Saving Money On Health Care
I spent some time this weekend reading Fred Brock’s latest book, Health Care on Less Than You Think so that I could review it.
Of course, I had another big motive as well: finding ways to save money on health care. Over the past 9 years, I’ve spent $30,234.21 on healthcare-related items. This includes insurance, copays, prescriptions, doctor’s visits, counseling, dental visits, and eyecare. And that’s with everyone remaining pretty healthy!
The book opens with a sobering overview of the current state of healthcare in the United States, especially when compared with other industrialized nations. It then discusses various types of health insurance plans, along with HSAs and FSAs. I especially liked that the book provided clear definitions for terminology you’re likely to encounter when researching health care plans. Trying to decide on a health insurance plan is confusing enough without searching for what the terms mean. Did you know that health care coverages and premiums can vary so much from state to state? I was surprised to learn this! So much so that in certain circumstances it may be in your interest to move.
The remainder of the book covers topics such as COBRA, HIPPA, Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, employer-based & private plans of all sorts, long term care insurance, prescriptions, claims assistance professionals, pricing factors and ways to negotiate with providers, and battling your insurance company (if you have one) to be sure they’re paying for the things they should. Brock refers readers to a variety of websites for additional information. This includes worksheets for choosing an insurance plan! It also includes making the most of a flexible spending account and minimizing prescription drug costs.
Overall I thought Health Care on Less Than You Think was beneficial, especially in the area of saving money on prescription drugs (Did you know that drug companies provide free drugs to those who qualify?) and on navigating the waters of Medicare. The book has certainly inspired me to do much more in the areas of retirement planning than “just” saving money. Especially since I’ve seen first-hand estates wiped out due to nursing home stays!