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Botsford HealthSource Magazine
There are Ways to Save Money on Health Care
If you’re worried about the cost of
medical care, you’re not alone. A
poll of 3,000 women found that
nearly half of them are extremely
concerned about rising health care
costs. And the more costly medical care
becomes, the less likely people may be
to carry health insurance or seek care
when they need it.
Total national health expenditures
rose almost seven percent in 2007, and
health care spending is expected to
increase at similar levels for the next
decade. While there doesn’t seem to be
any relief in sight for health care costs,
there are steps you can take to ease the
burden on your wallet.
Adopt healthy habits. You know
what this means: Exercise at least
30 minutes most days; eat low-fat
foods and a variety of fruits and
vegetables each day; don’t use
tobacco; and if you drink alcohol,
do so only in moderation. These
actions may help you avoid the
need for medical care.
Seek preventive care. Preventive
services such as annual exams, flu shots, mammograms and blood
pressure checks can help prevent
disease or lead to early detection.
Talk with your doctor about your
risks for conditions such as heart
disease and cancer. Then follow
his or her advice for preventive
screenings. The Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality
offers information about preventive
services at www.ahrq.gov/clinic/
Ask for less expensive
medications. Share your drug
formulary with your doctor. A
formulary is a list of medications
your insurance company will help
you pay for. In addition, ask your
doctor to prescribe generic drugs—
which are less expensive than
brand-name drugs—when possible.
Wash your hands. Most colds and
flu are spread in droplets from
coughs and sneezes. Washing your
hands—with soap and warm water
for 15 to 20 seconds—can help stop
the spread and keep you healthy.
Fight Financial Stress
While you can’t control the stock market,
you can control how you react to financial
worries. Here’s how to keep money from
stressing you out or getting you down:
Put concerns in perspective. Replace
doom-and-gloom thoughts (“this is
a disaster”) with realistic ones (“this
is an issue, so I’ll need to tighten
Write down solutions. By putting on
paper the practical ways you’ll save,
you can focus on specific changes
and reduce stress.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Inhale
through your nose for four counts.
Then breathe out through your mouth
for four counts. Repeat five to ten
times. This technique helps counter
the fast, shallow breathing associated
Create time to relax. Set aside at least
15 minutes for enjoyment every day.
Listen to music, read a magazine or
call a friend to chat—whatever helps
Walk it off. To boost your mood,
fit physical activity into every day.
Walking, biking, dancing and even
gardening can reduce feelings of
anxiety and depression.