During these very trying economic times obtaining a new and better job can be a challenge so one route to make your financial situation somewhat better for you and your family is to take some very practical steps to control your high and steadily rising health care costs. Even if you are financially well off these practical decisions can help you to maintain your standard of living.
-Consistently maintain good health insurance coverage.
-Don’t get sick. Several ways to accomplish this are get plenty of sleep, eat healthy food, don’t over do the meat eat plenty of vegetables, grain, brown rice, etc., also exercise modestly.
-Get a regular physical examination every year.
-Along the same line the sooner you take your health problem to the doctor the better, don’t procrastinate on this.
-Stop smoking. You can save your health and all of that money which you burn up in smoke.
-Try to lose weight by eating modestly, your belt will shrink and you’ll have more money in your wallet.
-Don’t drink excessively, or better yet, don’t drink at all; you’ll save your health, your money, and maybe even your life.
-Brush and floss your teeth both morning and night. You’ll save dentist costs!
-Keep your immunizations up to date.
-Take advantage of low cost and public vaccinations and immunizations when available.
-Rely upon public health nurses for assistance when needed; contact your local health department or Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) to find out what they offer.
-Use sun block; deep suntans could cost you dearly both physically and financially in later life.
-Investigate alternative health care plans offered by your employer: Review your alternatives if you have choices; some plans may cost less while meeting the health care needs of you and your family.
-It is usually wise to obtain a second opinion before undertaking any significant and hence expensive medical procedure.
-Examine your hospital and doctor bills. If we see any discrepancies be sure to shout.
-Don’t use emergency care for routine health care.
-Take your own toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, etc. to the hospital and avoid the extra high charges.
-Investigate health and dental services at a medical or dental school for no or reduced costs.
-Buy generic drugs. They are often identical to more expensive brand name medicines.
-Don’t get cosmetic surgery. You’ll probably pay your nose for it, and it won’t be covered by your medical insurance.
-Wear eyeglasses instead of contacts. You’ll avoid the cost of contact cleaning solutions and contact replacement.
-Instead of spending your limited income at a health club use a public gym, go for a walk or run in the park, or join the YMCA at a smaller cost.
– Automobile expenses to attend Alcoholics Anonymous can qualify as medical expenses unless the potential new tax code changes this with limited exemptions, stay tuned.
-Parking fees and tools associated with medical purposes can be deducted. If you take a train or bus this can be deducted also ( of course this may change with the potential new income tax code if passed by congress).
-If drugs or alcohol is becoming a problem, seek help now.
-Keep track of auto mileage associated with medical care, this is deductible like medical cost once again unless the income tax code changes with the present government need for increase income.
-Accelerate the payment of needed medical expenses and procedures by the end of the year if you are or will be over the AGI threshold.
-Keep records of non-reimbursed medical expenses to save on taxes.
-Use mail order prescription s when feasible
-Contribute to your health care flex spending account, this can reduce the costs of you co-payments.
1001 Ways To Cut Your Expenses, by Jonathan D. Pond
Health care costs rising, but expenses can be controlled, by Sandra Block