Living a healthy lifestyle through exercise and fitness has obvious benefits to you related to your physical wellbeing, but can it also benefit your pocketbook?
Health Care is a growing expense for Americans. A full 16% of GDP is spent on health care, up from 9% in 1980. While health insurance helps defray the out-of-pocket costs should you get sick or be involved in an accident, health insurance companies pass this growing expense on to their insureds in the form of monthly premiums (in 2007 health insurance premiums rose 7.1% on average).
Even if you have health insurance coverage with rich benefits, many procedures can still be very pricey. Consequently, exercise and fitness can keep you healthy and reduce the need for health care and save you money in the long run.
But will staying healthy keep your health insurance premiums down? There is no guarantee, since health insurance companies base their rates on the healthiness and claims experience of all the insureds who are covered by the same health plan that you are.
If the population as a whole became more healthy by eating right, exercising, flossing daily, and getting plenty of sleep you would likely see a significant decrease in you health insurance costs over time.
The silver lining is that even if you didn’t save a penny on your health insurance costs, being healthy is reward enough.