August 1, 2016

6 Ways To Reduce Healthcare Costs In Retirement

6 Ways To Reduce Healthcare Costs In Retirement

 

You should be enjoying rest, relaxation, and adventure in retirement not worrying about the cost of healthcare for you or your spouse. Even though healthcare is virtually unavoidable in the golden years, planning ahead can reduce healthcare costs.

6 Ways To Reduce HealthCare Costs In Retirement

Here are a few tips to manage your healthcare expenses while in retirement:

 

1.Take Advantage of Free Doctor Screenings

 

The best defense is offense when it comes to your health. Visit your doctor for regular check-ups to catch health ailments that could turn into larger more expensive health problems down the road.

 

For health screenings, Medicare Part B will cover testing for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cervical cancer, and more at no cost. In certain circumstances, you can even get flu shots for free. Take full advantage of these free services to keep your health costs low.

 

2.Prepare for Long-Term Care

 

Under Medicare, long-term care is limited. You could be in tip-top shape now. Further into retirement, a helping hand may be necessary to assist with daily activities. The cost of this assistance out-of-pocket could easily drain your retirement fund and put a financial burden on your family.

 

The best way to make long-term care affordable is preplanning. You can shop for hybrid life and long-term care insurance to help cover the costs. Before retiring, you can also contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) to save money for assistance before enrolling in Medicare.

 

Medicare may cover part-time or intermittent care that’s needed due to a health issue or disability. If you need regular care, read through your policy first to make sure you get the benefits you deserve.

 

3.Plan for Dentist Visits and Eye Exams

 

Unfortunately, dental and eye care are is limited in Medicare coverage. The price of routine check-ups specifically will fall on your shoulders. You’ll need to get creative to minimize these cost.

 

Just like preparing for long-term care, you can contribute to an HSA in advance to stockpile money for doctor visits. There are also organizations that support retirees and low-income families with low-cost dental and eye care including the United Way.

 

Dental and optometry schools where students administer exams and procedures at a discount may be another opportunity for you to cut costs as well.

 

4.Stay In-Network

 

If you go to an out-of-network doctor, the amount you pay for healthcare increases significantly. Take the time to make sure each of the doctors you visit are in your insurance provider’s network.

 

When using Medicare, hunt for doctors that “accept assignments”. Accepting assignments means they’re willing to go through Medicare for payment and you’ll only be responsible for the deductible or copay.

 

5.Shop Around for Savings

 

The healthcare industry is like any other service industry. You’re empowered to shop around for an affordable provider. Call around to offices to find the best deal. You can even negotiate the price. At Healthcare Bluebook, find out the fair price for healthcare services to use in negotiations.

 

Same for your prescriptions. Go to a few pharmacies to comparison shop. Try GoodRx to compare drug prices and print coupons. If you’re prescribed a certain drug regularly, check your insurance policy for a mail-order drug option. It could be more cost-effective and convenient than a local pharmacy.

 

6.Take Care of Your Body

 

Your overall fitness and eating habits play a role in your ability to stay healthy and avoid injury through retirement. One major benefit of exercise is the chance it can delay heart disease, diabetes, and other complications.
Try to get an activity in each day. It could be as simple as a walk around the park. And be mindful of what you’re eating. Limit foods that contain ingredients that could be detrimental to your health like salt, sugar, and trans fat.

healthcare savings quiz

Taylor Gordon
About the Author
Taylor Gordon

Taylor K. Gordon is a freelance blogger and personal finance junkie who lives in the nation's capital. She documents her path to financial freedom and adventures in solopreneurship on her blog, Trendy Cheapo.