Budgeting for Health Care

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It’s important to consider all of the costs associated with managing your health. Just like buying a car, the true cost of ownership goes beyond the initial purchase price. You need to include gas, maintenance and insurance in your monthly budget too. Let’s take a close look at what is really included in your healthcare expenses so you can create a budget and choose the plan that fits your needs.

First you have your premium, or the fixed amount you pay out of pocket to your insurance provider each month. Next you have the deductible, or the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance provider will begin paying for your medical expenses each year. Typically, plans with higher deductibles have lower premiums. Then, there’s your copayment, or the fee you pay out of pocket every time you receive care. Most of the time it will cost you more to see a specialist than a primary care physician and more to visit the ER than an urgent care center. Some plans require higher copayments to see out of network physicians too. Copayments can also apply to prescription drugs. It’s easy to save money by asking for generic drugs when available.

And don’t forget about expenses that aren’t typically covered and those unexpected medical costs. Things like dental or eye care, gym memberships, vitamins or visits to your chiropractor. Unexpected medical expenses are difficult to budget for so it’s important to understand what you’re responsible for paying when these situations arise.

So, how do you set a realistic budget? Estimate the sum of these expenses and closely examine the flexible options offered by Optima Health Plans. Visit us online or call one of our personal plan advisors at 1-855-434-3271 to help choose a plan that’s right for you.