Medical expenses are a significant source of concern for many Americans. However, there are methods that people may take to prevent medical debt in retirement. Thanks to Danielle Kunkle at Boomer Benefits, who gave some practical tips we can use in his Forbes article “How To Avoid Medical Debt In Your Retirement.“
The most important thing to remember is to sign up for Medicare on time. Late enrollment in Medicare carries significant penalties. You can avoid penalties by enrolling in Medicare when you first become eligible. The longer you wait to register the more penalties you will incur, which can be very costly.
Mind the Gaps
People should also think about filling coverage gaps by purchasing Medicare Advantage or other Medicare supplements that cover healthcare services not covered by traditional Medicare.
Do a Double-Take
Retirees can protect themselves from overcharging by carefully reviewing their medical bills. Don’t just assume that the statement for your medical care is right. Billing mistakes happen so often that insurance companies ask their policyholders to send them their bills before they pay them so we can check them.
Working individuals are encouraged to contribute to their health savings account (HSA). The money they put into this account is tax deductible. Then, when they retire, they can use these funds to pay for medical bills. Individuals should do everything possible to maximize their yearly contribution under their qualified employer health plan.
Stay Plastic Free
Health care is expensive and unpredictable. Do not use credit cards to cover medical expenses. As they strive to pay off their debts, financing fees are added to the cost of medical care when you pay with a credit card. Ask your medical provider about a direct-payment plan option. This is an excellent way to avoid paying interest.
By making wise healthcare decisions by planning, hopefully, individuals can avoid medical debt that would otherwise put a strain on their golden years.