I have a high-deductible health insurance plan that leaves me on the hook for a lot of medical expense each year. Can I do anything to save money on my health care?
Consider starting a health savings account (HSA). An HSA is a type of investment account paired with a high-deductible health plan that allows you to pay for medical bills with money you've set aside tax free.
The money that you put into an HSA is not considered part of your income.
If you're self-employed you can make tax-deductible contributions to your HSA.
You don't have to pay taxes when you use the money either, as long as you're using it to pay for qualified health expenses. The money you deposit into the account rolls over from year to year and continues to grow tax free over time. You can use the money at any time to cover the cost of medical expenses.
Can I just go without insurance and get my care from the ER?
Counting on the ER for health care is not a good substitute for seeing your own doctor on a regular basis. The hospital is also likely to send you a bill for your treatment, even if you're uninsured.
You can go without health insurance. However, if you do, you’ll pay a penalty of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child in 2014 or 1% of your annual income, whichever is greater. The penalty will go up steeply in the coming years.
Certain people may be exempt from having to pay the penalty.
I'm about to turn 65, and I'm realizing that even with Medicare, my health care costs are going to be hard to afford. Can I get any help?
Maybe. It depends on how much you make each year. How much money you have in bank accounts and stocks is also considered. If your income is below a certain level you may be eligible for one or more Medicare Savings plans in your state.
There are also savings plans to help pay deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.