Everything is more expensive these days, EVERYTHING, which means most families track their money with a budget or a financial plan. Usually, your budget includes the essentials like your mortgage, utilities, groceries with some allowances for clothing, vacation and miscellaneous expenses. But where is your budget for healthcare?
Most of us don’t put money aside and plan for our healthcare expenses. Why not? It sure would be a lot easier to pay for your child’s braces or your new glasses if you set a little aside each month, instead of your checking account taking a big hit.
Tip: Plan ahead by examining your healthcare expenses from last year and the amount you’ve spent year to date. Create a separate account for those expenses and try to set aside funds based on your anticipated expenses. Maybe start your savings with the amount of your deductible and then build from there based on your average yearly expenses.
My mom used to say preparation is everything. She was relentless about being prepared for emergencies with plans and supplies. When we traveled and spent the night in a hotel room, one of the first things we always did was locate the exits on our floor.
How prepared are you for a medical emergency? Do you have emergency numbers programmed into your cell phone? Where is the closest emergency room to your house and office? A lot of times when we’re in the middle of an emergency, we don’t think clearly. It’s important to be prepared so that you know how you’re going to react in an urgent situation.
Tip: Know where the closest Emergency Room is to your home and your place of work. Most likely if its a life or death situation, you’ll be dialing 911 and riding in an ambulance. For minor injuries/illnesses consider using an Urgent Care facility, you’ll receieve the same quality of care for less and usually have a shorter wait.
Several times this year, we’ve had situations with the kids where we needed someone to advise us on how to treat our child or whether we needed to go to an Urgent Care.
Tip: Some health plans offer nurse hotlines that are available 24/7. Program the number into your phones and keep on the refrigerator for easy reference. There are a lot of times, you can save yourself a doctor’s visit by speaking with a nurse. Also, keep your pharmacy number nearby, so when your doctor’s office asks, you won’t spent time searching for it.
Remember, prevention is key to staying healthy AND saving money. Schedule annual check-ups with your physician to stay healthy.
Tip: Schedule your physical on the same day each year so its easier to remember. Make sure to make the most of your health plan and utilize the free services offered.
As, you can see from this video, Cigna’s COO shares how, instead of exchanging gifts on their anniversary, her husband gets his physical. Great idea, and what better gift is there than being healthy for your family?
To learn more about keeping you and your family healthy, join the conversation at YouTube.com/Cigna.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cigna. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.