the Christmas tune of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year). I am already hearing the horror stories of registering for new health insurance plans for the new year. The enrollment period is upon us and depending on your needs and the needs of your family, your Holly Jolly Christmas may be more of a Bah Humbug.
I recently spoke with a client who is retiring at the end of November and his insurance company wants $5,300 per quarter as a premium. THAT’S over $20,000 per year!!! I would hope that is one of the absolute premium level plans with a $0 deductible and $0 copays, but I sadly doubt it.
As a healthcare provider, I wanted to share my health investment strategy (the abridged version I promise) with the hope of inspiring a change or at least a new logical way of thinking about this frustrating topic for you and your loved ones.
First off, we need to agree that having “health” insurance has nothing to do with getting you healthy, just like life insurance has nothing to do with keeping you alive. It is a safety net that should be there to support recovery in severe cases. What those severe cases would entail is not for this discussion.
I want to show you the possibility of how affordable HEALTH can be. The following outline is an estimated example of what my family has experienced in the past 6 years, which has included hospital expenses from the birth of our two sons. I provide a brief explanation of how each one is accomplished.
Monthly “Health” Investment for Our Family of FOUR:
Major Medical Bill Sharing Premium = $280
There are bill sharing groups out there that offer these types of premiums for families who know they are not going to utilize medical insurance for every sneeze, sniffle, or twisted ankle. This amount is actually slightly higher than what my family spends, but I always like to over-estimate.
Annual Medical Check Up = $80
Using the type of plan above will require that you spend a little cash for some routine medical check-ups. Saving $80 per month will give you the cash you need when you go for these annual exams. Don’t believe that it will only amount to that? Call your PCP or any specialist and ask what a routine consult/exam visit would cost if you pay cash. The answer may surprise you. If they find anything that involves more care, that is where #1 kicks in.
Monthly Gym Membership = $50
You technically don’t even need to spend money in this category to get the regular daily activity that your body needs, but I use a gym, so I put this in here. The amount can vary greatly depending on what you are looking for in a gym. Budget your needs accordingly.
Monthly Massage Membership = $120
My wife and I receive regular massage for stress relief, relaxation, muscles soreness, increased immunity (through improved lymphatic flow), and general health promotion. If you have not experienced the benefits of regular massage, I strongly encourage it. Certainly, there are many options for similar health outcomes, such as acupuncture, cryotherapy, reiki, and yoga to name a few.
Whole Food Supplements = $200
It is no secret that our nutrient density in our food has changed over the past several decades. It is estimated that you would need to consume 3-5 apples today in order to get the same nutrients of one apple from the 1950’s. Food supplementation with quality vitamins (not the kind you buy in your big box stores) can help to bridge the gap in that nutrition shortfall. When your body gets all the building blocks for health, it will produce more health.
Wellness Chiropractic Plan = $250
Keeping your spine well aligned and moving is integral for overall health. Many of my clients start chiropractic to help with a specific health condition. However, once they see the amazing improvements in their health, many choose to continue care on a wellness basis to keep their body functioning at its best. Just like it is important to align your car and change your oil, wellness chiropractic care can keep your body going for years to come.
HSA Investment = $200
This monthly savings is designed to be utilized for any deductible (your financial obligation) that would kick in when you need to use the medical bill sharing program as described in #1. However, if you go two short years without any major medical event, your family would accumulate $5000 in this account and then you could start utilizing this savings for #2-6 above. Not to mention the amazing health benefits your family will be experiencing by implementing these health investments for over 2 years. Now instead of snowballing into disease, your health accumulates exponentially! Amazing!
Healthy Food Choices = $0
I marked this category as $0 because you should already have a monthly food budget. This food budget can be used to develop disease or promote your health depending on what options you choose. There is much debate and misinformation over the cost of eating healthy, but I can assure you, I offer my family extremely healthy meal options for the same or less money than eating junk. Not to mention the cost of future illness that you avoid when making healthy food choices!
TOTAL = $1180/month or $14,160/year
There you go! Sounds like a lot of money when you total it up over the year, but remember that is for an entire family of FOUR. If you are an individual or couple, that total is significantly reduced. Plus, look at everything you get! Most major insurance premiums (cost to individual and/or company) are well over $500 per month per person (very conservative estimate) and this does not cover any of items #2-6 above. Your insurance premium is paying into a sick care system that is designed to keep you sick. Don’t believe me? The United States spends over $7,500 per individual per year, greatly exceeding other nations, but we rank below Chile and Cuba in overall health outcomes.
Use this guide to start making healthy investments and you will earn a lifetime of healthy dividends. Questions? Reach out to our office and I'll be glad to help!
Yours in Health,