When we make more money, we also tend to spend more. But it’s not always for our needs. Often, we’d rather splurge on luxuries, like traveling, shopping, a new car, or home improvement. While those purchases give us happiness, they can also compromise a necessity: healthcare.
Many of us complain about the costs of healthcare. For that reason, we try to avoid the doctor and self-treat our own health issues as much as we can. But that practice could only worsen our conditions. And healthcare will be even more expensive if worse comes to worst. Not to mention, some services aren’t covered by a basic health insurance plan.
But we can’t pretend that we don’t need to visit the doctor forever. The only way to afford it is to budget more money for it. That said, here are some tricks to increasing your personal healthcare budget:
1. Get Insured
Employers often sponsor health insurance. As such, you shouldn’t have issues with it if you’re employed. But if you’re self-employed, chances are you’re not yet insured.
According to Value Penguin, the average cost of individual health insurance as of 2022 is $541. That’s for a 40-year-old adult on a silver plan. If you are younger, the costs are lower. The silver plan is the middle ground, with moderate deductibles, co-payment, and coinsurance. The most affordable plans are catastrophic and bronze. Hence, they offer the smallest coverage. If you prefer a plan covering more specific treatments and services, the platinum plan will work best for you. But you need to pay a higher premium for it.
Paying monthly or yearly premiums is worth it. They allow you to get health screenings every year, or as often as you need to, for free. Some plans may even cover vaccines. If you’re pregnant, your health insurance may also cover prenatal appointments. If you have a complex health problem, like a chronic disease, your insurer will help you get the most out of your coverage. They may cover half the costs of surgery, for example.
2. Use the Wellness Benefits of Your Health Insurance
Some health plans allow you to get wellness services for a discounted price. That could be a gym membership or eye care. Maximize these additional benefits to boost your health even more. A discounted gym membership is your chance to get fit without paying huge bucks. If you also get eye care perks, you may get new prescription glasses or contact lenses every year or so.
3. Spend Mindfully
Spending mindfully means differentiating your wants and needs. However, many factors have influenced the way we regard those two. It’s now easy to say you need something when it’s in fact a nonessential item or service.
Take a car, for example. If your daily commutes are stressing you out, driving a car seems like the solution. But is it really better than using a bicycle or paying for Uber? Owning a car doesn’t just mean having something to drive every day. It also means paying for maintenance, which isn’t cheap.
Consider the consequences of choice A and choice B. If choice A is a new car, you’ll pay for maintenance and gas as long as you own that car. If choice B is using a bicycle, you don’t have to budget for those two, and you’ll still get to work on time and potentially be fitter as a result. The winner, in this case, is obvious.
4. Don’t Forget Dental Care
We typically visit the dentist only if we’re experiencing pain. But that habit can only lead to higher dental care costs. After all, a shallow cavity is cheaper to treat than an infected one. Crooked teeth are also easier to straighten the younger you are when your teeth still move fast.
The average cost of basic dental procedures for adults 21 and older ranges from $150 to $250. That’s a lot cheaper compared to root canals, implants, or surgery. Choose a reputable dental clinic like The Dental Studio of Midland to get the best quality of care. It will make every penny you spend worth it.
5. Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund also covers emergency healthcare costs, like an injury. Ideally, it should be enough for six months’ worth of expenses. It’ll allow you to buy all your needs if a crisis hits, like a natural disaster, civil disaster, or pandemic.
Build an emergency fund even if you’re insured. Your insurance can only cover certain expenses like repairs and medical services. But when it comes to your daily needs, only your savings can help you. Building an emergency fund will let you budget for more important things than leisure, entertainment, and other short-term joys.
Taking care of our health is more critical than ever. So budget wisely from now on, and live the rest of your life in good shape.