As the global economy continues its unpredictability, most individuals would focus on one thing: how can you minimize the money you’d spend to keep yourself healthy? The American healthcare system doesn’t seem to have a lot of options, but you should always know where to start for an optimal care.
Fortunately, you can still think far ahead with options that won’t hurt your pockets more than it should be.
This is a crash course of what you can do to lessen your healthcare expenses at a time of economic unrest, especially if you don’t want to keep losing money long-term.
1. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
These are tax-advantaged accounts employees use to save for medical expenses related health plans don’t insure. The account deducts a portion of the insurance claim whenever an employee uses it.
Individuals who have a consistently paid an HAS-eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP) will have their corresponding insurance companies pay for a portion of their expenses.
2. Individual Retirement Account (IRA) deductions
Those who already have their Roth or traditional IRA account have the option to pay for health insurance premiums. If users have already been accumulating funds for this part of their IRAs, then they don’t have to think of possible taxes and penalties for withdrawals.
If, however, individuals choose to withdraw funds from separate assets in their IRAs, most withdrawal options for IRAs typically involve respective tax and contribution penalties.
3. Health plans
There are plenty of options for health plans, depending on a user’s personal needs. Usually made to provide health insurance policies to individual members of a group or employer, these help beneficiaries gain discounts to certain medical services partnered with the insurance provider.
Most businesses are required to provide health insurance policies to their employees, so it’s best to take advantage of these offerings while you can.
Made up of different programs with more specific requirements, Medicare is a state and national government-funded umbrella of health insurance policies focused on senior citizens and those under 25 with certain disabilities.
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act implemented on March 27, 2020, Medicare now has more flexibility for telehealth services and more payments for COVID-19 related hospital stays and durable medical equipment.
Medicare comes in parts: Part A, B, C and D. These intricate options have become some of the most reliable options for insurance, although they could be a pain to register for. Nevertheless, when you get these, there would be much less money to pay for medical bills in the long term.
Especially made for Americans with low incomes, Medicaid offers health care coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, long-term medical care, custodial care, and more health-related expenses.
Eligibility is on one’s age, whether or not they’re disabled and/or pregnant, and incomes in relation to the Federal Poverty Levels. It takes deductions from Social Security benefits and tax-exempt interest.
Medicaid offers two additional types of care that Medicare doesn’t:
- Custodial Care: for individuals who are having trouble with doing daily activities due to a stroke or accident, custodial care provides help with eating, bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom.
- Nursing Home Care: Custodial care, but for ages 65 and above, depending on each state. These offer only a deduction of the cost instead of a full coverage, depending on income and tax deductions.
6. Both Medicare and Medicaid
Since Medicaid is mostly for long-lasting care and Medicare is for everything else, some opt for a dual eligibility for both insurance policies. Most or all healthcare costs would then be covered regardless of what plan you’re using.
Most insurance policies only base their calculations on your income, but it doesn’t mean you could leave enough for other pressing emergencies like household repairs.
If you don’t look into every option properly and weigh in what you need the most, you might end up with an insurance decision you might regret for a long time instead of seeing it benefit you.
So before deciding on any offering as your final decision, you have to take your eligibility and overall expenses to account. Take note that these don’t guarantee you’ll pay nothing for medical benefits, so make sure you choose something you can handle.