According to the World Health Organization’s Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report, 100 million people had been pushed into extreme poverty (living off of $1.90 or less per day) due to their health expenses.
“…each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets.
Currently, 800 million people spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member. For almost 100 million people these expenses are high enough to push them into extreme poverty, forcing them to survive on just $1.90 or less a day,” said the report.
High expenditure on healthcare can usually be curtailed through having the right insurance coverage, regularly exercising, eating well, having regular check-ups, and having enough rests.
Here are the 5 strategies to keep your health cost low.
#1 Eat well
Eating a well balanced and nutritious meal at the appropriate time could help lower your health cost. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity have been tied to unhealthy eating habits. The expression “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” is true in this regard.
Eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in nutrients and fibre helps build your immune system which is the body’s natural defense against foreign pathogens. Eating right also helps keep the body looking young and proactive.
Eating a well balanced and nutritious meal will leave less room for fats and sugar and its associated health complications. With minimal to no health complications, you save money that would otherwise be used to take care of medical expenses.
#2 Regular exercise
Accompanying a healthy diet with regular exercise will help rid the body of disease-producing toxins for healthy living. Having a good exercise regimen has been proven to reduce stress levels, provide better sleep, maintain muscle mass, and reduce weight.
Regular exercise is also said to provide antioxidant protection and promote blood flow which can protect your skin and delay signs of aging. A good exercise regimen does not require hours of work-out at the gym.
A simple 30-minute walk 4-5 times a week has been proven to provide tremendous health benefits.In short, regular exercise does wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being thereby saving you the huge medical cost.
#3 Regular Health Check-up
Just as important regular exercise and eating well is important for the body and mitigating financial stress, so is a regular health check-up. In the long-run, regular medical check-ups help you save a good amount of money since it mitigates the risks of potential health crises. Regular medical check-up seeks to find any potential health problems that may arise and to provide quick treatment or solution to the health issue before it escalates to the point of surgery or any other hefty medical care.
Self-examination is also important in this regard. Self-examination enables you watch-out for potential health problems. For instance, men and women are encouraged to perform monthly breast self-exams for cancer. Other self-exams include skincare checks, oral checks for gum disease, heart rate monitoring, and testicular exams.
#4 Health insurance policy
The immerse benefit of a health insurance policy in saving costs cannot be overemphasized. Health insurance nullifies the huge cost of medical bills that you will otherwise have paid from your ‘pocket’. Medical costs can be very high especially for those with extreme complications. Health insurance seeks to subsidize a huge chunk of the cost making it affordable to access medical care.
Currently, in Ghana, there are several health insurance providers ( both public and private). The National Health Insurance Authority, founded in 2003 by the Kufuor-led government is the most notable of all the insurance providers which seek to provide equitable access and financial coverage to basic health care service to all Ghanaians irrespective of income levels. A notable private health insurance provider in Ghana, is Acacia Health Insurance Limited. The company provides a wide spectrum of policies to cover the health needs of individuals, families, and corporate institutions.
#5 Take rest
Rest is a very crucial healthy lifestyle that is usually taking for granted. Having enough rests provides an enormous health benefit to the body hence saving you that medical cost. Health experts say, during periods of hectic work movement especially during exercise, microscopic tears are created in your muscle tissue which requires recovery. During rest, cells called fibroblasts repair those microscopic tears. This helps the tissue heal and grow, resulting in stronger muscles. Regular exercise also helps to reduce stress levels, and improve performance. Medical studies suggest stress accounts for up to 85% of illnesses and rest is one way to reduce stress levels.
Current hectic work schedules usually affect our ability to engage in a healthy lifestyle, however with careful time planning, one can enjoy a healthy lifestyle to avoid massive health complications and save cost.