Weekly Newsletter

The best ways to improve your physical and financial health

Trying to get in the green? This week, we share how to fight medical bills, when you can use HSA/FSA funds for fitness fees and more.
A child's hands old up a clear piggy bank with a few dollars in at against a blurry background of a bed and chair.

The Dr. B team recognizes that our messy healthcare system often makes it too inconvenient—and expensive—to get quality care. (That's why we exist!) So this week, we’re sharing the latest resources to help you feel better physically and financially.

Read on for a new study linking financial stress to poorer health outcomes, how to save big $ on fitness fees with Dr. B + gym discounts from our new partners (!) and tips for fighting high medical bills. Then keep scrolling for vital healthcare news to know.

But first, it's time to get your (free)...

  • Checkup: mind + body + wallet
  • Pay For It: stress + exercise + bills
  • Healthcare: bills + bodies + fungus!

The Checkup

Personal finances + health risk

A young Latino man wearing glasses and a green t-shirt works at the counter of his business, looking intently at a receipt while working on finances.

For a new study, researchers tracked key biomarkers related to stress + inflammation in almost 5,000 participants. Four years later, participants with chronic financial stress (constant worry about not having enough cash to meet needs long term) were almost 60% more likely to be at high risk for mental health conditions, cardiovascular disease + more. And that’s independent of genetics or other stressors like grief or loneliness.

Why? When we're stressed, our bodies trigger the immune response as they do when we’re sick. And so while study participants were above 50 years old, the findings should have all of us trying to improve our financial future ASAP.

And with that…

Pump up your savings!

A young Black woman with brown hair tied back wearing gym clothes smiles into the camera.

HSA (Health Savings) + FSA (Flexible Spending) accounts let you reserve pre-tax income for medical expenses so you can stay healthy and save money.

That means that if you exercise to prevent or treat a medical condition, you can use those banked funds to save up to 40% off gym membership, class, personal training or health app fees! But for those expenses to qualify, you need a Letter of Medical Necessity from a provider detailing how exercise relates to your condition.

To help you skip the waiting room, Dr. B is thrilled to offer this service online! And we’ve partnered with a few elite fitness companies to make the process even more streamlined.

FlexIt Fitness: “To thine own self be true” applies to exercise goals, too. If you perform best when held accountable by others, use the FlexIt app to connect with coaches + trainers virtually or at thousands of partner gyms nationwide.

SoulCycle: Cycling indoors can help you lose weight, increase energy production, lower blood pressure levels + more. With SoulCycle, you get those health benefits in an invigorating 45-minute ride that’ll uplift your mind + spirit, too. To kick off this partnership, new Dr. B riders can get an exclusive SoulCycle discount to save 20% off single or multi-class passes! Just use our verified coupon code SOULSTARTER*. Head to SoulCycle to start your journey.

Learn more about qualifying conditions + how to submit expenses for HSA/FSA reimbursement on Dr. B's blog. Ready to save?

Start a $15 fitness consultation

* Offer expires February 13, 2024. Terms & conditions apply.

Dealing with medical debt

An attractive white disabled woman with red hair and a prosthetic leg enjoys the rays of the sun in her home office.

Facing down medical debt with (smart) tips from Health won’t make the process fun. But it can help you save big—without cutting back on other essential needs. (We all like food + shelter, right?!)

On top of checking for code errors your provider might have sent to your insurance company or combing through itemized bills, here are a few avenues to pursue that can make a substantial difference.

  • Payment plans: Many providers + large hospital organizations have programs where you can pay down your debt over time with no interest fee (rather than charging it or paying more than you can afford). Talk to your provider’s billing department to find out what can be done.
  • Reduced fees. Nonprofit hospitals are required by law to have financial assistance programs, so you may qualify for cut costs. And most providers would rather have you pay a portion of your bill than nothing at all. Have your tax returns ready (as some reduce rates by income) and ask how much they’ll take to avoid sending the bill to collections. 
  • Official appeals. Under the ACA, you can appeal charges for any service not covered by your insurance. Talk to your insurer about how to file an appeal. Or hire a third party to lead the review. (Your insurer will have to pay their costs.)

Healthcare 411

Ouch. That ‘free’ annual checkup might cost you. Here’s why. (KFF). Under the ACA, insurers must cover preventative care screenings at no cost to patients. But several loopholes—like charges for equipment, any superfluous physician face time or restrictions by age—mean out-of-pocket bills abound anyway. Read the article for details to watch for.

New long Covid study uncovers high inflammation in patients as Senate calls for more research on 'crisis' (ABC). A new study out of Switzerland shows that long Covid patients have tissue injury, increased inflammation + blood cell dysregulation. At a Senate panel, experts pointed out that the 16 million people in the US with long Covid cross all ages and backgrounds, but rates are higher in minority communities. Risk also increases for those with multiple infections. The best way to avoid long Covid is to not get Covid-19. But if you do…

Get Covid-19 care today.

A rare fungal infection is popping up in an unexpected part of the US (NBC). Blastomycosis is a rare fungal infection that can cause respiratory illness, fever + body aches. If untreated, it can cause severe illness + death. The fungus thrives in wet places with decaying fauna, so it should stick to certain geographic areas. But a new study shows that climate change’s effect on warmer, wetter seasons is helping it spread northeast.

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