It turns out that your health really is your wealth, even when it comes to insurance. In recent years, health insurance providers have designed plans that look something like retirement plans. The reason: to encourage better financial decisions in obtaining health services.

As a recent article from U.S. News & World Report points out, most people now seem to "get" the idea of financial responsibility when it comes to retirement savings. Retirement plan organizers have worked hard to communicate the benefits of savings, retirement plan deductions, and sound investments.

That kind of monetary discipline is harder to find when it comes to health insurance. As costs have increased, however, health insurers have borrowed the retirement plan model. Health plans now require individuals to shoulder more of their health costs and emphasize the importance of choosing cost-effective treatments. Many insurers provide incentives for meeting good health goals, for example losing weight or controlling diabetes.

The changes in health plans help to foster a long-term view of health care, much as retirement plans focus on taking a long-term approach to savings. The goal, after all, is similar: for people to arrive at their senior years in good health, both physical and financial.

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