The Fast Track (Part 3)
We’ve talked about health insurance and about determining whether or not your doctor/medical center fits your needs, two very important steps to getting your health and medical life on track for the new year. We’ve been putting a lot of focus on how exterior entities (like your health insurance company, your doctor, or your medical center) can help you keep things running smoothly in 2015, but this week we’re shifting the emphasis to discuss things that you can personally do to ensure that you stay healthy this year and avoid as many trips to your doctor or medical center as possible.
There are a lot of different things you can do to better your health and medical life in 2015, and we’ll continue to focus on several of them throughout the upcoming weeks. We believe that one of the most important ones, though, is the following:
Be prepared for anything.
You’ve heard the story. Johnny’s going over his budget for the new year, and he’s run into a little problem. He usually tries to put $1,000 aside in his medical emergencies fund just in case something goes wrong, but his friends are planning an awesome trip to Bermuda this year and he doesn’t have the additional funds to go.
After weighing the pros and cons (margarita’s on the beach vs. spending the winter in Seattle…), Johnny says “what the heck!” and books the trip. He didn’t end up spending all of his medical emergency fund last year, and he hasn’t been to the hospital in what feels like forever. He’s in the best shape of his life, and he’s young. What are the chances he’ll even need the money?
Fast-forward two months and Johnny’s sitting in the emergency room after one of those tragic, you’ll-laugh-about-this-later accidents. He came home from work, tripped over McFluffles the cat and broke his leg. It’s ok though, he can just cancel his trip, right? Wrong. What Johnny’s friends didn’t tell him is that the trip is non-refundable, so he’s looking at 10 glorious days of “can you even get a swimsuit over that cast?” and “too bad you can’t come in the water with us” and “oh my gosh, I think you have a crutch tan!” And as if that isn’t bad enough, as Johnny sits with his cast in the air watching his friends splash around in the ocean or run down the beach, all he’ll be able to think about is the pile of medical bills he can’t afford to pay anymore that are waiting in his mailbox at home.
We all know someone who’s experienced a situation like this. Heck, that someone might have been us! And while Johnny’s situation may seem funny to the rest of us, it’s important to realize that this scenario is all-too-true for many people, and it’s not one you want to be in. Even if you think it’s going to be a great year for you medically, don’t make the mistake of not being prepared. Put aside that emergency fund, have a plan in place…do whatever you need to do to make sure that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way this year! You’ll thank yourself later.