Future Healthy: Why I'm thankful about paying for health insurance

It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about how much they pay for health insurance, and I used to be one of them. I get that healthcare is a big line budget item for many people and those with preexisting conditions or chronic health conditions, it can get really pricey real fast.

However, I choose to see this expense in a different way. Sure, I'm still trying to find ways to slash costs, but I no longer complain about having to pay for health insurance.

The truth is, the money I pay goes towards goods and services that benefit my entire family. As in, if my son is sick, there are a bunch of great doctors that I pay to diagnose and treat my son. Or if my husband's epi-pen is near its expiration date, he can go get another one without worrying about if it'll affect our overall budget in any given month.

Whenever I feel nervous about money I'm spending, I use the following two ways to help me shift my mindset.

List everything I got from the money spent

There are times when I literally feel like I'm bleeding money. I pay annually for a bunch of expenses and all these bills tend to be due around the same time each year.

If I feel anxious or like I'm ready to complain about how much money I've spent, I grab a pen and notebook. Then, I force myself to sit and list out every single expense I have and the value it brings me. Here's an example list of part of a list I created a few months ago:

Health insurance

  • Helped me recognize I have a Vitamin D deficiency and supplied me with a 3-month supply of prescribed supplements.
  • Helped to reassure me my son is healthy and reaching his milestones.

Rent

  • Gave us shelter and keeps us cool (bless you, air conditioning!)
  • Allows me to work from my dining room table.

A new mattress

  • My entire family gets a good night sleep.

(If you're already getting a good night's sleep, that last one might seem silly. If you're not, you know just how thankful you'd be for a better one…)

Spend five minutes being grateful

Once I make this list, I look it over and feel grateful I spent all the money to have that in my life. After all, health is wealth, so being able to spend money in that area is super important to me. I also realize that being able to take care of my health now will help me save money in the long run - it's far cheaper to pay for preventative care compared to paying for services and products to fix a problem.

Feeling grateful for the things I have in my life has helped me be a lot less stressed with paying for healthcare and other related expenses. Sure, I'd love to pay less, but having the money to afford what I pay for gives me peace of mind, knowing that my family's future is taken care of.

As the holiday season comes around, I encourage you to find a few things about your health insurance you're grateful for. Is it that your favorite doctor is in network? Or your deductible is lowered, even though your premiums stayed the same? Or it could even be that your health insurance company offers a lot of discounts?

Whatever it may be, my hope is that you understand that money is meant to be spent well, even if it is for what seems like an obscene amount for health insurance.

From all of us at FSA Store and HSA Store, best wishes for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

Whether it's for covering medical expenses, or planning bigger investments, our Future Healthy column will help support your path to retirement, no matter where you are on the journey. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to check out our HSA Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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