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Taking care of one's self can result in lower health insurance bills

Posted On Tue, August 25, 2009

People who want to hold down their medical bills, and in turn, their health insurance costs, can pay attention to a recent letter released by six prominent nonprofit groups calling for a greater focus on preventive medicine.

The letter came from groups including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente, among others.

According to the organizations, community-level preventive medicine efforts have already paid off handsomely in some areas. Some examples included a walking group formed in Bakersfield, California that helped clean up a local park, and a citywide campaign in Somerville, Massachusetts that resulted in healthier food at local schools.

"It is time to scale up these efforts by including robust financial support for community prevention in any health systems reform," said the letter, which also said that investing $10 per person on disease prevention programs could trim $16 billion in costs from the nation's healthcare system.

Such savings would also apply to individual health insurance customers as well by making them less at risk for potentially expensive conditions like diabetes.

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