Tennesseans urged to make health changes in 2020

Healthy lifestyles can save money on insurance costs and physicians’ bills

NASHVILLE – Losing weight, stopping smoking and spending more time with friends and loved ones are all popular New Year’s resolutions. Those resolutions aren’t just good for your health; they can be good for your finances, too. Studies have shown that living a healthy lifestyle can also save you money on insurance costs and physicians’ bills.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) are joining together to remind Tennesseans about the benefits to Tennesseans’ lives and finances when they make positive lifestyle changes in 2020. 

“After the holidays each year, many consumers often make resolutions to improve their health and their finances,” said TDCI Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “I urge Tennesseans to stick with their resolutions this year in order to create a healthy lifestyle that could result in lower premiums on consumers’ health insurance and life insurance policies.”

“Tennesseans who quit smoking can increase their quality of life, improve their personal finances and strengthen our state’s economy,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Health care expenses directly caused by smoking cost Tennesseans more than $2.6 billion every year, and individuals who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day can personally save about $1,850 per year by quitting smoking.”

Stop Smoking Today, See Benefits Tomorrow

·    Cigarette smokers pay higher premiums than non-smoking individuals. If you are quitting smoking, talk to your health insurance provider to see if you can get a discount on your premium. 

·    If you have heart disease, it may be more difficult to get a life insurance policy. Maintaining a healthier lifestyle could increase your ability to get a life insurance policy at a reasonable cost.

·    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of health care dollars are spent treating chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

·    When smokers quit, the risk of a heart attack drops sharply after just one year, avoiding costly medical treatments and prescriptions, according to the American Heart Association. 

Stay Motivated in 2020!

·    Reward yourself for your progress. Put the money you would normally spend on cigarettes toward a vacation fund or something nice for yourself.

·    Have a workout partner or join a class so you have social time while exercising, and you can hold each other accountable.

·    Focus on small goals to help you reach your larger goal. Instead of having the goal to eat healthy today, make a goal to eat two servings of green vegetables today. 

Before you start:

·    Your health insurance plan may have tools and programs to help you lose weight, stop smoking, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your health insurance company to see what they offer. 

·    Some employers and health insurance policies offer discounts on gym memberships and weight-loss programs. Check with them before you go to the gym.

·    Consult with an in-network doctor before starting a drastic change in your diet.

·    Avoid being a victim of scams when considering purchasing a product such as a pill or lotion that promises weight loss with little to no effort.

TDH offers free assistance to Tennesseans who want to stop tobacco or nicotine use. Contact your local health department for information on tobacco cessation services and learn about the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at www.tnquitline.org/.

If you have questions or concerns about your insurance policy, agent or company, call Consumer Insurance Services at 615-741-2218 or visit www.tn.gov/insurance to file a complaint.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: Protecting Tennesseans through balanced oversight of insurance and regulated professions while enhancing consumer advocacy, education and public safety. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and TennCare Oversight.

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