Health care is expensive, and the amount of money spent on it can vary widely depending on the size of your family, your income and your other financial concerns.
Here are a few tips for saving on health insurance, deductibles, and other health care costs.
Get health insurance in a state that offers affordable health care.
Most states offer at least some kind of health insurance that includes basic benefits, such as coverage for basic health care services, and deductibles and copayments.
Some also offer health insurance for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.
A few states offer both health insurance and employer-based health insurance.
But many states do not have a single insurance provider.
The Affordable Care Act requires the states to provide health insurance to people who qualify for subsidies that cover up to $2,500 in out-of-pocket expenses for the cost of health care, including the cost for doctors, hospitals, drugs, vision care, dental care, vision rehabilitation, physical therapy and lab tests.
If you are a person who qualifies, your state may offer subsidized health insurance plans that offer additional benefits, like free or reduced co-pays, but those plans cannot be used for all health care expenses.
For example, some states, including Massachusetts, offer no-cost bronze plans that provide coverage for certain services, but cannot be combined with the state’s individual health plan.
You should talk with your health plan or medical provider about whether you qualify for subsidized health care insurance, which is available at the state level.
You may also need to contact the state Medicaid office, which may be able to help you enroll in the plan or help you decide whether you need help with deductibles.
Consider using health savings accounts.
Many health plans offer savings accounts for people who want to use their savings for health care bills.
The savings accounts typically come with a certain amount of cash in them, and you can withdraw that amount at any time for use on medical care or other health expenses.
These accounts can help you save for health insurance premiums, copayment amounts and deductible payments.
For some people, this can be an important part of their health care plan.
But it is also a way for some to save for unexpected expenses, including for children or for emergencies.
These types of accounts may be an option if you do not qualify for Medicare.
For more information on health savings and other accounts, see the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
Set aside a small budget for medical expenses.
Your family and your medical provider can set up a shared budget that is set aside for certain medical expenses and medical procedures.
For medical expenses, a shared health savings account may be a good idea.
If your doctor or other medical provider recommends an out- of-pocket expense that you cannot pay, you may want to set aside money in your account for that expense.
You can also set aside a separate account to cover a medical procedure that requires the use of a costly hospital or outpatient procedure, such the cataract surgery.
For an additional cost, you can also use your money to pay for prescriptions, tests and medications.
You do not need to make a separate monthly budget, and it can be a fun way to save up for medical costs.
Set up a medical savings account for yourself.
If possible, you should set up an account for you and your family.
In addition to using your health savings for medical bills, setting up an insurance account or other type of health savings plan is another way to keep your health care coverage up-to-date.
This is particularly important if you are sick or in poor health, because insurance plans often are not sufficient to cover the medical costs associated with your condition.
Set-up a plan for yourself so that you and the people in your family who are not covered by your health insurance are able to make payments.
A health insurance plan can be purchased on a health insurance issuer’s website or online.
This will give you the option to buy insurance or pay for the insurance yourself, or both.
The issuer may also have a set of financial tools available to help set up the account.
Use your money for other health costs.
You might also be able that you can set aside more money for the purchase of health services.
For instance, you might set aside some of your health expenses to pay a deductible or copay for certain types of services, such prescription medications or preventive care.
You could also set up additional health savings, like a plan that covers certain outpatient services or certain laboratory tests.
For a list of types of health expenses that can be covered through a plan, see our list of health benefits.