Life can get so hectic with the little things; the day to day drama of carpooling, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring and working that I sometimes lose sight of the really important issues around me. Healthcare is one of the most precious gifts my family is Blessed with and I never want to take that for granted!
Each November Hubby the Hubster has an annual benefits review at his job. He’s able to make changes to his health insurance plan at that time. We go over his plan with a fine tooth comb and make any necessary changes if need be. This takes some planning and strategizing for the upcoming year but it’s worth it in the long run!
How To Budget for Your Healthcare Needs
Mid-Year Health Check-in Tips
We all strive to be smart about our spending. As healthcare costs continue to rise, here are a few things you can do to make sure your health plan is working hard for you and your family.
PLAN – We’re often great at budgeting household expenses like our mortgage, groceries or vacations, but many of us don’t think about budgeting for healthcare expenses. The more you can anticipate upcoming costs, the more you can save while still receiving the high quality care you expect for you and your family.
- Spend one night reviewing your healthcare expenses. Know what you have spent to-date and think about what your future costs may be. For example, will anyone need glasses or braces next year? Knowing what your current spending habits are and what your future costs may be, can help you budget accordingly. Hubby and I do this each November. That’s when we must make changes to our healthcare plan but it doesn’t hurt to sit down mid-year and reevaluate your options.
PREPARE – There are a few things that you can do now to ensure you’re prepared to make quick decisions when the time is appropriate.
- Know where the nearest urgent care facility is. These facilities provide the same quality of care for non-emergent conditions as an ER, but have shorter wait times and are typically less expensive. I’ve made sure that my urgent care center of choice is covered by my health insurance plan and I’ve programmed the phone number into my iPhone so I don’t have to go searching for it in an emergency.
- Check your health plan to see if they offer a 24/7 nurse hotline to provide you with health-related advice around the clock.
- Keep the phone number handy for your local pharmacy. Prescriptions can be called in quickly, right from the doctor’s office, saving time. Again, I have the number of my pharmacy in my iPhone so it’s handy wherever I am. And my doctor will phone in my prescription for me when I leave his office which saves me so much time. Ask for generics when available. On my health insurance plan they are significantly more affordable than the name brand! It saves me a huge amount of money. Psst… some pharmacies even offer free antibiotic prescriptions or $4 prescriptions. Do a quickie internet search to find out who’s offering what in your neighborhood!
PREVENT – Taking advantage of preventative services offered by your health plan could mean the difference between life and early death.
- Visit your doctor each year for a checkup – make the appointment on a memorable day so you remember each year to go! Also, take advantage of the free services offered, such as access to dieticians and nurses, who can answer questions and provide advice. Each year I schedule my mammogram in November, it’s something I’ve done for the past 25 years. Dental visits are made every six months and we make sure to get our yearly physicals in the month of our birthday. I schedule my next appointment as I’m leaving from the one I’m at!
Here’s to your good health!
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cigna. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.