You haven’t been living under a rock, so I’m certain you’ve been catching the news about the debacle of Obamacare, now in full swing. From millions of cancelled insurance policies to a $600 million website that is virtually non-functional, to stories of doctors leaving the field, the future of our health care and health insurance looks pretty ugly.
Preppers like to be prepared for just about anything, so here are 9 things you should know about this brave new world of Obamacare:
1. Your disposable income is going to decrease. This new (un)Affordable Care Act carries with it a price tag in the hundreds of billions of dollars and some expect it to quickly exceed a trillion. This will be paid for with new taxes by a government desperate to stay afloat.
If you’re one of the lucky few who is able to get a truly affordable policy, don’t get complacent. You’ll be paying additional money for that monthly premium with higher taxes yourself.
2. It’s never been more important to carefully watch how every dollar is being spent and watch for discounts whenever you can. With increased taxes and increased costs of medical/health care, preparedness is still important, but the new challenge is to find money for those preps!
Millions of Americans have already cut back on expenses, are stunned at the price tag of their insurance policies, and are barely managing to pay for life’s necessities.
If you have a copy of my book handy, I wrote an entire chapter, Chapter 9 “Survival Finances”, about taking proactive steps to either spend less or make more. Preferably, you can find a way to do both and have the money that you need to prepare.
3. Increase your medical/health care knowledge and skill base, ASAP! To get started, take a First Aid and CPR class. Extend that knowledge by signing up for EMT classes at a community college and taking advanced classes with American Red Cross. REI sometimes offers Wilderness First Aid. There are lots of resources out there, including tons of YouTube videos on topics related to first aid and medical education.
Additionally, beef up your medical supplies. Learn about using fish antibiotics for human ailments. (Hint: Fish antibiotics are exactly the same as those your doctor prescribes!) Grow a medicinal herb garden, learn about using essential oils for healthcare, buy a book of home remedies.
Just as important, though, is knowing when you MUST seek professional medical help. Even as I give this advice, I worry about well-meaning individuals who are afraid to go to the ER or Urgent Care because of the expense, and then end up with a life-threatening medical crisis.
4. Personalize your medical knowledge according to the needs of you and your family. Don’t just stop with basic, generalized knowledge. If a loved one has allergies or any other special medical need, determine to become their medical first responder by researching their condition, medications, preventive steps, and signs that indicate when professional help is needed.
Stock up on medicines and supplies for those needs.
5. Medical professionals are even more aware than you of the changes coming to their field. It’s been reported that tens of thousands of doctors are planning to get out of the profession entirely.
Within your circles of friends, family, and acquaintances, make a point to find out who is in the medical field and may be interested in a barter or all-cash arrangement for their services. There are doctors who now work on a cash basis only and do not accept insurance of any kind.
Be sure to look further than the traditional medical professions and seek out chiropractors, massage therapists, and others in alternative medicine. Sometimes where traditional medicine fails, an alternative approach succeeds.
6. Preventive care!! If you’ve gotten lazy with the physical exercise, if you’re a regular at Chick-fil-A, now would be a good time to change those habits. Beef up your immune system, stock up on effective supplements.
Make optimal health your long-term goal and focus on it each day.
This is the one sure-fire way to limit the amount of money you’ll spend each year on health care and some insurance companies give discounts if you’re physically fit and are a non-smoker.
7. Find doctors you respect and trust and establish a long-term professional relationship with them. They may be able to provide you with free pharmaceutical samples and discounts for their services if you do not have insurance and can pay with cash during your office visit.
8. Stock up on over-the-counter meds. It wasn’t all that long ago that asthma patients were forced to buy more expensive inhalers because of a change mandated by the FDA.
At this point, nothing would surprise me when it comes to arbitrary regulations, so it sure wouldn’t hurt to have a supply of any OTC medications you regularly use.
9. You lose valuable privacy as soon as you enter the new health insurance/health care system. Take that into very careful consideration before signing on.
Moving forward, make prep purchases with cash, in person if possible. Keep in mind that every time you fill out a form online, it’s recorded somewhere.
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.