This past Saturday I was asked to help speak for December’s Inspired Event, at the Momentum Center; Topic: Money and Emotions.  I lead this conversation with consideration of our healthcare expenditures. Touching on how typically, the first budgetary cuts go directly from our health and the rippling effect it will have. 

As we know, healthcare is a fickle thing here in the U.S.  In fact, one would argue that the U.S current healthcare model is really a disease management system and as such, this form of “emergency medicine” can be very costly.

Because alternative medicine is typically not a insurance covered benefit through our primary health Insurance plans, many people end up paying out of pocket for those extended service. The same services, that most would say is beneficial to their health needs.  Especially when a growing number of individuals feel that there needs are not being met through conventional medicine.  

This would surely create a lot of emotions for anyone that is dealing with any form of chronic disease or illness.   Life saving devices, transplants, medications and more needed just for survival.  Individuals having to budget their health cost could equate to thousands of dollars monthly.  Americans spent $3.3 trillion on healthcare or about $10,348 per person. That is up 18.9% in just five years. Healthcare spending in the U.S. accounts for 17.9% of the gross domestic product.

A study published in The American Journal of Medicine, showed 42% of Cancer Patients are forced to exhaust their life savings two years after a cancer diagnosis.  A study of 33,720 U.S. households published in the January 2016 edition of Psychology Science found that those with higher levels of unemployment were more likely to purchase over-the-counter pain killers.  People who struggle with debt are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression, according to a study by the University of Nottingham in England.  Negative effects include low self-esteem and impaired cognitive functioning….That means you can’t learn, remember, be attentive or solve problems as well when you’re freaking out over your medical bills.

Simply thinking about the prospect of financial insecurity was enough to increase pain.

People reported feeling almost twice as much physical pain after recalling a financially unstable time in their life compared to those who thought about a secure period.   A 2016 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta linked debt to higher death rates. Becoming seriously delinquent on a debt increased the mortality risk 5% in the first three months.  The Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times survey in 2016 found that 26% of Americans between the ages of 18-64 said they had problems paying medical bills and 52% of debt collection actions in the U.S. contained medical debts. Medical debts were responsible for half the bankruptcy filings.

Often time when I hear abut someone making budgetary cuts, the first thing to be consider is the groceries.  Cheaper canned or processed food can cut a grocery bill from 400- 200 dollars rather quickly but how is your health compromised by this thought pattern -With an average daily hospital cost of $5,220, maybe now more then ever it is the time to consider your wellness in a preventive manner.   Simply put, health does affect our emotions and thus our wellbeing.