With governments around the world struggling to offer adequate state-funded healthcare, medical care insurance is becoming increasingly vital to ensuring the health of individuals who can afford it. Most of us live long lives, but longevity is only beneficial if it is accompanied by a high quality of life. How do you give yourself the best chance of getting both? This is where good health insurance comes in!
The average lifespan is increasing, but what about health? Your chances of living to 100 increase! The United Nations estimates that there will be nearly 600,000 centenarians worldwide in 2023 and that this number will rise to as many as 3.7 million by 2050. While a longer lifespan sounds great, it is only positive if a certain quality of life is maintained. Health duration is the time you are in good health and able to lead an active and fulfilling life. No one wants to spend decades in pain and/or a severely compromised quality of life that brings misery rather than joy.
Unfortunately, for many, health span is much shorter than lifespan. In a recent article about shifting demographics we read the following:
“Although the average man can now live to be almost 80 years old, his average healthy life expectancy is only 63 years, he will spend 17 years with some form of health problem, such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes or heart disease. This places considerable pressure on government finances, which is only partly offset by lower expenditure in areas such as education. As more people remain in 'not good' health for longer, this leads to undesirable economic consequences: for example, people cannot work or have to finance expensive and ongoing medical care themselves.”
How can we increase health life?
There is a wealth of information available about maintaining our health as we age. Early this year, a groundbreaking study offered insights into slowing the decline of mental health, while highlighting the benefits of staying physically healthy.
But no matter how good our exercise regimen, stress management and diet are, healthcare issues will arise. The ability to access quality healthcare and get the right treatment quickly when needed is a key element to staying healthy.
The role of health insurance in maintaining good health
There is a link between a lack of health insurance and poor health. Uninsured people are less likely to receive recommended care for disease prevention, such as cancer screening, dental care, diet and exercise advice, and flu vaccination. They are also less likely to receive recommended care for diseases such as diabetes. So there is a link between deaths and lack of health coverage. Every year there are thousands of deaths related to a lack of health insurance.
It seems quite convincing that not having insurance leads to problems accessing health care, later diagnosis of serious diseases, later hospitalization, and an increased risk of death during a hospital stay. For example, the decline of government-provided health care in the United States over the past decade has likely only strengthened the link between access to private health care and good health.
Considering all these factors, it seems like a good idea to get health insurance to give yourself the best chance to increase your health longevity. While it can't guarantee you won't get sick, it gives you the best possible chance of early diagnosis and treatment. This in turn increases your chances of recovery, whether that's from something relatively benign or one of the big three killers: cancer, heart disease and stroke.
It is inescapable that you are more likely to qualify for a medical policy as you get older and premiums therefore rise. You should take this into account as part of your financial planning.
If you are an expat and want help finding the right health insurance to suit your budget, Expat Insurance works with all major providers and we have the expertise to sort through all the options and guide you in your decision.
For more information about the plans we offer and the different levels of cover, please contact us for a no-obligation quote.
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