One of the biggest expenses to a retirement plan is the cost of healthcare. Each year retiree’s over the age of 62 spend just over $6,500 a year on health insurance. This study from AARP also showed that retiree’s that are between medical coverage from their employer’s and Medicare can typically spend around $10,000 on medical expenses. These costs can take huge junks out of retirement funds. Here are some helpful tips you can start right now to save money on your medical costs.
Generic options – Generic options for prescriptions can be one of the easiest ways to save hundreds of dollars a year on your medical costs.
Free samples – The next best thing to generic prescriptions is getting the name brands for free. Ask your doctor if he/she has free samples of your medication on hand. Many doctors get dozens of free samples from pharmaceutical companies.
Find cheaper prices – Shopping around for a bargain can save you thousands each year. Shopping around for savings should not be limited to just prescriptions. You can also shop around for prices on tests that your doctor wants you to have. Prescription prices are a good start thought. Prices can differ on prescriptions as much as 29 percent.
Get regular check-ups – Check-ups are way less than a prescription or even worse a surgery. Get your yearly check-up and take your doctor’s advice to heart. If he suggests you improve your health in certain ways you should follow your doctor’s orders. Your health should be your number one priority. Without your health you really don’t have much else.
Read your medical bill statements – According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, 80 percent of doctor and hospital bills contain errors. These errors cost patients millions of dollars each year. When you receive your medical bills review them carefully. Does the bill accurately list and describe the service you had done? If it does not or you are unsure on a charge contact your doctor’s office as soon as you can.
Ask for a price break – It doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount from your health provider. If you are uncomfortable about asking for a price break there are groups like the Patient Advocate Foundation that will negotiate on your behalf.
Be healthy – If you cannot really afford the yearly check-ups try to be as healthy as you can. Avoid unhealthy foods and activities like smoking. Eat a healthy diet. Small changes to your lifestyle like your diet can greatly improve your health.
Remember your network plan – A big cost to your health insurance is going to doctors who are not in your network of coverage. Check with our doctor’s office to be sure that the doctor is in your network.
Stay out of the emergency room – Typically emergency room visits are much more expensive than your doctor. Once you start feeling lousy make an appointment with your doctor. If you symptoms continue to get worse visit a walk-in clinic first.
These tips should help you save some money on one of the largest costs in your retirement budget. Even if you only follow a few of the tips, they can help over time. What tips do you have for saving money on your healthcare costs?
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800) 401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.