Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Take Control and Save

We hunt through clearance racks to cut the cost of designer goods. We change the oil and put new tires on our cars to avoid a more costly trip to the mechanic. We spend hours online comparing and contrasting travel sites before booking our family vacations. Why can’t we take the same cost-saving approach to our health care?

No matter what happens with health care reform, consumers will have to start taking a more active role to save money on their family’s health care. There are plenty of ways for the savvy consumer to trim the dollar signs and prevent their health care costs from escalating.

Here are a couple of my favorite ways that average people can take matters into their own hands and reduce health care costs. The first two have to do with living healthy lifestyles:

  • Lose weight. An apple a day is no longer the trick. Maybe because we dip it in caramel. Maybe because we don’t eat it at all. Whatever the reason, widespread obesity is driving the cost of keeping the doctor away to where it threatens to break the bank. Get to a healthy weight to avoid costly and damaging health complications. By making the effort to exercise and eat right we can save our health care dollars for any future medical conditions that can’t be prevented.
  • Stop smoking. Many insurance companies now offer discounts for smoking cessation programs that help fight the addiction. Smoking is tied to serious health risks like lung cancer and emphysema that require costly treatments. The simple act of putting out that cigarette can have a significant impact on the cost of health care.

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