The cost of healthcare in the United States is one of concern to many people, especially retirees who are on a fixed income. It’s estimated that the average couple retiring today at age 65 will need $280,000 to cover healthcare and medical costs while they are retired. That is a large sum for many to fathom, that’s why it’s important to find ways to save on healthcare during retirement. Here are some tips to help get you on track.
Utilize an HSA
An HSA, or health savings account, can help you pay for medical expenses when you’re retired. If you’re still working and your employer offers an HSA-eligible health plan, you can contribute to the account and save pre-tax dollars. This money can be withdrawn tax-free for federal tax purposes if used for qualified medical expenses now or when you’re retired.
If you’re not working, but want to still take advantage of an HSA, you’ll need to be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan to qualify. Every year, you can contribute to your account, up to a predetermined amount, and use the money for medical expenses when needed.
Consider long-term care insurance
While you may be relatively healthy now, that may not be the case down the road. Planning ahead with long-term care insurance can help ease the burden of medical costs. These types of insurance plans can help cover the cost of home care, assisted living, or a nursing home. These plans can get costly, depending on the type of coverage you choose. A short-term policy with more limited benefits will result in lower premiums. It depends on how much coverage you are looking for, for your long-term care.
Take care of injuries before they get worse
Prevention is the best medicine. If you see your doctor at the beginning of a cold rather than when you’re having trouble breathing, you can prevent it from becoming pneumonia or another serious illness that could require hospitalization. The cost of hospital stays add up and put a financial strain on many people. Don’t put off going to the doctor and getting treated for an illness before it gets worse.
Shop around for the best drug prices
While you may have a favorite pharmacy or pharmacist, you may not be getting the cheapest price for your prescriptions. That’s why it’s important to shop around. Call around to different pharmacies to get prices or do an online search. You may be surprised at what you find. You can also ask your health insurance company if they have any preferred pharmacies in-network. These pharmacies have agreed to charge less for prescription medications and can save you money.
Take care of yourself now
Staying healthy now can mean less medical care down the road. Exercise regularly, stay current with doctor’s visits and eat right. Leading a healthy lifestyle can lower cholesterol, ease stress, and keep your heart healthy. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, people who are in poor health spend an average $1,700 more on out-of-pocket medical expenses compare to those who are healthy. Think about all of the money you can save by remaining healthy!
It is possible to save money on healthcare during retirement if you do some legwork. Remember, it’s very rare that money-saving opportunities will just fall into your lap. You need to be resourceful and look for them. It can make all the difference in retirement.