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Reigning In Your Healthcare Expenses

Many families struggle to make their budget work from week to week. Your family’s paycheck can get spread really thin when there are a lot of expenses to account for. One common source of hardship for many families is the cost of healthcare. Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure you get your healthcare expenses under control. Below are a few different strategies to consider.

Obtain Medicaid or Medicare

Reigning In Your Healthcare ExpensesYour first thought in regards to saving on healthcare should be whether or not you can obtain health insurance through the government. Federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare can pay for all or nearly all of you and your family member’s health expenses if you are approved for these programs.  Medicaid is specifically designed for families who are below a poverty threshold, as well as individuals that are disabled. Low-income families, qualified pregnant women and children, and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are examples of mandatory eligibility groups.  States have additional options for coverage and may choose to cover other groups, such as individuals receiving home and community-based services and children in foster care who are not otherwise eligible.

Medicare is available for those over the age of 65. Use this calculator to get an estimate of when you’re eligible for Medicare and your premium amount. If you are under age 65, you can qualify for Medicare if: You have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or you received Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) payments for 24 months or in the first month of disability for ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”).

Obtain Insurance through the Affordable Care Act

Although controversial, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) can provide low-cost (or free) health insurance coverage for struggling families. It created something known as an online healthcare marketplace that is managed by either the federal government or each individual state. It aims to provide insurance for families that are struggling but make too much money to obtain Medicaid. Its goal is to increase the number of Americans with health insurance. Through this marketplace, a person can obtain subsidized health insurance for individuals or families at a significant discount versus what would be paid on the open market.

Live Healthy

While it may seem obvious, living healthy is not advice many people take to heart. This, of course, can take its toll on a person’s health later and lead to astronomical healthcare expenses. Make sure you exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Also eat a healthy diet low in things like fat, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. Consider taking an ASEA supplement or a similar supplement that is designed to boost the body’s natural immune system to ward off bacterial infections and disease if you can.

Receive Regular Check-Ups

Many dangerous and debilitating diseases are most successfully treated if detected early. Not only does early detection increase the possibility of successful treatment, it can also greatly lower the amount of future medical expenses a patient is likely to incur. Even if you don’t feel sick, make sure to receive a regular check-up from your doctor. Routine blood screenings and other tests can detect many different health issues before they become serious problems.

Start a Health Savings Account

If you don’t want unexpected medical costs to wreak havoc on your budget, you should set up a health savings account. This does not mean simply starting a regular savings account at your bank. A health savings account, or HSA for short, has specific tax benefits that separate it from a regular savings account. Funds placed into such an account are completely tax deductible. They can be used to pay for out of pocket medical expenses including vision and dental related expenses. However, they cannot be used to pay your health insurance premiums.

Time Your Healthcare Deductible

If your insurance plan has a deductible, you have to pay a certain amount before the insurer begins covering the expense. This resets on a yearly basis. With this in mind, it’s a very intelligent thing to do to time your deductible payments. If  it is nearing year end and you haven’t met your deductible if you can postpone payments to the following year it can help you meet your deductible earlier the following year. Conversely, if you have already met your deductible in a certain year you want to move any further medical treatments into that year in order to take advantage of the insurance.

Using the above steps can go a long way towards getting your healthcare finances under control. Overall, make sure you do get the medical treatment you need. There are plenty of options currently available that can make medical care affordable for your family.

 

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+