When was the last time you visited your primary care physician? If it’s been a while, we get it. Healthcare can be super expensive if you’re in the United States, and if you have a tight budget, a checkup might seem like a luxury that you can’t afford.
But what if we told you that going to your yearly checkups can actually save you money in the long run? That’s right, spending a smaller amount now could save you thousands of dollars later.
Don’t believe us? Let’s talk about it. Read on to learn all about how your checkups may end up saving you money.
Preventative Care May Be Covered
This will vary depending on your insurance coverage, but in some cases, your preventative appointments might be completely covered. They can be free, or at the very least, low-cost as long as you have a decent insurance plan.
Many people aren’t aware of this. They avoid preventative care because of the high cost of healthcare in the United States. They don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a quick doctor’s visit, and that’s completely reasonable.
Contact your insurance company to learn more about your coverage. They can tell you what is and isn’t covered. You can also get a list of local providers who should accept your insurance for a preventative appointment if you don’t already have a regular doctor.
If you don’t have insurance, you may be able to find doctors and clinics that offer a sliding-scale payment system. This means that if you have a lower income, you can still afford care because it will be less expensive for you.
Some doctors even choose to avoid the insurance system altogether because it’s complicated and predatory. Experienced physician Erin Reese MD uses this unique model with her practice, for example, and it’s starting to gain popularity in the United States as healthcare costs continue to rise. Instead of paying for insurance, patients pay a flat rate every month for all of their checkups. This makes them more interested in continuing to keep up with their health.
In short, you may not have to pay as much as you think to be seen by a healthcare professional for preventative care.
You’ll Catch Early Signs of Health Problems
So let’s say your preventative care appointments are free or affordable, but that doesn’t mean that illnesses and injuries are. What happens if your doctor finds something wrong?
It’s true that having a serious illness or injury can be expensive in the long run if you’re in the United States. However, the earlier you catch a problem, the less expensive it will be in most cases. Minor issues are easier to treat than serious issues, and if you visit your doctor for routine appointments, you may be able to catch a condition while it’s still not too serious.
You can eleven catch warning signs of health problems before they evolve into real problems.
For example, a doctor may notice that you’re overweight and experiencing some of the early signs of diabetes. But you may not actually have diabetes yet. Instead, you’re pre-diabetic. That makes a big difference.
You can start tackling the problem head-on before it turns into a serious condition. This will save you money in the long run because you won’t be getting worse. You’ll be healing.
Of course, it is still possible for early-stage cures to be expensive. This is just increasing your chances of a low-cost solution.
You May Be Able to Avoid Costly Procedures and Medications
On that topic, if you catch a condition early, you may be able to avoid the need for expensive medications and medical procedures (including surgery). Your doctor may be able to find low-cost solutions instead.
Let’s say that you mention some wrist pain to your doctor during a routine appointment. It isn’t something severe enough for you to make a specific appointment for, but you wanted to get some peace of mind during your check-up, so you decided to bring it up.
Your doctor suggests that the problem may be tendonitis. This is later confirmed. You worry because you know that in some cases, tendonitis can require surgery.
While this is true, catching tendonitis early can prevent the need for surgery. Instead, you can do lower-cost physical therapy or even choose more affordable options, like wearing a brace and getting plenty of rest.
Again, there’s no guarantee that visiting your doctor regularly will prevent the need for expensive medications and procedures in the future. It will, however, give you a better chance.
You Can Learn How to Care for Yourself
During your doctor’s appointments, you’re welcome to ask your doctor questions about how to maintain good health. As a matter of fact, depending on what you’ve told them, your doctor may have some suggestions that they’ll offer on their own.
These suggestions will include general health and wellness tips. Doctors aren’t nutritionists or trainers, but they understand the benefits of exercising and eating a healthy diet, so they may make some recommendations to that effect.
They may talk to you about how much sleep you should be getting, general lifestyle changes, and even mental health. They can even refer you to other professionals if you have specific needs or questions.
Learning how to keep yourself in good health is the best thing you can do for your body. It will save you so much money in the long run when it comes to preventable conditions. Wouldn’t you rather avoid the need for expensive cures?
Spend Money Now to Save Money Later
It may not seem like it, but regular health checkups can save you money in the long run. Yes, they can be expensive if you live in the United States, but they’re far less expensive than surgeries or medications for preventable conditions.
Give yourself the gift of good health by visiting your doctor at least once per year. You won’t regret it.
Speaking of saving money on healthcare, don’t forget to check out the rest of the site for more money-saving tips.