Annual Financial Checkups


Financial Importance of Annual Checkups

Being fiscally responsible now can help you navigate through unforeseen financial burdens in the future. One of the most common reasons many Americans end up in debt is due to medical bills, and being unable to pay medical bills is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. While there will always be events that cannot be predicted, having an annual checkup can be important factor in ensuring your financial stability.

Annual checkups are often skipped, but a serious disease could have a profound effect on your finances. Many serious medical issues can be diagnosed at a regular checkup and then treated and managed, typically at a much lower cost than leaving a condition untreated until it becomes more severe. Annual checkups usually include preventative screenings, making sure you are up to date on vaccinations, and a physical examination to check your current health and risks. When you visit while you are healthy, rather than when you have a cold or another health issue, you establish a baseline that will help your doctor when treating you. Having regular checkups also helps you build a better relationship with your doctor.

Many young adults with no obvious health problems see annual visits as pointless, while for others it may be considered an unnecessary expense. However, seeing your doctor regularly can save you money in the long run. Following the advice of your doctor to minimize the risk of potential health issues and taking preventative measures could help you avoid expensive treatments and surgeries. Reviewing changes in your health and lifestyle in yearly increments allows your doctor to make recommendations that are specific to your health and health goals. Your doctor can also recommend which tests you should have done based on your age and family history, such as cancer screenings, hearing tests, or checking your cholesterol levels. Annual checkups are also the perfect opportunity to ask any health-related question you may have, which are often not mentioned when you’re at the doctor’s office for a sick visit. Make a list of your health concerns and bring these up at your annual checkup.

Catching health issues early, or preventing their onset by following your doctor’s orders, can reduce your total health care spending, but many people avoid seeing their doctor for routine checkups. The most common reasons for not scheduling an annual visit are not having a doctor, feeling fine, not having the time to spare, and not being able to afford it. If you don’t have a doctor, ask your local friends and family for recommendations. Be sure to select one that is in your health insurance plan’s network to minimize costs. If you are putting off an annual visit because you feel healthy, keep in mind that the early stages of many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are symptom free, but more manageable if caught early. If trying to find the time to see the doctor seems like too much of a hassle, consider the time required for a visit an investment in your future health. If you feel that you can’t fit the expense associated with an annual visit into your budget, see what free screenings are available to you at local health clinics or during health fairs. Not all health issues can be detected or prevented during a checkup, but they are important for the early diagnosis and treatment of many illnesses, which makes annual visits a healthy financial investment in your future.

The best way to keep your finances intact during a health crisis is by being as prepared as possible. Even with a health insurance plan, the amount you must pay to meet your deductible or out of pocket maximum can put a financial strain on your family. Having some money set aside for emergencies is always a smart decision, and will give you some peace of mind if you need to use it. Consider opening a separate Eastex Credit Union savings account for your emergency funds. Having a separate account for your emergency funds means that you’ll be less likely to spend that money on unnecessary purchases and will earn dividends on your savings while preparing for the unexpected.

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