Make sure your health benefits add up.

Personal Health And Personal Finance: Prescription For Success

While the first Republican presidential primary debate only touched on the topic of Obamacare, healthcare is sure to arise in the next debate on Sept. 16.

Also known as the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will argue it provides neither good care nor good affordability. Democrats will, of course, tout the ACA’s success when it comes time for their first primary debate on Oct. 16.

Meanwhile, most voters will deal with daily, small decisions about their health. Whatever your opinion on Obamacare, we can all agree on these tips…

Plastic for prescriptions

There’s no shortage of good advice for saving on prescription medications. Check out 10 Ways to Get Your Medications for Less from our partner site Money Talks News.

However, not mentioned there is a new study from FamilyWize, which discovered more than 65 percent of American adults take some form of prescription medication, but only half “knew about prescription savings cards.”

These free cards are becoming quite popular. Of course, FamilyWize offers its own and claims 2.2 million customers, but there’s no shortage available through your health insurer or even your employer. They look like credit cards, but you simply show it at the pharmacy and receive a percentage off your medications.

So ask your health insurance provider and your employer about these cards. You can also get one if you’re a member of certain organizations, such as AARP. There’s even a Pet Drug Card!

Do better than Obama

You can tell its campaign season when dentists start criticizing President Obama about his mouth. They aren’t critical of what he says, however. They don’t like the way he brushes his teeth.

A new magazine called Brilliant Doctors showed pictures of Obama’s teeth to periodontists, and the results were this headline: “President Obama Has Gum Recession According To 9 1/2 Out Of 10 Periodontists.”

Of course, this was just a gimmick to draw attention to a problem that’s cheap to avoid but expensive to fix: “The main cause of gum recession is gum disease due to inadequate brushing and flossing, while overly aggressive brushing can also result in receding gums,” the magazine’s researchers says. “If gum recession is left untreated, a patient can experience tooth loss.”

While politicians debate Obamacare, anyone who’s ever gone to the dentist for more than a cleaning knows this: Dental insurance is a bigger hassle than even health insurance.

So do yourself a favor and follow this cheap advice. It will save you dollars as well as teeth.

Blood money

Diabetes is a national crisis, costing the country $322 billion a year in treatment and lost productivity, according to the American Diabetes Association. Even worse, a new survey reveals, “83 percent of consumers do not know their blood-glucose level.”

Why is that important? Because 29 million Americans have diabetes — but 8 million of them don’t know it yet. They have what’s called “pre-diabetes.”

“Although pre-diabetes is preventable and treatable, nine out of ten people with pre-diabetes do not know they have it,” says the survey from wellness company HealthMine.

Getting their blood tested could provide them with an early warning, and instead of costly treatments, they could use cheaper preventative efforts. What’s more, the tests are free at CVS and Sam’s Club, among other places.

Bottom line: Health insurance doesn’t really keep you healthy. When you need it, you’re often already ailing. You can save money, time, and suffering by taking care of your health when you’re already healthy.

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