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Why financial planning improves your health

It has been recognized for years that our health can be affected by our wealth, or lack thereof. Stress is a major contributor to both mental and physical health, and financial issues are one of the biggest stressors around.



a man standing in front of a mountain: James M Dahle, MD. Author of The White Coat Investor


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James M Dahle, MD. Author of The White Coat Investor

In my work as an emergency physician, I meet people who feel suicidal nearly every day. While they also cite stress caused by relationships, health problems, family members and work, financial strain is a major contributor.

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Since financial stress  plays such a big part in poor health, it stands to reason that improving financial planning, literacy and discipline will also improve health outcomes. In my work spreading financial literacy among doctors and other high-income professionals at The White Coat Investor, I have often observed a great burden lifted from the shoulders of my readers and listeners as they pay off debt, begin saving for the future and put a plan for financial success in place.

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Perhaps the most significant way that financial stress affects health is that it prevents a patient from seeking medical care or complying with recommended tests, treatments, and medications.

Health care is expensive, particularly for those who fall through the cracks of our fragmented health system and find themselves paying for it on their own. A typical family of four buying health insurance on the open market often finds that it will cost more than $1,000 per month in premiums, and that doesn’t include deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance.

By the time all is said and done, it would not be unusual to spend $20,000 a year on health care—approximately one-third of the median American household income. Government resources, including Medicare, Medicaid and tax subsidies, often lower this cost — if you can manage to navigate the system to get them.

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Without the financial resources to purchase insurance and pay for non-covered care, health is likely to suffer. Preventive care will be missed, diagnoses will be delayed and life-improving — even life-saving —treatments will be postponed or foregone completely.

In addition to the direct purchase of health care, those with more financial resources can afford to eat better, exercise more and live in healthier locales, further preventing disease and improving wellness.

Even if you can still manage to pay for care, exercise and good food, financial stress may still directly affect your health. For example, a 2013 Northwestern study showed that increased levels of debt were correlated with higher diastolic blood pressure among those between ages 24 and 32.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Surveys have also shown correlation between debt and

Rural Hospitals Teeter on Financial Cliff as COVID Medicare Loans Come Due

David Usher is sitting on $1.7 million he’s scared to spend.

The money lent from the federal government is meant to help hospitals and other health care providers weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet some hospital administrators have called it a payday loan program that is now, brutally, due for repayment at a time when they still need help.

Coronavirus cases have “picked up recently and it’s quite worrying,” said Usher, chief financial officer at the 12-bed Edwards County Medical Center in rural western Kansas. Usher said he would like to use the money to build a negative-pressure room, a common strategy to keep contagious patients apart from those in the rest of the hospital.

But he’s not sure it’s safe to spend that cash. Officially, the total repayment of the loan is due this month. Otherwise, according to the loan’s terms, federal regulators will stop reimbursing the hospitals for Medicare patients’ treatments until the loan is repaid in full.

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not yet begun trying to recoup its money, with the coronavirus still affecting communities nationwide, but hospital leaders fear it may come calling for repayment any day now.

Hospital leaders across the country said there has been no communication from CMS on whether or when they will adjust the repayment deadline. A CMS spokesperson had not responded to questions by press time.

“It’s great having the money,” Usher said. “But if I don’t know how much I get to keep, I don’t get to spend the money wisely and effectively on the facility.”

Usher took out the loan from Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments program. The program, which existed long before the pandemic, was generally used sparingly by hospitals faced with emergencies such as hurricanes or tornadoes. It was expanded for use during the coronavirus pandemic — part of billions approved in federal relief funds for health care providers this spring.

A full repayment of a hospital’s loan is technically due 120 days after it was received. If it is not paid, Medicare will stop reimbursing claims until it recoups the money it is owed — a point spelled out in the program’s rules. Medicare reimburses nearly $60 billion in payments to health care providers nationwide under Medicare’s Part A program, which makes payments to hospitals.

More than 65% of the nation’s small, rural hospitals — many of which were operating at a deficit before the pandemic — jumped at the Medicare loans when the pandemic hit because they were the first funds available, said Maggie Elehwany, former vice president of government affairs for the National Rural Health Association.

CMS halted new loan applications to the program at the end of April.

“The pandemic has simply gone on longer than anyone anticipated back in March,” said Joanna Hiatt Kim, vice president of payment policy and analysis for the American Hospital Association. The trade association sent a letter to CMS in late July asking for a delay in the recoupment.

On Monday, the

Most American Families Facing Financial Danger During Pandemic: Poll | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — More than 60% of households with children in the United States have struggled with serious financial problems during the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll shows.

Black and Hispanic households with children have borne the brunt of the hardships, which include struggles to afford medical care, depletion of household savings and difficulty paying debts, the poll found.

Conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the poll surveyed more than 3,400 adults, 1,000 of whom were living with children under the age of 18, between July 1 and Aug. 3.

Of the Hispanic households with children that responded, 86% reported these difficulties; in Black households, 66% reported them. In white households, the number hovers around 50%.

The stark racial differences were surprising, as they surfaced after federal and state governments invested heavily in programs for communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, Robert Blendon, a director of the study behind the report and a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told The New York Times.

“So much money was spent to put a cushion under households,” Blendon said. Still, “the numbers of people in trouble, that is the shock,” he added.

Experts worry that the financial fallout from the pandemic could be even worse than the poll depicts, as government measures to support households run out, Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told the Times.

“It’s a very large number of people who can’t pay the basics,” Blendon told the Times. “You have unbelievably vulnerable people over the next six months.”

But on Tuesday, there were also signs of hope that more government relief might be on the way: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows both said they’re hopeful they can reach agreement on a new economic stimulus bill, the Washington Post reported.

The new bill extends payroll support for the airline industry and includes new small business money, an additional round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals, an extension of expired $600 weekly unemployment benefits, around $500 billion for cities and states, support for schools and COVID-19 testing and tracing, and more. There is also money in the bill to support election security and the U.S. Postal Service, as well, the Post reported.

Globally, COVID death toll passes 1 million

The global coronavirus pandemic reached a grim new milestone on Tuesday: One million dead.

Americans made up more than 200,000 of those deaths, or one in every five, according to a running tally comprised by Johns Hopkins University.

“It’s not just a number. It’s human beings. It’s people we love,” Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan, told the Associated Press. He’s an adviser to government officials on how best to handle the pandemic — and he lost his 84-year-old

William Scott Scurlock, The Hollywood Financial institution Robber, And The End Of The Dream

Everybody wants white tooth, and they don’t want to spend the cash for costly dental whitening processes. Don’t ever put aspirin directly on the tooth or gums and do not allow it to sit in your mouth for various seconds as a result of aspirin is an acid that will burn your mouth and complicate the state of affairs. The reasons cited are the burden of the uninsured, high prices, not enough sufferers, and the excessive price of administration as a consequence of having to file and refile and battle always with the insurance coverage corporations.

One of the crucial effective treatments for yellow teeth that your dentist will advocate to you is the use of bleaching trays. Whether they are in personal observe, or work in a salaried position, comparable to at a hospital, most dentists work full time. Aside from having a piece of tooth left in the gum after an extraction a few years ago, I’ve never had a foul expertise at the hands of a dentist.

Some sufferers stopped visiting their dentist long ago, because of the time and discomfort concerned, along with all the necessities for tooth “homework” like flossing and brushing often and maintaining a nutritious diet. The government is the cause of the problems in house prices (CRA), school tuition charges (gov stud loans), and healthcare (tort, insurance regulation).

Some of his duties include identifying the varied ailments and circumstances that affect the enamel, creating and managing dental treatment plans, and main the entire dental staff which consists of other professionals equivalent to technicians, diagnosticians and other paramedical workers.

The most effective move you may make when coping with yellow teeth is to go to your dentist. And, since we now have a rustic of 300 million people, vs. 69million, and we stay as unhealthy as we do, you might be obviously going to see greater healthcare costs. In Canada they enjoy largely free well being-care however should endure atrocious wait instances for essential procedures.…