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3: Analyze Your Circumstances

Identify Options for Paying for Health Care

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

You cannot control health conditions inherited from your family, but you have choices in how to manage the costs. You can:

  1. Accept the costs of health care. Although most Americans receive health insurance through an employer or government plan, others pay out of pocket. Just like saving for retirement, it is a good idea to have a savings fund dedicated to health care costs.
  2. Reduce the costs of health care. It takes some effort, but it’s possible to save on health care by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking advantage of employer-sponsored wellness programs, discount prescription or service cards, free preventive services, nutritional counseling, teledoc/telehealth services, generic drugs, etc.
  3. Avoid costs of health care. Some people will choose to forego health care services like putting off an expensive tooth crown, not filling a prescription or ignoring a chronic disease/condition. These tactics can carry a higher cost if they lead to an emergency room visit, hospital stay or more serious health issue.
  4. Use insurance to share health care costs. Insurance helps you manage risk by passing some of the cost to a third party — the insurance company — in exchange for the payment of a premium.
SAM tips

Create a Medical Emergency Savings Fund

Forty-four percent of people could not afford an emergency medical expense of $400. Take SAM’s Emergency Fund Plan course to get started on your medical emergency savings fund.

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