Is a healthy lifestyle good for your wallet?

It’s well-known that Americans are dealing with multiple chronic diseases. Around 42% of us have 2 such diseases, and around 12% of the population has 5 such chronic diseases, which is a worryingly large number. And this is costing us.

Reports suggest that around $4.4 trillion was spent on health globally in the US in 2023. The overall health expenditure was around 17.3% of GDP. The diseases that have the most expensive healthcare are neurological disorders (over 170 billion), musculoskeletal diseases (over 400 billion), and diabetes (over 300 billion). When compared to a person with only one chronic disease, having multiple chronic diseases can result in significantly higher healthcare costs. More than 60% of disease combinations have the potential to result in excessive healthcare spending. With a rate of over 42% obesity, America leads the world in this regard.

So, how does this impact the healthcare we consume and the concerning increase in insurance premiums?

America already has expensive healthcare, and if an individual has unhealthy tendencies or a history of diseases, they might also have to suffer having to pay high premiums.

Why is there an urgent need to adopt a healthy lifestyle?

  • Medical bills and services are getting expensive

The US economy is growing, but costs for almost everything are on the rise. A report claims that Americans owe $220 billion for medical costs. Approximately 14 million individuals owe $1000 or more in medical debt. When we compare American healthcare to that of the rest of the world, the differences are stark. German healthcare is considered to be among the best in the world, but there’s a 40% price difference for all kinds of procedures in comparison with the USA.

  • Insurance premiums are at an all-time high

According to reports, health insurance premiums have risen by about 7% from what they were in 2023. However, the average family health insurance coverage has increased by over 45% since 2013. In 2023, health insurance for an individual was around $8,400, and for a family, the premiums touched a little under $24,000. There are numerous reasons why these numbers have been rising extremely quickly. First, there is a high rate of inflation that drives up the cost of medical supervision. Secondly, Americans’ health has been steadily declining (as an aggregate), necessitating greater access to medical care than before.

This implies that purchasing insurance is expensive, but without insurance, Americans can go into serious debt.

So, can leading a healthy lifestyle help with this issue to some degree?

The answer is yes. Let’s see how.

How can a healthy lifestyle be good for your wallet?

  • No smoking advantage

In many states of America, non-smokers can get around a 50% discount on their health insurance. Whenever an individual goes to buy health insurance, they are asked to disclose their usage of tobacco and history. The insurance premiums are determined based on that. Thus, quitting smoking may result in a larger discount when purchasing health insurance. When people require emergency medical attention due to health reasons, they may be penalized by their insurance company if they fail to disclose their tobacco use.

  • Wellness programs

Obesity can increase an individual’s risk of heart-related diseases. It can also bring high blood pressure, high levels of harmful fats, the risk of strokes, and imbalanced levels of cholesterol. Mental issues can also create neurological disorders or a negative impact on the body because of the high reliance on medicine to function normally. To tackle these issues, structured wellness programs make it possible to address these problems and often qualify for an insurance discount. This is a widely used strategy in group insurance policies in workplaces where workers receive rewards for taking part in health initiatives that help them live better lives.

Individuals can also put their money in their health savings accounts. It is possible to open a health savings account for people whose health insurance has a higher deductible than usual. When the need arises, people can contribute a certain amount to this account to lower their overall medical expenses. This amount is paid to the account before tax is calculated, thus reducing the taxable income for individuals.

If you are looking to invest in health insurance and want advice on how to lower the premiums or reduce the deductibles, then you are at the right place. At Gonzalez Insurance, we provide unbiased advice on what your insurance portfolio requires and how the premiums can be kept to a minimum while still offering you a customized health insurance and protection plan. Get in touch with us to know more.