According to the Consumer Price Index, the start of 2022 saw a massive rise of 7% in the inflation rate across all sectors in the U.S. Inflation has prompted the most significant increase in the costs of goods and services in the last 40 years. Likewise, in the medical sector, Americans spent $4.1 trillion in 2020 (an average of $12,530 per person), which makes up almost 20% of the country’s total GDP.
When inflation rises at such an alarming rate, the most vulnerable populations suffer the most. The average American is spending more on medical expenses and paying off debt now than at any other time in history.
Four of the Most Common Medical Expenses in Texas Compared
1. Doctor’s Visit – General Check-Ups
Doctor’s visits in Texas range from $80 to $280 for a simple check-up visit, depending on whether you’re in a rural or suburban area of the state, but that’s with insurance. It costs between $300 and $400 without insurance.
Regular check-ups are essential, especially in Texas, where the obesity rate is the highest in the US overall, at 35% of the state’s population. The most common ailments in Texas are skin ailments, back pain and joint disorders.
2. Dental Visits – Braces and Clear Aligners
There are more than three million teenagers living in Texas, and 10% of its population of 74 million are under 18. The state has a high rate of diabetes due to sugar-heavy diets, increasing dental visits for cavities. However, dental visits to fix crooked and damaged teeth are also at an all-time high in teenagers and adults alike.
The cost of dental braces is exorbitant, and Texans can expect to pay anything between $4,800 and $7,135, depending on their teeth straightening requirements, types of braces, and the area in which they live. Traditional braces and Invisalign clear braces require regular trips to the orthodontist over almost two years, with each visit costing money and often requiring time off from other responsibilities.
Cosmetic-friendly teeth straightening solutions in the form of clear aligners have undergone a revolution. At-home clear aligners offer both an affordable solution and faster treatment times. These at-home clear-aligners include Byte, Candid, and AlignerCo. They are not suitable for severe teeth misalignments but ideal for moderate and mild teeth straightening. Before receiving their at-home teeth straightening kit, a person must send an impression, scan, or visit a dentist. These are reviewed before the dentist prescribes a customized kit suitable for them. Patients receive support throughout their treatment, and with some of these at-home teeth straightening kits, they have the option of a night-time-only solution and high-frequency vibration devices for faster results.
Smile Prep makes orthodonstistry accessible to consumers through their detailed guides and unbiased consumer reviews that provide prospective customers real insights into the results they can expect when choosing at-home teeth straightening options.
Brace alternatives like at-home clear aligners are making a significant dent in the traditional teeth straightening market, helping to make them more affordable.
3. Surgical Procedures – In Hospital
Looking at in-hospital services, in particular, California tops the list of surgical procedures cosst, with people spending almost $3000 per day. The cheapest state for a hospital stay is Wyoming at just under $1500 per day.
Texas rates are closer to the higher cost bracket in comparison to other states, the most recent daily cost clocking in at $2960 per day. It’s no wonder then that currently, 63% of all bankruptcies are related to medical expenses.
At the beginning of 2022, the US Government enacted the ‘No Surprises Act,’ protecting people covered under Medicaid, Medicare, and individual health plans from receiving surprise medical bills during emergencies or while in in hospital.
4. Cosmetic Procedures
Out of all the cosmetic procedures available, breast augmentation surgery is highest on the list of cosmetic priorities in Texas. The costs vary from $5000 to $9500 for either an enhancement or reduction.
Neck Lifts, Forehead Lifts, and Rhinoplasties come in at a close second and vary in cost between $3500 to $9500 for a completed surgery.
Dental cosmetic surgery that requires more than just braces or clear aligners will coston average $1650 to have wisdom teeth removed in Texas.
Here’s Hoping 2022 Will Be Kinder…
According to central bankers, inflation is expected to fall to 2.6% by the end of the year and a further 2.3% by the end of 2023, presenting a glimmer of hope for people needing medical care, particularly in Texas.
On the upside: Texas is also the second-largest economy in the U.S., with a gross state product of $2 trillion and only a 15.8% unemployment rate, so recovery there should feel a lot smoother than in most other states.