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.