Today’s Editorial February 07: Individuals can lower health costs

You just can’t afford to get sick anymore.

That’s basically what the insurance industry is telling us.

The cost of insurance is going up faster than the economy, which means more and more people will become unable to afford health insurance and, as a result, health care.

We already have a problem in the Cayman Islands with businesses that don’t want to provide healthcare coverage for their employees because rates are so high.

And we have employees who don’t want health coverage because they don’t make enough to subsidise what coverage their employers do offer.

It is a given that health insurance in the Cayman Islands is costly to both the employer and the employee.

But there are some things that we, as individuals, can do to help keep those costs at bay.

For starters, adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, quit smoking, cut down on alcohol consumption and get moving.

We don’t totally buy into the argument that the high cost of fruits and vegetables at our supermarkets make it prohibitive for those on fixed or low incomes to consume this healthy fare.

Anyone with a plot of dirt in the Cayman Islands can easily grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Those who don’t have gardens or yards can get fresh produce each Saturday at Market on the Grounds at the Stacy Watler Agricultural Pavilion or from any number of roadside vendors.

New Year’s Day and the time for making resolutions have passed, but you don’t need a specific day to make up your mind once and for all to get fit.

Too costly you say?

It may be if your plan involves gym membership and a personal trainer.

But those things are luxuries.

Exercise can be done at home, on a bicycle, through running, jogging or just plain walking.

If you’re not disciplined enough to take on this fitness task yourself, team up with a buddy and keep each other motivated.

There are other ways to cut down on healthcare costs. Shop around for good less expensive medical care.

And don’t treat our emergency rooms like clinics. Government has graciously provided us with medical clinics in each district. Use them, but only when necessary.