Take advantage of a Health Savings Account (HSA). “The HSA is like a personal savings account with investment options for health care, except it’s all tax-free. Participation through payroll deductions allows employee contributions to be pre-taxed,” says Dr. Rhonda Medows, commissioner, Georgia Department of Community Health. It also allows consumers to save for future medical and retiree health expenses. It rolls over each year. If your employer does not offer this, sign up with banks, credit unions, insurance companies or other approved organizations.
Take advantage of a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). “An FSA is an employee benefits program that allows employees to set aside a portion of their pre-tax earnings to pay for qualified expenses such as doctor co-pays and prescriptions. This account provides a substantial tax advantage since contributions are made before your paycheck is taxed,” says Tassey. The FSA allowed Toney to take out up to $3,000, though she decided on $1,000. The employer deducts a certain amount from the employee’s check each pay period that goes into an account. The only downside is that, unlike the HSA, the amount does not roll over to the new year and consumers can only sign up or make changes during open enrollment.
For more information, go to the Dependent Care and Health Accounts Website.
Carefully read your bill to solve any billing problems. “Medical identity theft is very real. Check to ensure that the services attributed to you were actually received by you. Review the bill to check for errors and duplications in billing,” says Dr. Medows. Make sure the document is actually a bill and not simply an insurance statement. Many billing problems can be alleviated by practicing prevention. Know your specific benefits and ensure that you are covered before you schedule doctor’s visits and procedures. Save all receipts from the doctors’ office, canceled checks, receipts, and billing statements. Once the insurance provider has paid and you have received your final bill, call the insurance company to go over the statement if you have concerns.
Wealth For Life Principles