How Can Health Care Costs Be Reduced?
Healthcare costs in retirement are unbelievable! The costs can run as high as skyscrapers compared to your retirement savings which only managed to grow as high as your savings jar.
Recent Fidelity studies showed that a retiring couple would need about $275,000 to sustain their healthcare needs. This cost covers much of premiums, and health care needs to the point that this expense will be much more than you will spend on food. Given the results of the various study, it only concludes that healthcare is going to take a big chunk out of your retirement funds. Before you panic and lose hope, ask yourself first: How can health care costs be reduced? Then find the answers right at this post.
So, how can health care costs be reduced in retirement?
#1: Be Healthy!
It is common sense that if you want to avoid staggering health care costs, you will do everything you can to stay healthy. If you are healthy, you don’t need to seek medical services too often. If you do the opposite and just go on different unhealthy habits, then you’ll be more susceptible to a lot of diseases. Once a disease clings to you then you’ll have to spend your hard earned money, or even savings, to sustain your medications, hospitalizations and other medical services. Which one is cost effective? You choose.
#2: Be a smart shopper
It was mentioned earlier that health care expenses could take a huge chunk out of your retirement funds. To make the most out of the money you will spend for health care services, you have to be a smart health care shopper!
Don’t just settle for the price of services you already know, put an effort to shop around and compare prices for different medical services. If you need an x-ray or CT scan, you can shop at different facilities that offer the medical procedure you need and find out which among them offer the best price. Don’t hesitate to ask, because they are also effective yet less expensive.
#3: Go for other brands!
If your illness requires various kinds of prescription drugs, you know how heavy it is to pay for them all. Aside from getting a Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D) which still has gaps in coverage, there are also other ways to reduce your out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.
You can also become a smart shopper when it comes to prescription drugs. Ask your doctor for a generic version of your prescription. Also, you can use your Medicare Part D plan for specific pharmacies that offer discounts for its beneficiaries. You can also save some bucks by buying your medications in bulk.
#4: Have a Medicare Supplement plan
Having a Medicare is already helpful in taking care some of your health care bills. But the amount of out-of-pocket you need to face after Medicare has paid its share can still be heavier than what your finances can handle. To cover all or part of those leftover bills, you will need a Medicare supplement plan, or commonly known as Medigap. It works by taking care of the tab that your Original Medicare left. You can also become a smart shopper of Medigap plans. Save on Medigap premiums by enrolling yourself during your open enrollment period, which only comes once in your lifetime. Another way to find the best deal is by comparing prices offered by various insurance providers. You can do that by looking at Medicare supplement quotes that you can request online for free. Know Medigap plans are standardized or are the same in different states, they only differ in prices offered by different companies.
#5: Have a separate health care savings
Aside from having retirement savings, try your best to have separate healthcare savings. Any amount you can save up to the moment you need it is very helpful to reduce the cost you need. Utilise a Health Savings Account. You won’t just be able to save for health care needs but also save on your taxes.
Health care costs need not be a burden. With proper preparation and outlook in retirement, the costs can be reduced dramatically. From being a super saver to becoming a smart shopper, savvy retirees will utilize various strategies to be able to pay for healthcare expenses, even if it means adding additional coverage such as Medicare supplement plans.
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