How to Protect Your Wallet From High Medical Costs

High medical costs can wipe out your finances. In fact, medical debt was, until the housing crisis, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. To put a dollar figure on things, consider that cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and vein problems) cost an estimated $444 billion in 2010, making health care expenditures on of our nation’s largest expenses.

Health care gets more expensive with each passing year, meaning that you cannot afford to ignore the fact that medical costs will likely have an impact on your finances at some point during your life. Part of responsible family planning includes anticipating high medical costs. Some of the planning is financial and some of the planning is medical. Read on to see what you can do to ensure that medical costs don’t destroy your finances.

Stay Healthy

Of course you can’t control when you become ill, but you can sometimes control how severe an illness is and how difficult it is to treat. Yearly check-ups and following the advice of your physician can go a long way to reducing long term medical costs by reducing your risk of health conditions. The earlier you catch a medical condition, or the potential for a medical condition, the easier it will be to treat or avoid. More over, the more honest you are with your doctor about your health, the more likely you are to receive prompt and affordable care. So, treat your body like a car and take it in for a tune-up on a routine basis.

Beyond catching conditions early, don’t forget that leading a healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward keeping you out of the hospital. Exercise, eat well, and avoid tobacco to save tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs over your lifetime. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Find Good Insurance

The average hospital stay will costs just a little less than $18,000. Being without health insurance for prolonged periods of time is a recipe for financial ruin. Even trivial problems can costs thousands of dollars to diagnose and treat, so it is a good idea to find good coverage that you can afford, such as a plan offered by

Be sure that the coverage you have includes prescription drugs as well as visits to the doctor or hospital. Americans spend an average of $773 per year on prescription medication, so don’t be caught unaware by the high costs of even routine medical treatments.

You Must Act

That’s really it. Get good insurance, take care of yourself, and listen to your doctor if you want to stay healthy and avoid financial ruin due to health care bills. Insurance covers you in case of catastrophe while routine investment in your personal health helps you to avoid catastrophe. No one wants to think about the possibility of bad things happening, but sometimes they can’t be avoided. Plan ahead to ensure that if something unthinkable does happen then your family won’t be burdened with medical expenses. Insurance and a healthy lifestyle guarantee more than longevity, they also provide peace of mind that your family is protected from the high costs of health care.

Billy Henderson studies money and the healthcare industry. He especially enjoys writing about ways to save money while making smart healthcare decisions.

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