Living a frugal life is one of the most popular topics online today. With the rising costs of – well, everything – it can be really easy to allow certain elements of life to slide. For some, healthcare is one of those elements that gets left behind. It’s not due to thinking that healthcare isn’t important, we all know how important it really is. However, finances often dictate to us what we can and cannot manage and sometimes health insurance isn’t on the top of the list.
One thing that any person who lives a frugal life should ask themselves is this: can you put a price on your health? Living without health insurance is not a position most people want to be in. Murphy’s Law states that when you least expect it, the things that can go wrong often will, whether you like it or not. You can bet that you will stop paying for health insurance to save some cash, and it’ll be the day after that you get into an accident or break a tooth and need dental care. Thankfully, there are multiple financing options available for your emergency dental needs and when you get in an accident, you can get some financial grace to help catch up with hospital care payments. For most, though, the choice to ditch health insurance in favour of affording other bills isn’t a personal choice made ‘just because’; it’s a choice made because the alternative is not affording the rent or groceries for the month.
Learning how you can manage your finances a little better so that you can manage to afford health insurance is going to be key and even living a frugal life, this can be done! Sure, many places offer free medical care for those on a tight budget, but the income thresholds are very strict and therefore if you simply have a higher cost of living for your basics and yet aren’t on a low enough income to qualify for free health, you need to know how to manage. Check out our tips below to help you overcome the financial hurdles of ditching healthcare.
1. Options! Health insurance has so many more options than you may be aware of so look into plans that are high deductible. You can be covered for the larger, scarier events in life should they happen to you. It’s also important to remember that with a high deductible plan, while it may seem steep on paper, is easier to pay off $1,000 than it is to pay off $40,000! Your workplace should also offer you a health option and if you haven’t been told about it, enquire with your HR department. The rules for having healthcare do vary and if you get it as a perk through your job, it can make it far easier to afford!
2. Out Of Pocket Costs. This is the place most people have an issue; even with health insurance, the out of pocket medical expenses can be difficult to cover. It’s easy to say to have an emergency pot to cover these sorts of costs but when you’ve nothing spare at the end of each month, it gets a little tricky. Reducing the amount that you pay for out of pocket expenses before insurance kicks in includes shopping around for clinics and doctors that cost you less money. You can be smart when it comes to paying for your medical costs, you just have to be aware that you don’t have to stay with your primary caregiver.
3. Payment Plans. It sounds like an easy one, but it’s surprising the number of people who don’t know you can set up payment plans to catch up with your bills. Many clinics and hospitals will allow you to set up a plan to pay off your bill, and while costs can add up quickly, it can be a better option than waiting around to be in pain before you call the doctor and worry about the next bill.
4. Free Clinics. For those who really can’t make any room in their budget, there are free clinics available to give you the best care. There are sliding scale fees on offer that match your income and can make health care far more affordable. This is welcome news for those who fight to pay the basics each month and you can sometimes qualify automatically for your bills paid if you have chronic illness.
Don’t put a price on your health; you matter and being alive and healthy matters, too.