Do your part to save on healthcare costs 13. December 2010 William Davis (37) While many of the factors that drive the relentless increase in health care costs are beyond individual control, you are still able to exert personal influence over costs. Just as in political elections, your one vote alone may not count; it's the collective effort of many people who share similar opinions that results in real change.I just got the new monthly premium for my high-deductible health insurance: Up $300 per month, putting my family's total premium over $2000 per month---for four healthy people. (My son fractured his wrist playing high school hockey earlier this year; that may explain at least some of the increase.) I'm going to shop around for a better deal. However, shopping is likely to only stall the process. It will not address the systemic problems with healthcare that continue to drive premiums up and up and up. So what can you do to help keep costs down? Here are a few thoughts:Never accept a prescription for fish oil, i.e., Lovaza. Just buy far less costly over-the-counter fish oil. I treat complex hyperlipidemias, including familial hypertriglyceridemia, ever day. I NEVER use prescription fish oil. A typical 4 capsule per day Lovaza prescription adds around $280 to $520 per month to overall health costs (though your direct out-of-pocket costs may be less, since you shove the costs onto others in your plan). Never accept a prescription for vitamin D. Prescription vitamin D is the mushroom or invertebrate form anyway. Just buy the human (cholecalciferol, D3) form from your health food store or "big box" store. They yield consistent increases in 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels, superior to the prescription form. And they're wonderfully inexpensive.Eliminate wheat from your diet. If there is a dietary strategy that yields unexpected and outsized benefits across a wide spectrum of health, it's elimination of this thing we're sold called "wheat," you know, the genetically-transformed, high-yield dwarf mutant that now represents 99% of all wheat sold. Blood sugar drops, pre-diabetics become non-prediabetics, diabetics reduce need for medication or become non-diabetic, cholesterol values plummet, arthritis improves, acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms improve or disappear, just to mention a few. Wheat elimination alone, I believe, would result in incalculable savings in both healthcare costs and lives saved. Be sure to obtain iodine. In the fuss to cut salt use, everyone forgot about iodine. Lack of iodine leads to thyroid disease, usually hypothyroidism, that, in turn, causes cholesterol values to increase, weight to increase, and heart disease risk to double, triple, or quadruple. Iodine supplementation is easy and wonderfully inexpensive. Over time, I hope that all of us can help develop the effort to self-direct more and more of our own health. Our Track Your Plaque program has shown me that, not only can people take the initiative to direct aspects of their own health, they can do it better than 99% of doctors. I'm sure there are many, many other ways to help reduce costs. Any suggestions?