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Preventative care beats any cure

Regular check-ups, vaccinations and screenings can detect health issues early and reduce the likelihood of expensive care down the road. Many insurance plans offer free or low-cost preventative care services. Most states have your back on this, as a strong majority require private insurers to reimburse for telemedicine.

Where insurance won’t step in, flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts will cover alternative procedures — the kind many folks swear by — like acupuncture or herbal medicine. With the latter, just make sure to get a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN).

Make the call on telehealth

Telehealth services allow patients to consult with health care providers remotely. They became increasingly popular during the pandemic when doctor’s office and clinic visits weren’t possible.

But today they remain a convenient and cost-effective option, particularly for non-emergency care.

Many insurance plans now cover telehealth, so consider this option for routine check-ups, consultations and even some urgent care needs.

Read more: Boomer's remorse: Here are the top 5 ‘big money’ purchases you’ll (probably) regret in retirement and how to prepare for them

Make prescription shopping your Rx

As prescription costs rise, comparing prices at different pharmacies can produce significant savings over time.

Some pharmaceutical companies will offer introductory pricing on medications, while discount programs and price matching can also help.

Don’t hesitate to speak up when visiting your pharmacy to make sure you land the lowest cost, and look into generic drugs as an effective, cost-saving measure.

Do the due: Negotiate medical bills

While big medical bills can be intimidating, providers and collectors will often extend flexibility if you ask for it. Step up to bargain or negotiate with insurers or care providers, by asking about payment plans or financial assistance programs.

Healthy habits, building bonds

File this under preventative care, but more in line with your lifestyle. Study after study concludes that exercise makes a difference in overall health, especially walking. A 2021 study connecting exercise routines to Medicare claims found that starting regular exercise before or during middle age can save between $824 to $1,874 annually on health care costs after retirement.

Strength training, a balanced diet, meditation and sleep hygiene also have documented positive effects. Avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption will bolster overall health.

But the one factor just coming into its own centers on the strength of your human bonds. The Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest running of its kind, has just recently established a strong correlation between deep relationships and well-being.

So if you’re not sure where to start, grab a close friend for a long walk and a healthy meal afterwards. Make it a habit to practice those habits and you may just be on your way to boisterous health and (we’re sure MrBeast would agree) one beauty of a life.

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