How Getting Sick Affects Your Finances

June 8, 2017
How Getting Sick Affects Your Finances
How Getting Sick Affects Your Finances

Getting sick is an inevitable part of human life. If you're lucky, you will only suffer minor ailments that mildly disrupt your everyday routine. Unfortunately, there's also a chance you or a family member will face a dangerous, long-term illness that could impact all areas of life.
When most people focus on the tragedy of illnesses, they often overlook the financial perils that come along with them. To better protect your health and your finances, learn why staying healthy is so important.
Avoiding Catastrophic Costs
According to data from the federal court system, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Census and the Commonwealth Fund, unwieldy medical bills are the top cause of U.S. Bankruptcies. That's a sobering statistic that sheds clear light on the high costs of getting sick. Even if they have insurance to cover some or all of their medical expenses, patients tend to lose substantial income to medication costs, lost wages and paid care.
When families are confronted with unmanageable medical costs, they are often forced to make huge sacrifices. Homes must be sold, and children may have to give up their college ambitions. To protect your future, it's a good idea to prioritize your health.

Reducing Your Risk of Illness

While we can't completely eliminate our risk of illness and disease, we can drastically reduce this risk through healthy living. Research has shown that we can lower our chances of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease by taking the following proactive steps:

  • Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit red meat consumption
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Reduce stress and get regular sleep
  • Get screened or tested regularly

When Illness Occurs
While serious illnesses require trips to emergency rooms, family physicians and/or specialists, less serious ailments can be treated at an urgent care facility. Whether it's the flu, the common cold, a minor allergic reaction or even a bone fracture, you can save a significant amount of money by choosing urgent care over the ER.
When it comes to managing medical expenses, where you go can be just as important as what you have. To limit your financial burden, create a plan of action, so you will know where to seek medical attention in any given circumstance.

Son kissing mother
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today.
Somers, NY
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