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Just what resolutions did you make this New Year past?

Christmas is all about the year just past. You look around, gather in your family and friends, and celebrate the strength of your friendships by giving and receiving presents. Then comes New Year and, in a gesture to taking some responsibility for what happens in the next twelve months, people traditionally make resolutions. Most commonly, these are to diet and exercise to lose weight and, if you have not already done so, to quit smoking. For the majority, these best intentions last all of twenty-four hours before being forgotten. Yet, this year, there are good reasons for taking New Year's resolutions a little more seriously. As you will have noticed, there's a recession. People are losing their jobs and homes. Debts are being caught up in credit crunching and the cost of health care is going ballistic. So, losing weight is good because, if you shed 10% of your body weight, this reduces the chances of you getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Why should this matter? Have you seen the cost of the medications you would need to keep reasonably healthy if you are diagnosed with diabetes or your heart starts giving you trouble? It's better to stay healthy by losing weight and save your bank account from being hit with co-payments. And, if you are still smoking, quitting now can reduce the risk of cancers later in life. Fear of pain should encourage you to quit now.

But since we are talking about your health, there are other things to consider. Since jobs are at risk, now is the time to think about what would happen to your health plans if unemployment comes. Could you afford to pay for the COBRA cover? The reason for asking is that a recent survey found most families could not. So, if you cannot start a savings plan to provide enough cash, what would you do? Well, now is the time to do some research. There are a number of private medical plans available. Spending time online can identify some good cover at affordable prices. One of the starting points is the company currently supplying auto or home insurance. If you bundle policies together, you can get reasonable discounts for personalized solutions. You should also talk with local agents. Although they are driven by the commission, you can often get good ideas about how to save money with higher deductibles and more limited coverage. Then it's for you to decide, making plans with a clear head now rather than when under pressure when the job is lost.

Health insurance is not something you should leave to the last minute. Planning now saves time and money later on. Although insurance companies can change the detail of their policies, what you research and agree now will stand up for months to come. be recession-proof, stay ahead of the game and keep your family safe. Indeed, health insurance should be the one New Year's resolution you make and keep the longest.

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