Whether it’s penalties at tax time or calls from creditors over medical bills, our health care brings up questions about money. When you visit your doctor for an annual check-up, the receptionist asks for insurance card and outstanding payments. When you are hospitalized, even for something serious, the finance department comes into your room asking about responsible parties and insurance coverage. Health care costs money--whether for preventative care, diagnosis, or treatment--and someone has to pay for it.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
When you apply for a new job, make sure you ask about a Health Savings Account (HSA). Much like a 401k, this account is made up of pre-tax income and placed into an account specifically allocated for medical use. You can use this money for any type of medical visit, treatment, procedure, or prescription medication. HSAs can even be used for dental needs. If your employer doesn’t offer an HSA, you can open one yourself at your bank or another financial institution, as long as you have a High-Deductible Health Plan.
Purchasing health insurance through an employer or individually is one of the most responsible things you can do as a consumer. Even healthy people need health insurance, and when you’re covered under a health insurance policy, you are less likely to go without medical care do to cost. Those who are uninsured and do seek medical care can find themselves in medical debt they cannot pay with just one unexpected visit to the hospital or doctor. Health insurance may cost you monthly, but it can save you a bankruptcy later.
Some religious organizations or communities have medical cost-sharing programs in which individuals or families pay a monthly membership fee in lieu of an insurance premium. The money is then pooled together to share medical costs among members. These costs are usually less than a person would pay for insurance, but these programs don’t often cover everything that a standard health insurance policy would.
High-deductible policies have lower premiums and higher deductibles. They are ideal for young people of good health, and usually include a catastrophic medical policy that will pay for unexpected major costs due to injury or sudden illness. If you find a high-deductible insurance policy you’re happy with, combine it with a Health Savings Account for added peace of mind.
Sometimes your health insurance covers your prescriptions, and sometimes not. You may have to use the generic $4 plan every time you get a medication. This doesn’t always have to be the case. You can find prescription discounts if you look for them. PharmaQuotes.com offers up to 75 percent discounts on prescriptions. It’s easy to search for the medication you need, and then claim your discount, accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies.
Take charge of your health and finances today by making your life and health affordable.