These days healthcare insurance costs a pretty penny. Frankly for lots and lots of people it is financially out of their reach or they have to take the cheapest option which may mean high deductibles and large out of pocket costs. This is why healthcare is so widely discussed in the political arena…everyone (typically) wants to have access to affordable medical care and be able to get treatment if they get sick or have an accident of some kind. Yet the prices are skyrocketing and it is becoming a luxury that the average Joe cannot afford. So when you cannot afford health insurance what do you do? You make sure you are healthy and thus less likely to need it.
I know the kind of stress that having no insurance options can bring. I have been without it a few times in my life, usually due to job changes, and it was worrisome each and every time. It was especially worrisome after I got cancer and realized that going without health insurance for any length of time might disqualify me from ever getting it again, at a reasonable rate that is. Yet I view healthcare and health insurance quite a bit differently now…five years after my cancer went into remission. I stay insured just for peace of mind. After your body betrays you like that you always think in the back of your mind that it could happen again.
But my body didn’t really betray me though did it? I betrayed my body with years of bad dietary choices, the stress of having babies back to back, and an extremely sedentary lifestyle. After cancer I made numerous changes and don’t even feel like the same person. Now I see that my health or lack thereof is really within my control. It is the consequence of my own choices, good or bad. When you start to see it that way then you start to see healthcare a bit differently. Instead of paying premiums for health insurance, you start to see how you could funnel money towards preventative care so that you don’t have to rely on a broken system.
Now as mentioned I DO have health insurance. It is partly because of my past history with cancer but also because I have children. Sometimes the peace of mind is worth it. Though we have a cheaper than average plan with a high deductible, making it for emergencies only. Our out of pocket costs for the dentist, family physician visits a couple times of year, etc are paid for with our HSA (Health Savings Account). We send money to that account every week pre-tax and it is there when we need it. We also spend more money on preventive healthcare, as can anyone who either cannot afford insurance or does not qualify for it for some reason, like pre-existing conditions.
Here are some of the ways you can fund a ‘Do It Yourself’ Healthcare plan. These options/choices keep us healthy and free of illness. Yes, these action items might cost money but I really do believe that you have to pay for health now or you will pay for illness later…
Healthy Food – Many say that eating healthy doesn’t cost more but in my experience it does. I choose to buy organic, pastured, grassfed, etc whenever I possibly can. We are paleo so we spend more on expensive meat and nothing on the cheaper grains and legumes so popular among the mainstream.
Primal Food – This is my personal preference but one that is based upon so much encouraging data. Eating paleo or primal is like eating according to the factory settings for the human body. If you want to thrive you should experiment with a paleo diet or at the very least reduce the amount of refined carbs and sugar you eat. You will be amazed.
Gym Memberships – You will only get out if this what you put into it. It is just a waste if you join a gym and then never use it. Try a few places and see if you can find one that feels like your second home. My hubby and I adore our CrossFit box and the $100 per person (per month) price tag is worth it because we are healthier than ever. It is important to exercise daily.
Supplements – The quality of our soil means that our food (both plant and animal) is depleted in minerals and not as nutritious as it once was. I still make it a point to eat as well as I can but supplementation helps close some gaps. I personally take fish oils, krill oil, magnesium, Vitamin D, and probiotics.
Homeopathic Kits and Home Remedies – Cheaper that visiting the doctor and they really work.
Naturopathic Doctors – These doctors will actually try to help you get to the bottom of what is causing your illness or problem, they don’t just treat the symptoms as conventional doctors do. If you want to spend the money to visit a doctor then go this route.
Detox Your Home – Get rid of the toxins and nasty chemicals that lurk around your home. Use green cleaners, buy used furniture and clothing (no offgassing or pesticide residue), wash your clothes with a natural detergent, use personal care products that rate safe in the Skip Deep database, get rid of plastics. There are many ways to reduce your exposure to the toxics that are so common in every day products. Every step helps.
Fresh Air and Sunshine – Spend as much time as you can outside. We need the fresh air and the sunshine for our health . We also need the direct contact with the earth. Some research has shown that a physical connection with the earth, as in your bare feet on the grass and soil, can help with a variety of ailments both mental and physical. It is called Earthing. The best thing about this action step is that it is FREE!
I feel fortunate to have a healthcare plan via my husband’s employer but I feel even better about the fact that in my mind… we don’t even need one. Our own healthcare action plan actually improved our health, something you cannot usually say about corporate healthcare plans.