How to Take Control of Rising Healthcare Costs

March 8, 2019 | Chris Hughes

Medical bills can make planning for retirement difficult. Here are four ways you can get ahead of the curve.

Retirement can be an exciting part of life – extra time to pursue new passions and visit new places that you didn’t have time to do when you were working (at least) 40 hours per week. However, medical bills can crimp even the best retirement plans. The average out-of-pocket healthcare costs in 2017 were $10,739 per person, up 11 percent from the prior year. Insurance premiums in 2017 were also up 3 percent over 2015 levels.

Lake Gibson Village is committed to the health of residents, but we also want everyone to enjoy the fruits of retirement. Here are four ways you can control rising healthcare costs.

  1. Use Preventative Care

Medicare, along with several private insurance companies, cover 100 percent of the costs for a great deal of preventative measures. For Medicare, that includes not only an annual wellness visit (a physical), but things ranging from immunizations to a number of different cancer screenings. Taking advantage of this preventative care can help your doctor discover potential issues quicker, which could save you a lot more money in the long run.

  1. Take Advantage of Services Offered by Your Insurance Company

A study conducted a decade ago found that just about 10 percent of visits to the emergency room were for non-urgent reasons. Staying out of the ER can save you a bundle. Most insurance companies have phone numbers with access to nurses who can guide you to the proper care based on your symptoms and medical history. Most communities also have walk-in or express care-type facilities where you can be seen relatively quickly (and inexpensively) by a doctor, and then if it is determined to be necessary, you can be transferred to the emergency room.

  1. Shop Around

More and more medical facilities are being required to list costs for the services they provide. However, these will not be in front of you like on a restaurant menu. You’ll need to ask. But this can be a very useful tactic if you need an operation or a test, as prices can vary greatly from facility to facility.

  1. Maintain Healthy Habits

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and staying active are great ways to keep you from having to require medical services in the first place. While anything can happen, keeping your risk-factors low will generally benefit you in the long run.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

The Senior Living Guide has more information on these and additional ways to save your hard-earned money when it comes time for a visit to your provider.

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