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Oklahoma City, OK

Health & Medical Insurance in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City may politically represent one of America’s unhealthiest states, but there are enough ways in the capital to reverse a sedentary lifestyle, trim down the population of obesity, and eat more healthy foods. In fact, many residents of Oklahoma City are exceptions to the statewide statistics. A major perk of living in Oklahoma City is being surrounded by acres of farmland, which provides an excellent outlet for locally grown foods. As a result, the city has several farmers’ markets, organic foods, and farm-to-table restaurants. A green gem in the flatness of the prairie, Oklahoma City plants hundred of trees each year, and maintains numerous city parks for residents who enjoy staying active in the clean air. The area also is popular for its golf courses, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, has a few local parks for extreme sports.

Due to the geography, Oklahoma City is one of the cheapest major cities for health insurance when shopping for individuals and families. Oklahoma City residents have easy access to reasonable health plan prices, and although next year’s options and premiums are uncertain, this year’s plans are still affordable for a mid-sized city. In contrast to cities of its size in other areas, plans for a 30-year-old female resident are about half the cost, starting at $156 per month for a $2500 plan from BCBSOK.

The city also has access to some very high quality hospitals and providers, to which your health plan can connect you with ease. U.S. News and World Report named the OU Medical Center among the top three hospitals in the metro area, an in-network facility for individual members with Aetna, United, BCBSOK, and Humana. As premiums vary from person to person, check your rates in Oklahoma City by entering your zip code below.

Living Well and Paying Less

One way to utilize your already low cost city for an affordable, healthy lifestyle is to tap into your health plan‘s educational and discount programs. Several insurers in the city offer plan members (usually those with copay plans, but it varies) resources for nutrition, encouraging exercise, and improving overall health. If you have specific goals to meet, like quitting tobacco or controlling your weight, for instance, these tools can help you either get there for free or offer extra support. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma provides these bonuses to their individual members, as does Humana. Aetna offers a similar program, but with discounts on items and services that will contribute to your good health.

Relying on your city for new and healthy lifestyle adjustments is the most efficient way to improve your health. Walking, running, or biking around your closest park or neighborhood is a great way to boost mental well-being and keep each your systems in check. It’s also incredibly cost-effective to use the outdoors instead of indoor equipment, gym memberships, classes, and the like. Though you may have to rent or buy some gear, to enjoy a wider range of outdoor activities, the return will be worthwhile. However, if you also enjoy the gym, continue at your machines of choice, especially if your insurance is helping you pay for it.

For those who want to explore Oklahoma City and improve their health simultaneously, take a look at the following fun suggestions.

Healthy Activities

With a surprising number of multi-use trails, both paved and natural, the Oklahoma City region has a busy parks department and many choices for activity. Lake Hefner park is a flat paved trail, perfect for road bikers, runners, and walkers, and additional city parks provide a scenic view of the the city’s attractions. Along the Oklahoma River, 13 miles of trail are open to all forms of activity for residents to use without motor vehicle disruption.

Although state and national parks aren’t exactly nearby, the city’s access to lakes, rivers, and well-maintained trails gives residents an oasis to discover without traveling too far. For a family trip, romantic outing, or personal time to unwind, Oklahoma City parks are free and beautiful.

 

Hiking

Oklahoma may be flat, but it’s all in the mindset. Man made parks also help vary the terrain. Hiking trails are shared with mountain bikers in the area, giving an introduction to inclines and rocks you won’t find on a city path. Absorb fresh air among the greenery, and see a different side of Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma River Trail also provides a more natural setting for hikers, though it is a paved trail.

 

Mountain Biking

Bikers in the Oklahoma City area have a few parks to choose from including ones right in the city. Lake Draper Trail is an exciting span of three connecting loops with tight, technical singletrack. Ranging from easy to difficult, all levels of rider can enjoy this course of bridges, drops, and twists. Located a few miles from downtown, Bluff Creek Trail is a quick 3.5 mile track, but still a fun outing for beginners. Speed through the dirt at one of the trails below and have a small adventure.

 

Road Biking

In addition to downtown along the Bricktown Canal, Oklahoma City has some great paths for road biking throughout the city, including Lake Hefner, Lake Overhoiser, and where the trails connect in between. Bikers can also explore the extensive former railroad track of the Katy Trail, or take a cruise around the Oklahoma River. No matter where your wheels take you, there are plenty of bike only and pedestrian paths around the city.

 

Paddling

With an abundance of water in the area, Oklahoma City is perfect for canoeing and kayaking. Renting a boat is the least expensive way to paddle, but if you find yourself enjoying life afloat you can invest in one for not too high a price. You can quietly row across a lake or down the Oklahoma River, and experience the city from a different angle. Being surrounded by water is also great for mental health, and will increase your happiness. If you need a place to row or rent, check some of the local outlets below.

 

Healthy Eating

The local health food resources in Oklahoma City are a testament to the city’s heartland roots, with several farmers’ markets providing excellent ingredients for restaurants and families alike. Organic foods are also available, as the city has several local markets and dining spots where fresh, pesticide-free veggies and fruits are a priority. Saving money on healthy products can be a task, but with the quantity of local resources, OKC residents can get great prices on foods direct from the growers and farmers. Groceries aside, health-oriented restaurants in Oklahoma City are easy to find for every meal. Try a few of these spots to begin your health kick.

  • Jones Farmers Market: Local foods straight from the source, every Thursday evening and the first Sunday of the month. Main St & Henney Rd, Jones, (405) 299-3113.
  • Sunflower Farmers Market: A supermarket franchise, but organic, all natural, and local foods can be found nonetheless. 6410 N May Ave, (405) 879-9989.
  • Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market: Traveling farmers’ market dropping by OKC three times per month with fresh produce and other goodness.
  • Oklahoma Food Cooperative: Community-owned shop with an occasional public farmers’ market. 1300 SW 15th St, (405) 605-8088.
  • Coolgreens: Moderately priced healthy soups, salads, flatbread pizzas, and frozen yogurt made from organic ingredients. 14201 N May Ave #209, (405) 286-9304.
  • Green & Grilled: Grilled meat and veggie options with salads, soups, and healthy sides. 8547 N Rockwell Ave, (405) 563-2605.
  • The Wedge Pizzeria: The first wood fire oven pizzeria in Oklahoma City, cooking with organic ingredients. Bocce ball games in the backyard are an added bonus. 4709 N Western Ave, (405) 602-3477. Additional locations.
  • Paseo Grill: Fresh ingredients, modern dining with an upscale yet casual feel and moderate prices. 2909 Paseo, (405) 601-1079.
  • Cafe Kacao: Colorful, flavorful Latin style cafe serving breakfast and lunch. 3325 N Classen Blvd, (405) 602-2883.

 

Images: Forbes.com, Crosstimber.wordpress.com

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