Budgeting for Healthcare Costs

It’s open enrollment season, and most of us are thinking about the best healthcare option for us in 2020. Only one thing is certain when it comes to healthcare: the cost for us to stay healthy is constantly increasing.

When it comes time to choose a plan, there are multiple factors to consider so you can budget wisely.

Choose your plans based on more than the premium

People often select their healthcare plan based on the monthly fee they will pay for coverage each month. However, when you choose a plan based solely on this component, you could end up paying more in the long run. There are several other factors to consider when choosing a healthcare plan that will fit your health as well as financial needs. Factors include:

  • copayment (flat dollar amount you pay when you need care)
  • deductible (the amount you must pay before the insurance begins to pay)
  • coinsurance (the percentage of allowed charges for covered services that you're required to pay)
  • maximum out-of-pocket costs (the maximum amount you will pay for services).

Take previous health history into account

You can’t predict the exact amount of insurance you or your family will need. But you can take your past medical history and family medical history into account when you’re selecting a plan.

By taking these factors into account, you should be able to get in the ballpark of the amount of coverage you'll need, barring no serious medical emergencies.

Choose wisely

When you've signed on for healthcare coverage and the open enrollment period passes, you aren't able to change your plan during the year unless you experience a big life event. Healthcare.gov describes a big life event such as marriage, having a baby, or losing your other healthcare coverage. If you experience one of those situations, you can amend your plan outside of open enrollment. Because of this, it's important to choose a plan that works best for your health as well as your budget.

Plan ahead

While healthcare coverage can be good to have when it comes to covering medical expenses, it never hurts to have extra funds. Before an unexpected medical expense arises, plan ahead and set aside some money every month in a savings account. Anything you can stow away for a rainy day will be helpful when the time comes to use those extra funds. Stamford Federal Credit Union is here to help. Talk to one of our Member Service Representatives today about setting up a savings account and be prepared.

Like most things in life, there's no one-size-fits-all health insurance plan. You have to choose the best one for you and your budget.

*** This blog was written for financial purposes and not written by a healthcare professional. This article should not be taken as medical advice.