With health insurance premiums on a steady incline (up about nine-fold since 1960), American families are spending more than they ever have on healthcare.
As we stand right in the middle of open enrollment for 2018, the average unsubsidized individual is paying north of $300 per month for health insurance. Families are paying around $1,000. But that doesn’t include their respective $4,000 and $8,000 deductibles. And while these numbers might make you cringe, these numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Most folks don’t ever reach their deductible. Many people and families are subsidized. So while it’s not uncommon to pay these prices, not everyone does.
Plus, the younger you are, the less preventable many of the costs become. Most 20-somethings aren’t spending their deductibles on cholesterol medications.
But the picture becomes quite clear when we examine the statistics of Medicare.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a national, single-payer health insurance program that covers about half of your health care costs and spans approximately 20% of the United States population. It generally covers those that are 65 or older, but there are some exceptions.
In 2010, the average Medicare recipient paid almost $5,000 per year in out-of-pocket medical expenses. A little less than half of this went to premiums & supplemental coverage.
The remaining 58% ($2,744 per person, on average) was out-of-pocket costs.
In that same year, the average life expectancy was about 78 years, yielding us a total healthcare cost of $35,672 per person.
“Okay, Josh, but that’s just the average. What if you’re in great health?”
Good question, reader. Those in self-reported excellent health spent only $1,774, a savings of about $1,000 per year and $12,610 total. Not to mention your premiums would probably be lower as well.
Those in self-reported poor health spent $4,505 each year, bringing us to an astronomical $58,565 between the ages of 65 and 78. And if you outlive the average? Costs only increase as healthcare becomes more complex.
The question becomes: how much of this cost is preventable?
What if you had an extra $12,000 or more throughout your retirement? I realize that this is starting to sound like a sales pitch, so let me get to my point.
The cost of improving your health now is drastically lower than saving your health later.
Precision Nutrition can turn your entire diet upside down and give you the skills you’ll need for the rest of your life, all in 12 months and for about $2,000.
Personal training for one year, even just once per week in a semi-private format, would teach you 13 new workouts with over 100 new exercises and give you the ability to create your own workout routines for the rest of your life – also costing about $2,000.
By learning the skills necessary to maintain your own health, you could save yourself over $8,000, probably more.
What Can You Do With $8,000?
And just because we love numbers, here are a few things you could do with $8,000:
- Go on seven extra vacations.
- Buy eight iPhone X’s.
- Go to the Super Bowl twice (almost).
- Put it all in the stock market in your 10-year-old child’s name and let it grow to over $300,000 by the time they’re 65.
- Get it all in $1 bills & quarters, put it in a bathtub, and sit in it.
- Buy a six-pack of beer for all 1,381 of your Facebook friends
The most common concern I hear as a health & wellness professional is, “I’m not sure I can afford it.” And while sometimes it can be hard to justify investing in your own health, I don’t think anybody can afford to be unhealthy these days either.