By Rev. B.T. Gilligan for the Abundant Health Team
The most obvious statement of the decade is this: “Healthcare is expensive.” Even with insurance it can be very expensive. Deductibles, copays, and prescriptions can take up a significant portion of our income. Add in costs associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and we are paying even more money to exist while unhealthy.
For example, according to UPMC Health Plan statistics on all covered subscribers and groups, in 2020 the average cost for someone with high blood pressure was $10,624.00! The same "Book of Business" lists high cholesterol as an annual cost of $9,659.00! While genetics plays a part and we can’t always avoid high blood pressure or high cholesterol, there are things we can do to be healthier and cut down those costs.
Quite literally, being unhealthy costs us money. Imagine this scenario: It is a hectic week, and we are stressed while running around in a hurry, so we get fast food for dinner. That meal costs us $10, plus the cost of a prescription for cholesterol medication, plus the tests and doctor visit when we are told we are unhealthy. Add in the time it takes to pick up prescriptions and visit the doctor, which adds to our stress and hurried natures, so we get more fast food! Suddenly it becomes a vicious cycle of spending money to support our unhealthy lifestyle.
If we can break that cycle, imagine how much money we can save? Imagine if we eliminated our $10 fast food meal and saved that money? If we did that once per week we would save $520 per year. Twice per week would total $1,040 dollars per year. Over the course of a few years, this could add up to significant amounts of money.
What about the money we aren’t spending on prescriptions, copays, and deductibles? What will our savings accounts look like by making healthier choices?
So being healthy, eating healthy, and living a healthy lifestyle becomes a matter of dollars and cents. While we can’t always avoid expensive healthcare, we can improve our physical health, which can improve our financial health, both of which lead to lower stress and can become a cycle of healthy choices that could take us through a long and healthy life.