Showing posts with label Healthcare Expenses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthcare Expenses. Show all posts

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Managing Medical Expenses: A Guide for Seniors

Reaching your golden years with a healthy retirement nest egg is no easy feat. Spending that money wisely once your retirement begins isn’t either. Americans fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to saving for retirement and spending those funds wisely, experts say. Also, both tasks can be made exponentially harder by medical bills.

If you’ve reached your golden years only to face a serious illness and all of the steep medical costs associated with it, you may be incredibly frustrated. This is supposed to be a time for you to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors, not a time for worrying about money and your family’s future. 

Life doesn’t play by our rules, but there are still things that you can do to keep afloat financially and maximize your finances during your golden years.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of Medicare

Do you have Medicare? If you’re 65 or older and no longer on a private insurance plan, then you probably already signed up for some type of Medicare plan. Medicare can be tricky, though, and especially if you’re trying to make sure that you’re saving every cent possible.

It’s a good idea to turn to online resources to help you compare and sign up for plans during the Medicare OEP (open enrollment period). Consider turning to advisors to help you weigh your options, and remember to consider “gap plans” to cover things that Medicare does not (such as healthcare while you’re outside of the United States). 

Proper planning on the health insurance front can make a world of difference for you, your health, and your finances.

Look for ways to turn assets into cash

You’ve worked hard all of your life to save up for retirement, but your retirement fund isn’t the only place where your wealth resides. Many seniors also have extremely valuable assets, including everything from real estate and insurance policies to collectibles and antiques.

When you’re feeling as if you’ve been backed into a financial corner, take another look at these kinds of assets. You may be able to sell some off for that cash that you need in order to cover those medical bills.

You can even sell life insurance policies, experts say. These sorts of arrangements are called “viatical settlements,” and they are powerful ways to get cash quickly. The idea is this: If you’ve been paying into a life insurance policy, your beneficiaries are destined to receive a settlement when you pass away. 

However, that money may be worth more to you, your family, and your eventual estate if you can access it now and use it to pay down bills and debts that might otherwise snowball. That’s why, sometimes, it makes sense to sell off your future settlement for cash now.

In some cases, you can even turn assets into cash without selling them outright and immediately. Take a reverse mortgage, for instance: That’s an arrangement under which you sell your home bit by bit, accepting monthly payments from your lender (the opposite of sending money to your lender to pay down your old traditional mortgage). 

You’ll get to enjoy your home for the rest of your life, and then your heirs can choose how to pay off the loan (they could sell the house or, if they choose, pay in cash and keep the property).

Get help when you need it

Not everyone has access to every method for saving money on healthcare, and this sort of thing can quickly become confusing no matter what your age or familiarity with the system. That’s why it pays to turn to a professional when you need one. 

You could get financial advice from a financial advisor or, if necessary, chat with an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy. While hardly an appealing option, bankruptcy could help you make the best of a bad situation and end the stressful cycle of debt.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

3 Reasons You Should Opt in for an HSA Account

With the expenses associated with healthcare continuing to rise, you should be doing everything you can to maximize your savings wherever possible. While there are many things that you can be doing to protect your health and contribute to your overall well begging, you will still want to safeguard your finances against any injury or illness that can come your way. 

It seems that many people have shied away from Health Savings Accounts because of the restrictions placed on how you can use the money that it put into it. While that might be a legitimate concern, consider the following three reasons why you should opt in for an HSA account.

You Can Invest Your HSA

This is an advantage that many people do not know about, but you can actually invest the money in your HSA. While most people just choose the default choice of putting the money in a low savings account, you can actually choose to put the money in a mutual fund if you so desire. 

The money in there can roll over year after year, giving you a similar investment effect that would be achieved by a Roth IRA or 401(k) account.

You Can Make Tax Free Withdrawals from Your HSA

Not only do you receive a tax deduction upon contributing to a Health Savings Account, but you will also enjoy the benefit of being able to make tax free withdrawals when the time comes. 

This makes it a unique type of investment account in that it becomes triple tax free. While we all know that paying taxes are a necessary part of life, it is nice to have an investment where we get to avoid the component of our finances for just a bit longer.

Save Your Receipts

The thought that you must make withdrawals in the same year that you make contributions is simply not true. In fact, you can save receipts from health related expenditures like dental crowns or contact lenses and then make withdrawals from the account in future years when you need the money. 

Just remember that all money you take out of your HSA must be for health related expenses. Beyond that, the timing is up to you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more reasons why you should contribute to an HSA, such as the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have money available in the event anyone in your family suddenly becomes injured or ill. It is a type of forced savings account that can really pay dividends when the time comes.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

6 Secrets to Saving Big on Healthcare Expenses

If your family is like many, you might find that you spend a lot of money on healthcare. This can be easy to do, and you could be having a hard time fitting healthcare costs into your budget. However, of course, you and your family’s health is important. Luckily, it is possible to ensure that your family gets the healthcare that it needs without going over your budget. These are a few secrets that can help you save big bucks.

Take Advantage of Free or Low-Cost Services

First of all, when possible, consider taking advantage of free or low-cost services. If you’re offered healthcare screenings or other services through your job, utilize these services. You may also be able to find free or low-cost screenings, flu shots and other healthcare services for the people in your community.

Focus on Proper At-Home Preventative Care

Taking good care of yourself at home can help you reduce your current and future healthcare costs. For example, a lot of people forget that Hammond dental care can have a big impact on your overall health. Brushing, flossing and otherwise taking care of your teeth can help you prevent issues in the future. 

Additionally, eating a healthy diet, exercising and doing what you can to stay healthy can also help you reduce future healthcare costs and can help you look and feel your best right now as well.

Check for Errors

Many people don’t take the time to read the bills and invoices from their doctor’s offices. However, a simple mistake could end up costing you a lot of money. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to look over your invoices to look for any potential errors before paying a bill.

Choose the Right Facility for Your Healthcare

Some people get stuck in the rut of seeing the same doctors and heading to the same healthcare clinics over and over again. However, it is important to make sure that you are going to the right clinic.

For example, before seeing a dentist, consider calling around and asking about the cost of basic services, such as X-rays or cleanings. If you need to have major dental work done, it’s definitely worth it to call around and look for the best deal.

If you aren’t experiencing a medical emergency, avoid going to the emergency room; the emergency room can be a lot more expensive, and you could have to wait longer for care as well. Instead, consider utilizing urgent care facilities and primary care clinics for basic care, which can be much more affordable.

Ask for Cash Discounts

If you pay for a lot of your healthcare expenses out-of-pocket, you may want to consider asking for a cash discount. Many doctor’s offices, hospitals and more will offer a discount if you are paying for everything upfront. 

This is because they are saved a lot of time and money due to not having to send out bills or deal with an insurance company. You could be surprised by how much they will be willing to negotiate with you if you have the money to make the payment ahead of time.

Look for Ways to Save on Medication

If you spend a lot of money on medication, you should know that there are ways to cut costs. Ask your doctor if there is a cheaper prescription available, and consider opting for generic brands of medication. Some pharmacies offer loyalty programs that can allow you to save money on your prescription costs as well.

As you can see, there are ways that you can save money on healthcare for yourself and your family. If you follow these tips, you can shave down your costs. Then you can ensure that your family stays as healthy as possible, but you can stick within your budget.

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