Between rising premiums, direct taxation, and more frequent doctor visits in the name of preventative care, it can begin to feel like health care costs are rising—rapidly. In fact, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that’s precisely the case: Per-person health care costs have nearly doubled since 2001. (That year, the per-person average was $5,220. In 2016? $10,360.)
All of this amounts to the sensation that medical expenses are an inescapable, ever-tightening vice. But even in the face of these precipitous figures, there’s still hope! By adopting a few easy-to-implement tactics—which we’ve gathered here—you can bring those rising health care costs to a screeching halt. That way, you’ll have more money set aside to live your best life—forever. And for more ways to keep you medical costs as low as possible, maximize your overall health level by learning the 100 Ways to Live to 100.
Open a flexible-spending account.
If your employer offers one, you can fund it with a percentage of your salary and use it for medical expenses that your health insurance plan doesn’t cover, such as eyeglasses or co-pays for doctor visits. Since the money you set aside isn’t taxed, every dollar you shell out goes further. And for more ways to set aside some extra scratch, learn the 40 Ways to Seriously Boost Your Savings After 40.
Maximize your medical deductions.
You can deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses that are greater than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. Corrective laser eye surgery, smoking cessation programs, and money spent on care for an aging parent can all be deducted. For a complete list, consult IRS Publication 502.
Drive a harder bargain with your doctor.
Medical treatments that may not be covered by insurance—such as alternative medicine—often come with negotiable price tags. Before your appointments, research prices online, and come equipped with standard industry figures.
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