Can you afford to be healthy? Perhaps a better question: Can you afford not to?

It’s no secret that most Americans are overwhelmed with the rising healthcare costs in the US. The average American spends a whopping $8000 a year on medical related expenses. At the current annual cost that Americans are paying for prescription and over-the-counter medications, they will have spent an average $36,000 over the next 20 years on these medications.

High monthly insurance premiums also contribute to these extreme health care costs in America today. Americans will pay $24,000, on average, over the next 20 years on insurance premiums. For some Americans, especially the elderly, the high cost of health care in the US even leads to bankruptcy. The leading cause of bankruptcy for Americans 65 years and older is unpaid medical bills, with many older Americans owing 250k+.

So, the question then becomes, “What steps can I take to decrease money spent on health care?” The answer? Get and stay healthy through wellness programs and disease prevention techniques. The current health care system in the United States is a disease management system, a costly system that treats conditions rather than attempts to prevent them. To prevent the US health care system from gauging your wallet later in life, Americans should consider wellness programs and disease prevention measures that are designed to keep adult Americans healthy and prevent the onset of serious, costly medical conditions. Health risk assessments and screenings, stress reduction programs, hormone optimization and weight loss programs are just a few examples of wellness programs that reduce the risk of poor health later in life.

The cost of these types of wellness programs pales in comparison to the cost of the astronomical medical bills that many Americans could have avoided had they taken measures to stay healthy. Investing in your health now by taking an approach that incorporates consistent exercise, a healthy diet, and an overall wellness plan will keep you happy and healthy, greatly reducing the chance of expensive medical bills in the future.

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