10 ways to slash your medical costs

Mortgage and Lending with The Money Source NMLS #251674

Image: Visiting the doctor © Thomas Barwick, Stone, Getty Images

My mother was slender, ate a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, and exercised regularly. She died of cancer two months after her 62nd birthday.

My father was a healthy, normal-weight man when a stroke killed him. A friend who never smoked recently died of lung cancer.

So I'm not one of those people who believes living right can somehow immunize us against health care disasters. Disease, accidents and disability can happen to anyone.

Still, a sizable chunk of health care spending in the U.S. wouldn't be necessary if we took better care of ourselves. So-called "modifiable health risk factors," such as how much we weigh, what we eat and drink, how much we exercise and whether we smoke "are responsible for much of the illness, healthcare utilization, and subsequent costs related to chronic disease," as one set of researchers put it. Obesity and smoking alone may add $100 billion to $150 billion a year to U.S. health care costs.

Liz Weston

Liz Weston

Most of what's written about reducing medical expenses is really more about managing the costs you incur. Finding a good health insurance plan, fighting back when you're denied coverage and negotiating medical bills can help with that.

But this column is about trying to prevent the big costs before they occur.

Here are the 10 costliest medical conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

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Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!

I believe that about 95% of health challenges today are related to the food chain today.  All the pesticides and additives that end up in our foods are a really big problem then you combine all the medication that gets flushed and ends up in the water supply one has to wonder why any of us are still alive.  We all get so many minutes to be alive here on this planet and not a second more.  But lifestyle choices will certainly affect our quality of life.  

Apr 30, 2012 07:28 AM #1
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

This is a wonderful post and a topic more and more of us should be considering our health should be one of our number one concerns.

Apr 30, 2012 07:38 AM #2
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Benjamin Franklin had it correct. Everything in moderation. 

Genetics are hard to change.

Good habits though go a long way to enjoying your time on earth without morbidity.

Apr 30, 2012 08:44 AM #3
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