Medical bills –– along with student loans –– are a huge source of debt in the United States. Indeed, in 2017 alone US households spent a collective $980 billion on healthcare expenses. Divided evenly, that equates to about $3,200 per person –– a significant amount for any honest professional. While medical and healthcare costs can be a big drain on a person’s finances, the reality is that these costs often surprise people. Today, we’re going to shed some light on this situation and explain how you can budget effectively for, and around, medical bills:
Reduce Medical Costs
Simple, right? Yes it may sound obvious, but if you can lessen your medical expenses in any way –– do so. A few smart suggestions for lowering the cost of your monthly medical payments include:
- Negotiating your bill or payment plan with your provider.
- Requesting generic drugs vs name-brand drugs.
- Applying for quality health insurance.
- Seeking out federal aid programs.
These actions can save you a significant portion on medical bills almost immediately.
Form a Backup Budget
Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to avoid major medical costs in your life so far. If so, then fantastic. You should take this opportunity to create more than just a rainy-day fund for yourself should you begin to incur heavy healthcare costs. Creating a backup budget now that you can implement at a moment’s notice is a great way to prepare yourself –– and your family –– for medical costs.
Cut Out Impulse Buys
Instead of getting take out, cook yourself a meal at home. Instead of buying a new pair of shoes online, give yourself a week to think the purchase over. Instead of upgrading your smartphone at the earliest opportunity, stick with the cheaper model for now. In short, if you’re able to eliminate these sort of impulsive financial decisions, you’ll have more available capital for the expenses that matter the most.
You don’t have to be an expert handyman to amend a leaky faucet or change a flat tire. Rather, taking the DIY approach for quick fixes around the house can actually help you save a serious amount of cash in both the short and long term.
Visit Your Doctor MORE Often
Many people have negative associations with visits to the doctor’s office, yet, the reality is that seeing your local MD more regularly can help you stay healthier and cut down on future healthcare expenses. Furthermore, visiting sophisticated healthcare facilities that use capillary blood collection tubes and other equipment for testing methods can help you identify potential health risks you may not have noticed before. Taking care of yourself now and seeing your doctor could save you big time down the line –– in more ways than one!