Money Monday: Cutting Health Care Costs

Two african american pharmacist working in drugstore at hospital pharmacy. Health Care Costs

Few costs seems more unpredictable to budget for more than health care. Yet, it’s probably the one expense you can least afford to do without. Starting in 2022 there is some good news if you use an out-of-network service provider for surprise or emergency medical services. If you have a HMO ( Health Maintenance Organization  Plan) and use an out-of-network service provider in 2022, federal law requires your insurance provider to cover you, or charge you your network service provider rates for the service. This change can have significant impact on your medical bills going forward. What are some other ways you can cut your health care costs?

 

Health Savings Account

Manage your Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay up-front and out-of-pocket expenses, and realize tax benefits, and some benefits you may not have heard of before. High-deductible qualifying health plans allow you to put away as much as $3,600 in a HSA for a single person, or $7,200 for family coverage. Additionally, you could put another $1,000 into your HSA if you are 55 years or older. With a HSA you preserve your money, pretax, and the money grows as tax deferred funds, and you can use it–tax-free–to pay for medical expenses.

Health Savings Accounts can be used as your retirement health care savings plan since there is no expiration on using HSA funds for medical expenses. The HSA funds could also be used for certain home improvements to accommodate medical conditions such as adding support bars or expanding doorways. With a funded HSA, you have a way to pay for these health care costs.

Pay Less. Order More.

This may seem insignificant but every penny counts. If there are medications you routinely order for your medical maintenance, instead of ordering 30-day refills, order 90-day refills. While you may not feel or see the savings in the short term,  you will be saving money in the long term. As an example, when you’re uninsured ordering 30-day refills, you pay an additional $4. Compare that to $10 dollars, total, for a 90-day supply. You could also reduce refill costs by mail ordering medication, which usually come in 90-day supplies.

Cash up

This is your basic cash business strategy.  When scheduling a procedure, ask the provider for the lowest cost for the service if you pay cash. Believe it or not, paying by cash can lower your provider’s rate. Secondly, if you have a high deductible that you may not reach it before the year ends, it may be worth it. One thing remains true; cash is still king!

 

WHAT’S UP!

Tax Robo-Calls

Today’s what’s up is about spam calls. I am sure you have been inundated with strange calls telling you how much money you owe the IRS, or money available from some government agency. You can reduce or eliminate those calls by checking with your carrier to see if they have tools to help you eliminate those calls. The good news is those options may be free, and won’t add to your telephone bill.  Further, these carriers may offer some protection for a fee. Also some third-party companies provide this service, but you need to do your research since fees range from $1.99  to $6.99  per month. And that’s what’s up!

 

 

 

 

Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC . Give2Get Rich, LLC 2021. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

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