With the average person's retirement savings sitting at only $30,000, it is important to learn how to keep your health expenses down in retirement. Here are some tips that will help you control your medical expenses during this time.
1. Consider the Cost of Health Insurance - When you retire, you may be eligible for Medicare benefits, which would cover most of your medical expenses. If Medicare is not available to you or if it does not cover all of your needs, consider other options for coverage such as private supplement plans or employer-sponsored retiree insurance programs. These are generally more expensive than traditional coverage but they often have no limits on preexisting conditions and many times give more benefits for less money.
2. Keep Track of Medical Expenses - Many people miss or forget about medical bills, prescriptions and other medical costs during their retirement years. Take the time to keep track of all your medical expenses so you can accurately budget where your money is going each month. If needed, find ways to cut back on some of these expenses for a more affordable lifestyle.
3. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance - If you want to protect your family from the burden of paying for your medical care if you get sick, long-term care insurance may be right for you. It is very important, however, that you only buy policies that do not pay cash directly to the patient. These sorts of programs only give money to family members for their care and can actually encourage poorer health on the part of the insured person.
4. Budget Carefully - As you get older, it is important that you be smart about your spending habits and include common medical expenses in your budget each month. For example, if you require regular medication, you should include that in your monthly food and living expenses.
5. Consider Supplemental Coverage - If you are still young enough to work but didn't think about buying medical insurance as a retiree, consider purchasing supplemental coverage such as short-term health insurance or critical illness plans to help protect yourself against unforeseen illnesses and accidents.