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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 |

How I Save on Medical Costs

I don’t know about you, but I pretty much hate going to the doctor. There’s nothing I like less than getting poked and prodded while wearing a hospital gown sitting on a paper-covered table. Thankfully, as a young and healthy individual, my trips to the doctor are few … and I’d like to keep it that way!

Since the time for open enrollment of medical insurance plans at many companies is about to get underway, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to keep my medical costs down:

  1. Enroll in a high-deductible health insurance plan. Since I don’t have many medical expenses, I choose the highest deductible plan offered by my company. Why? Well, because the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. The premium is the total amount that you pay over the course of the year for your insurance, so a lower one means less is coming out of each paycheck.
  2. Enroll in an FSA or HSA. Flexible and health savings accounts allow you to pay for any medical expenses (co-pays, medicine) you do have, tax-free. FSAs are a set dollar amount (that you choose, up to $5,000) that come out of your paycheck over the course of a year. HSAs are great too, but different—you put the money in your account, and it rolls over to the next year. You also can use that money for other things down the line, so it’s worth looking into.
  3. Eat right. I made a major switch in the way I eat about five years ago. Since I started adding a lot more whole foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, and so on) into my diet, I’ve gotten sick significantly less, had more energy, and toned up.

Pair these tips with some regular exercise, good habits (for example, washing your hands, not touching your face), and visiting the doctor for your regularly scheduled check ups (yes—you should still do this), you’ll be a force of health to be reckoned with.

Check out these other great ideas for health-care savings in this article.

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