By: Madeline Inskeep
When asked about their budgeting habits, it was reported this year that over half of Americans set aside less than 50 dollars per month for healthcare costs. It was also discovered that nearly forty percent of Americans say that they would go into debt if faced with a medical bill of 100 dollars or more - this percentage increases for American women!
If you’re planning to have a baby, these are pretty intimidating statistics, especially with healthcare costs rising in the States. And considering the fact that the average American family spends 8.8k dollars out-of-pocket on medical expenses for a baby’s first year of care, it’s really important to set some assets aside so that those costs don’t cause more stress than they need to.
With that in mind, here are a few simple and savvy tips when budgeting for baby bills – a little planning can go a long way!
If you haven’t already done so through a benefits program with your employer, set up a Health Savings Account, or a Flexible Spending Account. These kinds of accounts can help you save for medical costs using pre-tax dollars. With the RexPay app, you can easily access these accounts to pay your bills, and the app even allows you to track your balances. Here are two extra pointers to keep in mind:
An FSA account has to be used up within in the calendar year, but is available for use with most types of health insurance plans. They tend to be most helpful when you’re budgeting for high healthcare costs - like having a baby!
An HSA account can rollover to following years, but you may need a higher deductible insurance plan for this to apply. Any interest gained on your HSA is also tax-free, and sometimes, your employer may offer a contribution to your HSA, which is a nice bonus when dealing with multiple baby bills!
Think about applying for healthcare financing. Because credit card payments tend to have high interest rates, this option might help you save money as most healthcare loans have flexible or lower interest rates. Healthcare financiers like Care Credit, Green Sky and United Medical are specifically designed for patients, and can give you payment options suited to your situation.
Get the tax refund you need! When preparing for baby bills (and for larger, planned expenses in general) many people forget to keep track of their out-of-pocket (not insured) health costs throughout the year. But don’t forget that those costs are tax deductible, and could afford you a needed tax break next April! The RexPay app automatically records those totals so you can maintain a little bandwidth for baby care costs.
Finally, be sure to consider when your baby is due and how your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum will be affected. Both your deductible and maximum reset every calendar year, so keep track of when your baby is due in relation to those assets, so that you can track your costs accordingly!
Speaking of deductibles, that’s the amount of money that you want to set aside. If your deductible is $6,000, you need to prepare to spend all of that, because insurance won’t cover anything until that deductible is met. Keep in mind that for most deductibles, copays and coinsurance costs do not count toward your deductible.
Budgeting for medical bills can feel impossible, but every bit of planning counts when you’re preparing for a new arrival. RexPay can help you get those baby bills organized and paid so that you can recover and leave medical cost stress where it belongs – behind you!