Good Health Means Healthy Skin and Strong Bones
Just as it is across the world, in South Africa too, non-communicable diseases continue to become a huge concern. These kinds of diseases are known as lifestyle diseases and they contribute hugely to an individual’s quality of life. It starts to make a whole lot of sense that good health does pay.
Obesity is Costing Dearly
Because lifestyle diseases are becoming so prevalent, pressure is being put on supporting bodies like government, life insurance and medical aids. One example of a lifestyle disease is obesity. Obesity has become a really serious healthcare problem across the world, and shows no sign of abating. Research from Discovery Vitality reveals that obese people are spending an extra 30% more on their medical costs compared to people of normal weight.
Obesity does not stop there either; it is a risk factor for other diseases too, such as heart disease and diabetes. From Discovery Vitalitys ObeCity Index which was released last year in 2014, it estimates lifestyle diseases will outnumber communicable deaths by the year 2030.
Some serious Risk Factors to Look At
Risk factors that contribute to lifestyle diseases are poor diet, smoking and physical inactivity, not to mention alcohol abuse. These four risk factors are contributing greatly to lifestyle diseases like cancer, lung disease, diabetes and heart disease. Just these four diseases alone account for over 50% of deaths across the world.
Even though research is showing that people are living longer than they did in the past, this is thanks to amazing strides in the medical field. However, people continue to live lives of poorer quality. For those that live with chronic diseases, this is proving to have a big financial impact on their lives. ¬This has an immediate and considerable financial impact for those living longer with chronic diseases.
As an example, chronic arterial disease, which can be as a result of an unhealthy diet, smoking and being inactive is literally one of the most expensive illnesses to treat with low medication adherence rates. ¬This means an increase in the cost of treatment plus the medical aid. You reap financial benefits if you start improving your health. Choosing to be healthier only for the short-term will turn out to be difficult and confusing.
Medical Aids offer Special Health Programmes
There are programmes developed to improve the health of medical aid members. These programmes have plenty of benefits for members and also the medical aids that present them. Some of these programmes offer rewards to their members who work at improving their health. Obviously these programmes need to be science based or else the behaviour economics of the programmes can be flawed.
¬This will happen if the programmes function more as a royalty programme or discount than if it is truly a wellness programme. It is important that anyone who wants to improve their health and therefore their financial wellbeing needs to choose products that work for them.
Choose the Best Products for you
With a definite increase in lifestyle related diseases, considering increasing life cover is a good idea. Some products will give you benefits you did not expect, so spend time researching what you need and want.
As you grow older, it is likely that your medical costs will increase. It is up to you to mitigate the increases by looking after your health when you are younger. Make the right financial decisions regarding life insurance and medical aid and you’ll find that you can delay planning your funeral far later in years than your inactive peers.