Medical expenses are difficult enough when you know what to expect, but when a medical emergency hits, you can be left in an extremely stressful financial situation. While saving and preparing for the future can be difficult, especially when you're living one paycheck at a time, there are ways you can save. Budgeting, saving and preparing are all ways to get your family through the difficult time of medical problems.
Step 1: Pay off Past Medical Debt
One of the most important ways to prepare for a potential medical emergency is to make sure all your past medical debt is paid. This is important because your level of debt with your local medical professionals may weigh on whether that professional will see you or allow a bill to incur in the event of a medical problem or emergency.
Step 2: Understand Your Medical Insurance Benefits
One of the ways to prepare for a medical emergency is to understand your medical benefits and what your out-of-pocket costs could be. This will help give you an idea of what you should or need to put aside in a savings account or help you consider if you need a secondary insurance plan to help you get through a tough time with minimal financial strain on you. One thing to consider if opting for secondary insurance is that you will then have two deductibles to meet and two premiums to pay. Make sure it's worth it before you opt for another plan.
Step 3: Put Money Aside
Saving for an emergency medical expense is no different than saving for anything else. You need to determine the amount you want to save every month and put the money into a savings account. The best way to do this is by automatic transfer when you get paid. You can set up your accounts so that on the days you get paid (or other scheduled days), your bank will automatically transfer a set amount from your primary account to your savings account. This makes it easy to forget about trying to budget savings into your paychecks, which can lead to lack of saving.
Step 4: Prepare for the Future
If you haven't done a will, power of attorney or other medical documentation, you need to. Another way you can prepare for emergency medical expenses is to have all of your paperwork in place that would go into effect in a major medical situation. This documentation can include where the money would come from for bills to be paid, if you have life or accident insurance and other factors that may help minimize the cost.
When preparing for emergency medical expenses, it can be difficult to know where to start. A medical emergency can include anything from a broken bone to cancer and the cost of treatment is wildly different. With a few tips and tricks in place, you can feel more in control of your future and alleviate the stress of family members in the event of a medical emergency.