During recent years, healthcare costs have skyrocketed leaving many American’s unable to afford healthcare or in major debt after experiencing medical problems. Even those who are healthy are left paying exorbitant monthly premiums. So what can you do to help this situation? Here are some tips:
While most insurance plans are similar in costs, there are some plans that offer better benefits for less money. Take the time to get several estimates to make sure the one you choose is the most affordable or best plan for your situation. If you have a job that offers good benefits, that plan is often the most affordable. However, non-working spouses and family members may get a better deal by using a private healthcare option.
Also, when you are choosing a plan, consider selecting a high-deductible plan which will lower your monthly premiums. These types of plans work well for those who are healthy and need healthcare services very little. If you choose this option, just make sure that you have saved enough to cover the deductible. Then after that, you will be able to pocket the extra money.
If the insurance through your employer or elsewhere is simply not affordable, you or your family members may be eligible to participate in a group that shares medical expenses. With these plans, members of the organization all pay a monthly fee to participate in the group and then their combined money is used to pay the expenses of those who need medical care.
In many cases, the costs of participating in such a plan are much more affordable than buying private insurance. These plans do have exclusion periods for some medical conditions but in some organizations, members of the group pitch in to help others pay their bill. To find these organizations, just type “healthcare sharing plans” into your Internet browser and a number of options will be listed.
Another option is to participate in a physician health services plan. With these services, an individual or family pays the physician a monthly fee and is able to access healthcare when needed. It is most likely best to have a high-deductible insurance plan along with this service to help pay for emergency care or surgeries if needed. But, these two plans combined may be less expensive than one low deductible health insurance plan.
Use a Health Care Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Another great way to save money on healthcare is by setting up a Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). The money put into the accounts is not subject to federal taxes so can help you save hundreds of dollars per year. Then, when you have an expense in the future, you will not have to worry about having the money to pay for it.
Many employers offer these account options on eligible insurance plans. Keep in mind that the HSA will roll over to a new employer but an FSA has to be spent each year. Also, if you rely on health insurance heavily, these plans might not work for you. Be sure to seek out an advisor to make sure it’s the best choice for you and your family.
Use Generic Drugs or Coupons When Possible
In many cases, doctors write a prescription for a brand name drug when a generic drug is available. To save money and time, always ask your doctor if there is a generic drug available for your prescription or a less expensive alternative.
There are also some discount organizations that can help you save money on prescriptions. One such organization is https://www.goodrx.com/. It will allow you to compare prices and get coupons for drugs that can save you up to 80 percent.
Practice Good Health Habits
One of the biggest ways to keep your healthcare costs down is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, avoiding certain foods, exercising and taking certain vitamins and supplements have been shown to greatly reduce serious health conditions. When you are healthy, you will have to worry less about health conditions causing you to have limited benefits on a health sharing plan and you will save on out-of-pocket costs that can really ad up when someone deals with a chronic illness. While eating healthier foods can be slightly more expensive up front, the long-term impacts will pay off as you avoid expensive doctor bills and very likely will be able to make more money at your job as you feel more energized and think more clearly.
Save for a Rainy Day
While you may be healthy today, you never know what you may face in the future. To be prepared, set aside a certain amount of money each month to pay for those unknown expenses. In addition to helping you pay for the expenses and allowing you to choose a lower cost high deductible plan, it will give you peace of mind.
If you need assistance with setting up a savings account, please contact us at (210) 223-6561.