You’re getting older. Health care is something you really need to start thinking about. It’s a fact: the older you get, the more prone to injury and illness you are. A good health insurance plan will help mitigate those health care costs, but you’re going to end up at the doctor’s office at some point. Here’s how to manage those costs without sacrificing the quality of care you get.
Don’t Take Your Health Insurance For Granted
You have health insurance through your employer right now, but how long with that last? Many people believe that they will be able to carry their employer-based plan into retirement. The truth is that that’s becoming harder and harder to come by.
Most employers are being saddled with new expenses because of the new Affordable Care Act – namely, they will have to pay more for an entire younger generation of workers. Once you’re gone, they may simply not be able to afford you anymore, even if they previously promised you benefits at retirement age.
Consider Working Longer
You can always work longer. That’s not something that’s always appealing, but, the fact is that Medicare kicks in at age 65. If you’re retired before then, there’s a gap. What do you do? You’ll be on the individual marketplace, which isn’t the friendliest place to be right now.
Shop For Prescriptions
Prescription drugs can vary a lot in price depending on where you go, which insurer you have, and whether you’re buying a name brand or generic. There might be less expensive versions of the drugs you’re taking right now, but you’ll never know unless you start shopping around. Go to different pharmacies, ask different pharmacists their opinions about alternative options for your prescriptions, talk to your insurer about which drugs are covered under your insurance plan and any discounts you get for going generic.
Get Yourself Into An HSA
An HSA might make your life a whole lot easier, especially if you have routine checkups, prescriptions, and medical needs – all of these can be paid out of an HSA set up by companies like HSAForAmerica.com. Once your HSA is set up, you deposit money into the account on a tax-deferred basis. Then, when you make purchases for qualified medical expenses, you can withdraw the money tax-free to pay those expenses.
This does force you to become a little more responsible with your health care dollars, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It saves you money, saves the insurer money, and ultimately will help to slow the inflation on your insurance premiums. In some cases, premiums can decrease over time.
Consider Long-Term Care Insurance
No one wants to think about long-term care, but it’s a fact that almost half of every American will need some type of care at some point in their life. You can choose to pay for it now or later. A long-term care policy doesn’t have to cost a lot either. A simple $100 per day, 3-year, plan should only cost you between $1,000 and $1,500 per year if you’re in your 50s. If you wait until 70, the premiums can be triple or more.
Susan Thomson is a homecare nurse. She enjoys writing about the tips and tricks for great care on healthcare blogs.