Health Care and Health Insurance Costs Can Be Controlled Through Lifestyle Choices

As you probably know all to well, the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums continue to increase at levels substantially above the general inflation rate. The reasons given for these extraordinary cost increases are numerous and include: technological advancements in the medical field, increased demand for medical services and prescription drugs, the aging of the population, cost shifting caused by the uninsured and governmental reimbursement rates, state and federal mandates, and costs associated with medical related lawsuits.

As individual consumers, we have very little control over some of the factors contributing to the cost of healthcare. However, all of us have control over lifestyle related health insurance claims. A simple formula of eating a balanced diet, getting the appropriate amount of daily exercise, participating in annual physicals and other recommended routine care, limiting alcohol consumption, and eliminating the use of tobacco products will no doubt reduce our personal healthcare costs. In addition to reducing medical costs, the other benefits of following such a formula include more energy, self confidence, less stress, and increased productivity. If you are not doing so already, I encourage you to consider practical ways to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. For example, one of the individual health insurance companies my organization works with has an option that will offset 25% of the annual cost of a health club membership. Simple things such as taking a walk, bike ride, or going swimming promote both a healthy body and mind. If you have a sweet tooth, consider limiting yourself to eating desert once a week. You will enjoy it more and your body will thank you.

Health insurance premiums will continue to increase as long as the cost of healthcare continues to go up. The best way to reduce the overall cost of healthcare is to decrease our need for healthcare. Healthy lifestyle choices and prudent use of the healthcare system are the best and easiest ways to get a handle on our healthcare expenditures. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a healthy lifestyle is our ability to enjoy our precious time here on earth to the fullest.

Michael Ertel is the President of Ertel & Company, Inc. and has over 15 years of experience in the health insurance business. He is the founder of which is an internet based service that assists individuals, families, and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives and the convenience of applying for health coverage online.

In The News:

New York Times

Fate of Children's Insurance Program Is Called Into Question at Senate Hearing
New York Times
WASHINGTON — A Senate hearing on Tuesday set the stage for a coming debate over whether the federal government should continue financing a popular health insurance program for lower-income children who are now eligible for new coverage options ...
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'Llamas are soo cool' fake car insurance could be thwarted by proposed anti ...
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PBS NewsHour
Juan Serrano, who heads CHI's new insurance subsidiary, Prominence Health, said in an interview that over the next year and a half Prominence plans to “expand our health plan footprint into additional Catholic Health Initiative markets…where they make ...
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Don't Be a Jerk. Buy Life Insurance.
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Number of Americans Without Health Insurance Falls, Survey Shows
New York Times
Federal researchers reported on Tuesday that the number of Americans without health insurance had declined substantially in the first quarter of this year, the first federal measure of the number of uninsured Americans since the Affordable Care Act ...
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Tens of Thousands Likely to Lose Health Insurance at End of September
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Tens of thousands of people are likely to lose their health insurance at the end of this month because they missed a deadline to confirm they are legally residing in the U.S., the Obama administration said Monday. In all, 115,000 people ...

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Clarifying Health

Individual health insurance rates to rise 13.2%
Miami Today
Florida residents will be paying an average increase of 13.2% for individual health care insurance in 2015, according to preliminary numbers from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. No data has been released yet on employer plans for 2015. The ...
Get a jump on getting insuranceCatskill Daily Mail
Notify insurance carriers of status changesBluffton Today
Enrollment opens Nov. 15 for Oklahoma's online health insurance
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel -The Roundup
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Traders Buying Insurance Against an October Crash
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Drivers in Michigan, especially Detroit, pay dearly for car insurance
If you take a national average expenditures for auto insurance at $797, then you'd be talking about a metro Detroit average of $2,100 per car, according to Laura Adams, senior analyst for Granted, actual rates are going to vary by ...
Top 25 cities for highest auto insurance ratesUSA TODAY
Detroit Takes Another Title: Highest Car Insurance in AmericaInsurance Journal (blog)
Michigan auto insurance rates among highestWKZO
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Financial Post

BP Hopes Missing Comma Triggers $750 Million Transocean Spill Insurance
Insurance Journal
BP Plc, which already has paid more than $28 billion for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, seeks to get a $750 million chunk of that back by convincing a Texas court that a missing comma may give the oil company access to Transocean Ltd.'s insurance ...
BP, Transocean square off over insuranceHouston Chronicle
BP Seeks Access to $750 Million Transocean InsuranceBloomberg
BP argues missing comma in insurance contract entitles company to US$750 ...Financial Post

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