I Said It Before…And I’ll Say It Again

Today’s article title comes from a quote of a favorite movie character of mine, Ferris Bueller.  I’m sure most of you know that he was a highschooler who feigned an illness for a day to skip school.  This is a relevant quote since this article is about the importance of your health.  As my frequent readers are aware, I like to discuss personal finance from a…well…personal perspective.  I’ve written in the past about the potential cost of frugality on your health, as well as the benefits of having a health savings account.  Basically, I’ve mentioned on several occasions that your health is the pinnacle of your finances.  If you aren’t healthy then you can’t earn, nor can you enjoy money.  This article serves to remind you the importance of healthcare, as well as your personal responsibility to take care of yourself.

Some of you may have noticed my posts have been less frequent over the past few weeks.  I was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease which, while unpleasant, isn’t quite as bad as the “disease” part makes it sound.  I’m telling you this for a few different reasons.  I wanted to let all of you know why my posts have been on the slow side, and I wanted to reiterate the importance of health.  I have to say that despite fatigue and occasional bouts of pain, the most unpleasant part of having Crohn’s are the insurance co-pays that come with it.

I’ve recently found myself complaining about the amount of unexpected medical expenses I’ve been incurring, to the tune of about $2,000.  I work for a Fortune 500 company, and I have excellent medical benefits, I just choose to opt for the lower premium plan, after all I am 30 and generally in good health.  I feel for those that are unemployed, or cannot afford medical insurance for themselves or their families.  If I didn’t have insurance, my $2,000 medical bill would be about $20,000.  I want to take this opportunity to stress the importance of having medical insurance.  This is an area that you should avoid skimping on at all costs.  I think it’s important to be financially responsible and pay all of your bills, at the same time, I have always said that student loans and healthcare are by far the most important.  One is unforgiveable, and the other is essential.

Let me also remind you of the important of a health savings account.  HSA’s are the 401k’s of medical insurance.  I have used my HSA quite a few times in recent years for things like contacts and medical expenses, at least the portion that my insurance failed to cover.  After all, inflation runs rampant, I prefer to use my dollars as needed rather than saving them indefinitely in a low interest earning account.  Fortunately I still have enough in my HSA to cover a portion of my recent expenses, though not nearly all of it.  Consider that you are in the 25% tax bracket, and you use an HSA to pay for all out-of-pocket medical expenses, it’s the same as using a 25% coupon on your medical bills…if only they made those too!

The article is short and sweet.  Like I said, just a friendly reminder of what is truly important.  Sure I like to shop online instead of in the store.  Yeah, I like to find ways to outpace inflation, or find that next hot IPO that will boom.  Budgets are important, and impulse control is necessary.  But personal finance is nothing without good health, and good health is unsustainable without the proper tools… healthy living…healthcare…routine check ups…prompt medical attention…a healthy concern for your body.

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13 thoughts on “I Said It Before…And I’ll Say It Again

  1. Hunter

    Don’t let this or anything slow you down. You have too many awesome things to do to let this get in the way. Speaking of movies (Save Ferris), I saw Yes Man starring Jim Carey the other day. So funny. But the message was impressive also. Say yes to everything you can, even against your normal intuituin and watch doors open.

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  3. Paula @ AffordAnything.org

    I’m self-employed, so my health insurance is what I refer to as “bankruptcy insurance” — it kicks in after the first $2,000 of expenses, and gives me an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,500 a year. This basically means that doctor’s visits are not covered, but if I break a leg or have a major illness, I won’t go bankrupt. $5,500 would be painful to part with, but at the end of the day, it won’t ruin me.

    My boyfriend’s father, on the other hand, did not get high-deductible health insurance for himself and his wife. They figured they’d go to Mexico or Colombia for all their health care. That worked until she needed an emergency gall bladder operation, and they ended up with a $17,000 bill (which they negotiated down from its original $32,000). Now he’s thinking about selling his house to pay it off.

    1. admin Post author

      Oh wow… that is exactly what would worry me. Having to sell off an asset like my home to pay a medical bill would be the worst case scenario. Healthcare is expensive and when you’re healthy it seems unecessary…but when you do need it, you realize just how expensive medical care is…scary.

  4. admin Post author

    Thanks LaTisha! Surprisingly dietary changes don’t help or hurt with my issue, but being healthier is always a good thing!

  5. Freddie @ Invest With Passion

    Sorry to hear about your illness. I always say Health is Wealth, get some in your life. Most of us don’t appreciate our health until it is gone, but it is something that needs to be appreciated and maintained.

    Wishing you well.

  6. Judith

    The most common disease known to mankind is tooth decay. Routine dental check ups lead to decreased dental health costs.

  7. Cindy Merrill

    Prevention is the best way to save on medical bills- I take Cranberry suppliments, lysene and leutein as well as a multi-vitamin for women. I’m prone to yeast infections and eye-floaters- the former has not been a problem since I started on the cranberry pills.

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