Cigna®, a global health service company, conducted a three-year study focusing on preventive care and Americans’ health care costs. The study revealed that Americans with manageable health conditions – obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure – also have higher out-of-pocket costs. What does this all mean and how can this information help you lower your health care costs?
Americans are busy and we often forget to take the time for preventive care. We work all day, pick the kids up from school, rush to get dinner on the table before our kids’ sporting event, or worse – go through the drive-thru for hamburgers and french fries. We rarely slow down and this lifestyle is contributing to the increase in our waistlines and the rise in preventable diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. These health conditions are also driving up health care costs, according to the Cigna study. The study also concluded that not knowing if you have a manageable health condition can make your costs go up even higher.
The study revealed that:
- A body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 increases total health care costs by an average of more than $2,460 per customer per year, and adds $492 in annual out-of-pocket costs.
- A cholesterol reading of more than 240 translates into an average total health care cost increase of $1,644 per health plan customer per year, and adds more than $353 in annual out-of-pocket costs.
- Two or more chronic conditions indicated by unhealthy BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar raises annual out-of-pocket expense by almost $1,300 per year, and total healthcare costs by nearly $9,000 per year.
When it comes to health conditions, those who have not undergone a biometric screening have higher health costs. For example,
- Those who have not had a biometric screening of their blood pressure values on average have total health costs which are $2,064 higher per year, and $400 more in out-of-pocket costs, than those who have verified that their blood pressure is lower than 140/90.
- Those who have not had a biometric screening of their blood glucose values on average have total health costs which are $1,332 higher per year, and $266 more in out-of-pocket costs, than those who have verified that their blood glucose is lower than 100.
This infographic from Cigna explains how we can help lower our health care costs with preventive care.
“In too many cases our health and costs are getting worse, but it’s also in our power to change that,” said Cigna’s Chief Nursing Officer, Mary Picerno. “Yes, we have to work hard, and have to do things we haven’t done before, but still, we can change it. And when we do, there can be financial rewards, along with the ultimate reward of better health.”
When we take care of our health by eating right, exercising, and visiting our doctor for preventive care, we can also help lower our health care costs. Visit cigna.com/knowyourbenefits for more information about preventive care, the three-year study, and tips for managing health costs.
This article is sponsored by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. This article is for educational purposes only and is intended to promote consumer health. It is not intended as financial or medical advice and you should always consult a professional for financial or medical advice. All opinions are my own.