If you feel like your family’s healthcare costs an arm and a leg even with insurance, you’re not alone. By all measures, the expenses of care keep increasing for regular people, faster even than inflation.
Between copays, deductibles, and surprise bills, it can be hard to know if you’re prepared for all the potential costs related to you and your family’s healthcare. More and more of the financial burden is being put on individuals and families each year.
But here’s a bit of good news: With the right information and a proactive plan, you can take steps today to help manage healthcare costs.
These simple steps can help you prepare for unexpected costs — and make a big impact:
- Use an online budgeting tool to keep track of your finances and health expenses — and don’t forget to include specific items like prescription eyewear or medications.
- If you’re eligible for a health savings account (HSA), make the most of the tax savings it offers by using it for qualified medical expenses. For 2019, you can contribute a maximum of $3,500 (individuals) or $7,000 (families) to your HSA. Don’t be afraid to ask whether certain providers or hospitals are in your plan's network before you get any kind of procedure. Use in-network doctors, pharmacies, and facilities to save on costs.
- Determine whether you have holes in your coverage that supplemental policies can help cover. Identify potential gaps by taking the time to thoroughly read the policy booklet accompanying your health insurance plan.
After you assess your budget, determine your set healthcare costs, and forecast potential future expenses, you can start to plan ahead for unexpected healthcare costs that may arise. Shopping for a supplemental health policy — accident insurance or cancer insurance, for example — can help provide a safety net in case the unthinkable happens. They provide policyholders lump-sum payouts in the event of certain medical events. You can use that money for any type of expense (even out-of-network care).
Ask your HR contact at work if they offer this type of optional coverage and if so, research before the Annual Enrollment period at your company when benefit decisions are made. In the meantime, learn more about supplemental products and how they can help you control healthcare expenses today.