A 2019 report by CNBC, found that married senior citizens should expect to spend an average of $285,000 on healthcare expenses during retirement. Women are projected to spend about $150,000, while men are expected to spend approximately $135,000.
These figures show a steady increase over the past decade, which means older adults should do what they can to plan ahead and protect their finances from the ever-increasing costs of healthcare.
To remedy this, here are 3 Tips to Reduce Healthcare Costs for Seniors, help seniors can save money on their health insurance.
1. Reduce tax burden
According to the IRS, any medical expense that exceeds 7.5% of your post-tax income for the year can be deducted from your tax payments. Examples of insurance-related medical expenses that can be deducted from tax include monthly premiums, copays, coinsurance, and non-covered services.
Although these expenses will not be automatically deducted pre-tax, they can be included in itemized deductions when you file your taxes. Keep a record of your medical expenses, including receipts and insurance statements, so you can file for deductions once tax season comes.
2. Maximize your benefits
All adults aged 65 and above are automatically enrolled in Medicare, which is the government’s sponsored health insurance program.
Medicare has four parts, each covering different healthcare services. In short, Medicare Part A covers hospital care, Medicare Part B covers outpatient care, and Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs.
To save money, look for a private insurer that offers all three parts under the same bundle plan, which is called Medicare Part C or the Medicare Advantage Plan.
If you get a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can also get coverage on additional health benefits. Case in point, Kelsey Care Advantage shows that Part C covers senior healthcare needs beyond just the basics.
For one, some of those packages cover non-prescription medication and dental services, while others can even pay for fitness programs.
When you choose your healthcare plan, you can save money by making sure your provider also covers the services you need outside of hospital and outpatient care. If you struggle with hearing, for example, you can look for a plan provider that includes additional coverage for hearing-related medical services.
3. Leverage preventive care services
In our post on ‘How to Cope with Aging‘, we note that taking care of your body is one of the best ways to manage the aging process. Aside from your diet and exercise routine, you can do this by maximizing your insurance plan’s preventive care services.
Many health insurance programs include free preventive care check-ups, in which your physician analyzes the current state of your health and your family’s health history to determine potential health problems.
By detecting risks before they become major problems, your physician can give you guidelines for protecting your body, which include any lifestyle changes you may need to make. Leverage these services to reduce your risk of having to pay high out-of-pocket costs should a major health problem arise.
If you’re enrolled in a Part C plan, you will be charged additional costs for preventive care services from physicians outside of your provider’s network. To evade these added costs, make sure you research your provider and determine whether the members of their network can attend to your specific healthcare needs.
For example, if you have a history of heart problems, you can look for a network that includes good cardiologists.
Health insurance can be costly, but with strategies like leveraging tax deductibles, maximizing plan benefits, and making use of free preventive care services, you can greatly reduce your spending. If you want to protect both your health and your finances, you need to take advantage of the different ways you can reduce your healthcare costs.
We hope this article has been helpful and provided some valuable information on reducing healthcare costs for seniors. A little knowledge can go a long way in helping you reduce your out of pocket expenses, so we encourage all our readers to take the time to educate themselves!
If you have any questions or need help with anything at all related to aging well, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime. With expert advice from senior care experts like ourselves, we know that everyone can age successfully and affordably!