Let’s face it, a lot of people take their health for granted, some going as far as to refuse doctors’ orders in favor of home remedies or the claims that they know their own bodies better than anyone ever could. While this may be true, not paying close attention to your health could lead to serious harm and incredibly high costs.
For example, did you know that Americans suffer 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes per year? The combined health care costs and loss of productivity following these major events come up to $320 billion annually.
If you want to steer clear of being part of that figure, it’s time to think long and hard about your health.
Unconvinced? Today we’re going to outline 11 ways in which an unhealthy heart can cost you money, so strap in!
Direct Medical Costs
According to the American Heart Association, between 2015 and 2018, 127 million Americans suffered from some form of cardiovascular disease. The direct costs of these conditions came up to $216 billion. In just a single year, 868,662 people lost their lives.
Furthermore, between 2014 and 2015, strokes and cardiovascular diseases accounted for 13% of total health expenditures, but if you think those numbers are falling, think again. In fact, experts estimate that by 2035, we’ll pay around $749 billion in direct medical costs related to cardiovascular disease.
If you suffer from such conditions then you’re probably taking prescription medicine. 75% of adults with heart disease pay a combined amount of $8.5 billion for prescription drug expenses, according to a study made by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
One adult pays an average of $381 for prescription drugs per year for heart disease. These costs can add up pretty quickly!
Unscheduled Days Off
Not being able to work can and will cost you a lot of money. You could end up suffering from a myriad of symptoms that will make it difficult if not outright impossible to keep working.
The average hourly wage for civilian workers in December 2019 was $28.32 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That means that if you use up all your sick days and paid time off, for each eight-hour day you could miss out on $226.56 per day!
As little as 5 missed days of work could total up to $1,130 in lost wages per year. For some, this amount of money is nothing to sneeze at!
Even if you have insurance, you could pay up an average of $49 to visit a doctor- and that’s not taking into account the risk of getting an appointment during a global pandemic. If you aren’t insured, that figure can go up substantially.
We know this thanks to a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Researchers posed as patients in 10 states and conducted a telephone study where they tried to get a new patient appointment with a primary care doctor. Uninsured patients were quoted $160. The lowest quotes were found in Pennsylvania ($128) while the highest was found in Oregon ($188).
Health Insurance Costs
The Affordable Care Act protects those with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies are not allowed to deny coverage, nor can they charge higher premiums because of a person’s health status.
Still, some patients may still fall in a bracket where prices are still too high. Luckily for them, the Biden administration aims to strengthen the law in the near future. Until then, you may still have to suffer from higher costs on top of a dangerous health condition.
Life Insurance Costs
If you’re planning on buying life insurance, get ready for really high costs. Basically, if you have ongoing episodes of angina or chest pain, a history of more than one heart attack, uncontrolled hypertension, new electrocardiogram changes, or other cardiovascular or renal diseases, you’re going to pay more than the average person.
Costs of Maintaining Your Home
Many people don’t consider the costs of maintaining your home while suffering from heart conditions. If you find it hard to do certain activities around your home, you could reach out for professional help.
Take handyman skills, which can cost around $83 per house. If you can’t take care of these problems on your own and are forced to pay a professional a few times per month, you could pay as much as $300 per month.
You may need help cleaning your home, too, and cleaning services don’t come cheap either. What’s worse, you may exacerbate your condition if you push through and try to do everything on your own in an attempt to avoid high costs.
Have you considered how your career might suffer if you have a major heart attack? In a best-case scenario, it may be put on hold for an extended period. In other cases, such an episode could end your career.
Here’s one example. Did you know that airline pilots could lose their jobs due to disqualifying medical conditions? This includes having coronary heart disease that has been treated or, if untreated, has been symptomatic or clinically significant. Likewise, they would lose their jobs if they have suffered from angina pectoris, had a myocardial infarction, a permanent cardiac pacemaker, or had a heart replacement.
It’s time to think of how your career could suffer if you leave your heart problems unchecked.
It May Happen Again
The worst thing you can do is not treat your heart conditions as they’re likely to get worse over time.
Did you know that 735,000 Americans have a first coronary attack on an annual basis, according to the American College of Cardiology? Over half of those people are going to have another one.
That means that your medical costs could double or triple if your heart-health issues aren’t treated.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Costs
If you want to reduce or prevent future heart problems, your doctor could enroll you in a cardia rehabilitation program after a heart attack. Sadly, this is significantly underutilized, a fact also made worse by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
The worst part? These rehabilitation programs may not always be fully covered by insurance. If you have private insurance you could have a copay ranging from 0 to $60 per visit for just 36 weeks. Medicare recipients have a $20 copay for each visit.
All in all, you could stand to lose $720 or $2,100! That’s why it’s important to prevent a heart attack from happening in the first place.
The Cost of More Exercise
What can you really do? One solution is to increase your exercise routine, according to the American College of Cardiology. Sure, you could save money by coming up with a fitness regime at home, but if you need professional help even to get started, you’re going to have to pay up.
A personal trainer could cost $50, hourly, but prices vary wildly, from $15 to even $100. Keep in mind that right now it might not even be safe for you to head out to your local gym as experts suggest we should keep trying to avoid crowded spaces due to COVID-19.
Have we convinced you? Maybe it’s time to take your heart health more seriously now that you know the real costs!
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