Plan your Healthcare Costs with these Useful Tips
Budgeting for health care is one of the most important decisions an adult makes. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown vulnerabilities and also highlighted that healthcare is important for everyone. It is equally important to budget for sudden healthcare costs due to a sudden illness or accident. Managing healthcare costs can be a challenge for many families, but there are steps you can take to help balance those costs with your family budget while planning family health insurance. These will help you better plan your health insurance within your budget.
Here is an extensive tip list to help balance healthcare costs and family budgets:
- Create a healthcare budget: Start by creating a separate budget for healthcare expenses. This will help you track your healthcare costs and make sure that you have enough money to cover them.
- Analyse your spending on medical expenses: Calculate how much you spent on medical expenses, including daily medications, visits to general physicians and specialist doctors, lab tests, scans, etc. This will give you a fair idea of the minimum healthcare you need to account for in your family health insurance.
- Find out the minimum treatment costs of some critical illnesses: No one wants to be sick, but the truth is that life is very unpredictable. You can fall sick anytime due to anything minor or major. Find out the approximate treatment value of some of the critical illnesses so that you have a fair idea of the number of healthcare costs you need to provide for.
- Include anticipatory costs: While calculating, you should also include the anticipatory costs in your family health insurance like any planned surgery or if you are expecting a baby.
- Evaluate your current health: While budgeting, do not forget to evaluate your current health conditions. You may need to include the cost of your current treatment, medication, etc. Also, consider the current health conditions of family members you want to include in your health plan. You would need to disclose all the current health conditions to the healthcare provider.
- Shop around for healthcare services: Take the time to research well and shop around for healthcare services and providers. Look for providers that offer the best value for money. Once you have shortlisted a few, do a little research about their services and check for some critical requirements of health insurance. For example, various coverages, including critical ones, waiting period clauses, the flexibility to add new family members, etc. Also, check reviews about the healthcare provider as well as their settlement ratio before making the final decision about your family’s health insurance.
- Check healthcare in-network hospitals: Check if the hospitals or clinics around your place of residence or office are included in the health insurance plan you are considering buying. This will save you on the travel costs to the hospital or clinic in case of an emergency.
- Consider preventative care: Investing in preventative care, such as regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings can help you avoid more costly healthcare expenses down the line. More often than not, people tend to ignore small health problems, which sometimes can result in more serious health issues. Hence, it is important to not ignore your health and take appropriate steps, including seeking medical advice as and when you notice something unusual.
- Do not avoid regular medical tests: Get routine blood tests and routine urine tests done at regular intervals. More often than not, people tend not to get themselves tested for B12 and Vitamin D, the deficiency of which can lead to many diseases and discomforts. Therefore, get yourself tested for vitamins B12 and D also at regular intervals. It is also recommended that women in the age group of 40–44 get yearly mammograms. Many preventive care check-ups are also covered by some family health insurance providers at regular intervals.
- Take advantage of employer benefits: If your employer offers healthcare benefits, make sure to take advantage of them. This can help you save money on healthcare costs. Some corporations also give you the facility to get your family members added to the health insurance by paying a small fee.
- Plan for unexpected expenses: Make sure to set aside some money in your budget for unexpected healthcare expenses, such as emergency room visits or unexpected medical treatments. Keeping a little money aside every month will help you with this.
- Plan for out-of-pocket expenses: Even with insurance, you may still have to bear out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles. Factor these costs into your budget, and try to set aside money each month to cover them. Do this on a monthly basis so that you have enough in your time of need.
- Look for varied premium payment options: Some healthcare providers also offer the option of paying the premium on a quarterly or half-yearly basis for family health insurance. This will ease your burden in a particular month, and you will be able to easily accommodate them.
- Stay healthy: One of the best ways to save money on healthcare costs is to stay healthy. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet that helps build and maintain your immunity. Get regular physical exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or weightlifting. Get enough sleep and try to manage stress. Practice good hygiene. By taking care of yourself, you reduce the risk of developing health problems.
- Cut down on avoidable expenses: Even after planning all of the above, if you are still struggling with the budget, try to balance health care expenses by cutting down on avoidable expenses like reducing the number of times you eat out, shopping for unnecessary items, and subscribing to services you don’t need. so that you can spend that on health insurance.
Remember that balancing healthcare costs with your family budget requires careful planning and budgeting. By following these steps and staying informed, you can ensure that your family’s healthcare needs are met while remaining within your health insurance budget.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.