Lower Family Care Costs

tips to reduce family care costs

Hopefully your family care costs are not a large percentage of your family income. Barring any physical ailments, your care costs should be around 8-19% of your family budget. This will also include pet care costs.

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Managing Your Insurance Costs

How much insurance? That depends on your obligations and your total need. Don't over-insure.

Many households obtain insurance benefits from their employers, which may cover medical, life, disability, and in some cases, child/elder care and veterinarian services.

But as insurance costs increase, many employers are shifting a larger percentage of the costs to the employee. You need to estimate how much insurance you need to adequately cover your needs without paying excessive insurance fees.

 

About the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

There is too much uncertainty on where everything will fall out regarding the government health care exchange. We don't believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA)will go away; it will likely face revisions that may benefit the consumer.

Currently, the law mandates that you (and your family) have health care insurance. Unless it is provided by your employer, you will be required to enroll in the federal exchange (with exception of exempt groups).

Most enrollees will be eligible for subsidies to help defray the total cost of premiums. But premiums are predicted to increase that may place a burden on many households. So you may need to consider other health care options to reduce total cost and yet be compliant with the federal mandate.

 

Some Alternatives

These programs are Christian-base programs "where members" share each others medical costs. You are approved as a member and commit to live a certain lifestyle.

Members of these programs are exempt from the federal mandate. But do your research before enrolling into one of these programs.

 
medi-share christian ministries
liberty healthshare the health coop

 

About Life Insurance

Let's start with this resource center for life insurance information:

How much insurance should you get:

Find Life Insurance:

 

Programs for Reducing Overall Medical Costs

Executive Health Network
offers a new dimension in health care...a low cost, non-insurance medical discount program that saves members money every time they use their benefit card. Members enjoy significant savings on health care needs immediately simply by presenting their card to participating providers.

Executive Health Network

 

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

An HSA is a tax-exempt savings account that can be used to pay for medical care. It is commonly referred to as a medical IRA.

If you don't use the money in your HSA, the money rolls over to the next year. Any unused portion of the account after age 65 can be withdrawn for non-medical expenses similar to an IRA.

Those who qualify for an HSA:

  • Individuals who are self-employed including sole proprietors, general partners or 2% or larger shareholders of S-corporations.
  • Employees of a business with 50 or fewer employees.

    Note: you can incorporate your "home business" and qualify for HSA. There are tax benefits using this option. See your tax advisory for information.

Additional answers to questions:
what is a HSA:
www.hsacenter.com

Find health savings accounts:
use an insurance agent to find the right HSA medical coverage:
www.nahu.org

 

Short-Term / Supplemental Medical Insurance

Short-term medical insurance is generally purchased when you are between jobs or when you are a part-time employee without company coverage.

Supplemental medical coverage adds additional benefits to existing coverage:

Find Supplemental Medical Coverage:

Another kind of supplemental insurance is for individuals on Medicare and social security benefits:
for age 65 and up

 

About Dental Insurance

Consumer's guide to dental insurance:

  • types of coverage
  • individual vs. group coverage
  • dental plans

    www.cda.org

Find the right insurance at the right price. Some top sites to search and compare insurance:

 

About Disability Insurance

Resource information about disability insurance:

 

About Long-Term Care Insurance

Consumer's guide to long-term care insurance:

  • types of coverage
  • individual vs. group coverage
  • dental plans

    www.aarp.org

Find the right insurance at the right price:

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Medical Visits - Medical Costs

Don't assume that you medical insurance pays the full amount. Shop your medical needs for best price.

Each medical visits costs you money either as a co-pay to your insurance coverage or a percentage of the office visit price.

Make your visits count by knowing exactly what to ask. Keep in mind that "YOU" are paying for this medical visit. Make the doctors "WORK" for you.

Come prepared with a list of questions that the doctor should answer. Demand that the doctor take the time you feel necessary to address your questions. Don't be shy on getting your money's worth. It may save you a second visit later on.

 

You should shop around for your medical service.

Even though your insurance may cover up to a certain percentage, they will only cover a certain amount. Any excess falls back onto you.

Find and compare charges among doctors. It can save you money

 

Programs for reducing overall medical costs:

Executive Health Network
offers a new dimension in health care...a low cost, non-insurance medical discount program that saves members money every time they use their benefit card. Members enjoy significant savings on health care needs immediately simply by presenting their card to participating providers.

Executive Health Network

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Reducing Prescription Costs

Always asks your doctor for plenty of samples — and if you need a prescription, request a generic brand

The rising costs of prescription drugs is forcing consumers to shop wisely using online connections to discount pharmacies and other online stores. Do your research before buying prescription medication online.

 

Check Your Local Pharmacy Shops

Many retail pharmacy shops such as Wal-Mart, Krogers, Target and other are offering discount pricing for generic drugs. Shop around to find the best price for your pharmacy needs.

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Taking Care of Vision Costs

If you wear contacts, check the big discounts you can find online.

Vision costs include:

  1. eye exams
  2. correction lenses
  3. contacts

Many of these vision costs can be covered with the right insurance:

www.insurancetracker.com

Receive a quick, FREE online health insurance quote by completing a simple 1-page inquiry form.

 

Shop online vision care for deep discounts:

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Veterinarian Services

Know and compare the price before making the veterinarian appointment

Veterinarian charges are becoming a major budget item for some households. Costs are rising and many new procedures are allowing pet owners to prolong their pet's lives.

Any reduction strategy may involve pet insurance. Some employers offer some form of pet insurance, but most insurance must be purchased separately:

getting pet insurance:
www.petinsurance.com

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Changing Your Health Fitness Programs

Some fitness programs can be performed at home and on the cheap

Two key reasons for joining or keeping your membership in a health club:

  1. First, to keep yourself healthy and fit;
  2. Discipline yourself to keep yourself healthy and fit.

Now, you can keep yourself healthy and fit without being part of a health club. The question is whether you can discipline yourself to a regular schedule without the social interaction that a health club offers.

 

Allow us to suggest some self-fitness programs:

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Child and Elder Care Costs

A growing percentage of elder care services are being performed in the home

Elder Care Services

Complete resource information on elder care services:

Articles and resource information about long-term elder care:
www.eldercare.com

Search and compare elder care services in your area:

 

Child Care Services

Helpful publications for parents when selecting child care facilities:

  • steps in selecting your care facility
  • selecting a quality after-school program
  • choosing care for a child with special needs
  • and more

    www.childcareaware.org

Search and compare child care services in your area:

Child and Dependent Care Expenses quality for tax deductions.

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