U.S. Healthcare Meltdown –
Extensive political meddling has put our nation on shaky ground when it comes to healthcare. Now is the time to take stock and organize yourself, as medical care for the masses becomes steadily more dysfunctional.
We have three important action recommendations to share with you today that will help you weather disruptions to our healthcare system with less worry and less expense. First, let us quickly recap some of the worst problems:
Last year, insurance premiums rose another 8-9 percent, and the percentage of your premium carried by your employer is likely falling. And, fewer employers are actually offering health insurance.
Doctors are going broke at a record rate – especially small practices. Cuts in insurance reimbursements, shifting regulations, and rising drugs costs are putting many doctors under. It’s a growing crisis that could directly affect your access to quality care in the near future.
Whether you have insurance or you pay out of pocket, more Americans list access, not cost, as the most urgent healthcare problem facing the nation.
Now let’s look at three steps you might want to take now – before the system becomes totally gridlocked. Some of them are going to sound familiar; some may sound like a stretch. But they can all help you take care of your body and your future in meaningful ways. They are worthy of your careful consideration.
Get Lasik Eye Surgery
In the event of a prolonged financial turmoil, you can expect money to be tight in a way that it’s never been tight before. Things are already tough, but they may very well get tougher.
In that event, getting a new set of glasses or contacts may be a luxury that puts a strain on your budget.
If you’re forced to choose between groceries and a new pair of glasses, you’re going to do without the new specs. That can lead to headaches and eyestrain. Depending on your vision and how reliant you are on your glasses, it can also make it more difficult to perform daily tasks like reading, working, and driving.
If you have the means to get Lasik surgery, now may be a good time to do it. By surgically correcting your vision, you’ll eliminate the need for corrective lenses and contacts. That will be one less thing you have to worry about no matter what happens.
Lasik surgery is a laser procedure that reshapes your cornea to provide near-perfect vision. It’s recommended for most over the age of 18 who have poor vision due to astigmatism, near-sightedness, or far-sightedness. The surgical procedure and technology have been around for many years, and the results are generally very good. It’s considered a low-risk procedure. However, doctors are human, and it’s therefore possible for them to make mistakes. So you’ll be at a small risk for vision loss or multiple surgeries.
Lasik surgery takes about 10 minutes per eye to complete and usually costs in the $2,500 range per eye, although prices will vary from doctor to doctor. New doctors will be cheaper, but you may feel better entrusting your vision to someone who’s done the surgery hundreds of times.
When it comes to finding the right Lasik surgeon for you, ask around. Chances are you know someone who has had the procedure and can make a recommendation. Your own eye doctor is another good person to ask. Expect the Lasik surgeon to review your eye health to assess if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Some eye conditions, such as a thinning cornea, will mean you shouldn’t have Lasik.
Our founder Lee Bellinger got this done about 12 years ago, and he has not regretted it. He advises that you should pick three doctors who have done the procedure at least 200 times and interview each of them before making your final choice.
Get Your Dental Work Up-to-Date
Lots of adults go years without a visit to the dentist. If that describes you, or if you know you have dental work that needs tending to – but you’ve been putting it off – it’s time to take action. Going to the dentist is no fun, we know. But, it’s a better idea to go now than to wait until dental care becomes harder to get.
If you put off your dental work, you’re risking toothaches and other dental nightmares that we’re sure you’d rather do without. Dental work can be expensive; it’s well worth the peace of mind to get it taken care of and out of the way.
Help Assess Your Personal Health Risks
Now is also the time to get a basic, thorough check up. Currently, pre-screenings for many medical conditions are readily available and very affordable. But, as the government gets more involved in the healthcare market, it’s hard to say which tests will be easily accessible and which will be impossible to get.
Identify any potential risks or existing problems before that happens. Get screened for skin cancer, high blood pressure, breast or prostate cancer, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and thyroid problems. If you decide against Lasik surgery, at least get your complete eye exam out of the way – and make sure they do a total scan of your eyes to make sure there are no signs of vascular damage tied to pre-diabetes issues.
When caught early these medical conditions can be treated and even reversed, so routine screenings are a good idea. If you know what your greatest potential health problems are now, you can start taking steps to prevent them from becoming an actual issue later.
But, if you wait until the healthcare situation gets worse than it already is and access to healthcare becomes even more regulated – even rationed – or just more costly, you may find yourself hard-pressed to get a diagnosis, much less timely treatment for any of these conditions.
When it comes to getting screened for common diseases and conditions, you have options. You can work with your doctor for the most personalized experience. You can visit a local clinic for a less expensive visit. Or, for maximum convenience, you can order many pre-screening tests online, conduct the tests at home, and submit the results to a lab. You’ll talk to your doctor only if something comes up as abnormal.
Knowledge Is Power
When it comes to protecting and maintaining your health, the expression “knowledge is power” has never been truer than it is today. With the healthcare landscape facing dramatic and unpredictable changes, the more you know now, the better able you’ll be to take care of yourself in the future.
Safeguarding your health is a critical step to greater self-sufficiency. So, take the initiative to minimize your future dependence on a broken healthcare system. We guarantee you won’t regret it.