Summarize Your Annual Health Care Costs
For the purposes of this course, health care costs include insurance premiums, services (anytime you see a specialist — health, dental, vision, hearing, alternative care, physical therapy, etc.) and goods (prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies, crutches, wheelchairs, topical ointments, etc.).
National health care expenditures are expected to grow through 2026. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimate:
- Health care spending will comprise approximately 20 percent of the U.S. economy by 2026, up from 18 percent in 2016.
- Prescription drug pricing will grow the fastest, rising about 6 percent each year.
- An increasingly aging population and high demand for services will drive up national health spending.
- Through 2026, growth in personal health care spending is projected to average 5.5 percent.
My Annual Health Care Costs
Make a list of regular health costs, noting how you pay for them. For example, you know that you fill a prescription every 90 days, you see your specialist every three months or you have a supplemental prescription plan that you pay monthly.
Complete this worksheet for every member of the household. Save it to your desktop and revisit it annually.
- Describe the health care item or related expense in the first column.
- Identify the frequency of the item or expense in the second column.
- Assign a cost to the item or expense in the third column.
- Calculate the annual cost in the fourth column.
- At the end of the worksheet, tally the total annual costs for all items.
Ok, breathe in. If you worry about paying for health care, the next section introduces strategies you can use to control costs.