My good health warranty expired!. I am at an age (68 years old) when my warranty expired long ago! I am referring to the manufacturer’s warranty I noticed little things are starting to either malfunction or are worn out. I have excellent healthcare, but I need to take action. What does this have to do with personal finance? Everything!
I went to my doctor (internist) a few months ago because of hoarseness. Little did I know it was a symptom of Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid Reflux is a condition in which acidic gastric fluid is regurgitated into the esophagus causing heartburn. My symptoms were not obvious and infrequent at best. Unfortunately, it was occurring without symptoms and damaging my throat and vocal cords. My esophageal sphincter was failing me, but I am getting treatment!
My warranty expired and I can do something about it! Healthcare is a key part of personal finance and good health. If everyone had access to affordable healthcare, healthcare would be less expensive. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) did nothing about reducing the cost of healthcare. In fact, it removed lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions and included preventive care at no cost. These changes add costs to your healthcare coverage.
Insurance is expensive and unavoidable! Those of you receive your healthcare from your employer are the lucky ones, but your costs will increase. If you are self employed or retired, your costs will increase too. The bottom line is you cannot avoid the high cost of healthcare until changes are made. As we age, we need more healthcare because our warranty expired! What can you do about it? Besides taking care of yourself, you can lower your costs. Contact your Congressman to counteract the lobbyists!
Healthcare is no different from anything else you purchase. It is a product and service and we deserve the best. It is important because it affect s not just your personal finances, but also your health. Many of your choices of what you eat or drink, physical activity and how you live your life will make a difference in your quality of life. What else can you do? This is the time of year when we overindulge in food and drink and wait until January to diet or exercise. Enjoy the holidays, but do not overeat, drink or spend.
Did you know that Medicare does not negotiate drug prices with the drug companies? Yet, they have contracted reimbursement for medical providers. The rates are so low; many doctors will not take on new Medicare patients. Medicare leans heavily on the medical providers to support Medicare, but ignores the pharmaceutical companies. The insurance companies have negotiated rates for medical providers and negotiated prices for drugs, but the costs are still too high. Is more competition the answer?
Size matters! When negotiating prices, size matters. It is one of the reasons group insurance is less expensive than individual policies. The exchanges were set up to provide group leverage on pricing, however it is not enough. I do not want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, instead let’s change it. Make it more effective by focusing on the desired outcome which is truly more affordable insurance for everyone. Changes are needed and nothing should be off the table!
Healthcare in the United Sates in some ways is similar to personal finance. You as an individual have a great deal of control over your finances, but there are some things beyond your control. You should start with the things you have control over such as how you spend your money, debt, savings, retirement savings and investments. There are some things such as mortgage rates, housing prices, availability of credit to just name a few. How are you doing with your finances?
I may be out of warranty, but I am on the road to recovery. My illness showed me that anything can happen even when you are health. It also points out that this can happen in your personal financial life as well. You need to take control of your physical and mental health as well as your personal finances. Just complaining is not enough! You can change what you do and work on making changes with others. Are you happy with the results or do you want to make a change? My good health warranty expired!
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