Either the Federal Reserve needs to start printing more money or you had better get some Flintstones vitamins, because the $25 billion worth of federal subsidies that Congress ponied up in March to help the unemployed make COBRA payments is apparently about to run out
If you're currently uncovered, you know it's a minefield out there, with potentially costly accidents and afflictions around every corner. Fortunately, we've come up with the seven best ways to protect yourself from financial ruin if you don't have health insurance.
7. Don't have unprotected sex
Actually it's probably advisable to avoid unprotected sex altogether, unless you're in a committed, monogamous relationship like, say, Tiger Woods
. But this rule goes double for anyone presently uninsured. According to the American Social Health Association, there are approximately 19 million new cases of STDs each year.
You don't need to watch the videos playing on loop in the waiting room
of the free clinic to find that terrifying. Also, be careful in the sack: According to a recent study, over half of Britons have sustained a sex-related injury.
6. Watch your diet
We know a college freshman who was rushed to hospital last week with a kidney stone
due to his first-semester diet of Easy Mac, beer and Madden football. Kidney stones are surprisingly common and they're often extremely painful (think "fat guy in a little coat"). There's no need to go organic, but keep in mind that too much salt and meat can cause more kidney stones to form.
There's an impressive laundry list of health ramifications that may result from sleep deprivation. According to Harvard Medical School, the long term effects
may include depression, hypertension, stroke and even obesity. 'Cause it's not bad enough to be the sleepy guy, now you're gonna be the fat, sleepy guy.
4. Exercise, even if you can't afford a gym membership
Not only does regular exercise improve overall brain function
, but exercise is also linked to higher IQ in young adults
. It will improve your mood, unless you're a cynical bastard, and keep your immune system sharp. Even semi-regular weight lifting can reduce or eliminate back pain and in turn prevent a doctor visit.
But if you're uninsured, that means you may also be unemployed. Gym memberships can be cost prohibitive depending on where you live, but there are ways to get the job done without the gym. Check out this chart
of easy-to-do calorie burning exercises like snorkeling (352 calories), sweeping a garage (281) and unicycling (352).
3. Be social
Social interaction improves health. "World of Warcraft" partners may or may not count
. So get out of the house and meet up with some friends, even if they're miserable people.
2. Ease the stress
The Earth is a giant ball of iron and stress. Between the economic collapse, Miley Cyrus's apparent continued relevance
and swine flu, it's enough to make a person mad. So what to do? Laugh. That's a good place to start. We challenge you to watch this video of a kitten playing the piano
without cracking a smile. Hint: It's impossible.
1. Just don't be an idiot
On the issue of the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009
, better known as the "Baucus bill," Tommy Christopher notes that "emergency treatment can still clean you out, so mind your binge drinking
." Let us expand:
A friend of ours recently got incredibly drunk at a destination bachelor party by consuming a toxic mixture of alcohol over the course of 12 hours, which resulted in severe stomach pains. He spent about five hours in an emergency room after the triage nurse correctly diagnosed him with gastritis within minutes of his arrival. The bill ran him $50 and the insurance company about $500. Thank us later, insurance pool.
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