7 Tips to Help Young Adults Manage Healthcare Costs

Manage Healthcare CostsMost people in their twenties don’t necessarily have to worry about their health but it is not too early to start thinking about managing the cost of health care as a young adult. Many Americans, especially when they are young and just starting their careers are not able to get health insurance from their employer.

This makes handling the cost of health care billing especially challenging and many young people may not understand their medical bills enough to pay the lowest possible cost.  There are a few ways to make your healthcare more affordable and prevent yourself from struggling with medical billing costs now or in the future when health becomes a more serious issue.

  1. Find Insurance Coverage – If your employer does not offer health insurance coverage it is important to find your own options that meet your needs and are affordable for you.  Under the Affordable Care Act you will be able to remain covered by your parent’s insurance plan up until the age of 26.  Talk to your parents if you fall into this age range and ask them what type of healthcare coverage they have.  If you are in your late 20s and are no longer covered under their plan then you need to look into purchasing your own insurance.
  2. Choose a Higher Deductible – When you do sign up for your own health insurance, it can be more affordable to pay a high deductible.  This can lower your monthly cost and is the best option if you are in good health and are not likely to visit the doctor very often.
  3. Open a Savings Account for Healthcare – If you end up opting for a higher deductible insurance plan then this can go hand in hand with setting up a health savings account.  The savings account can help pay for prescriptions, contact lenses and other medical expenses and is only offered to those who pay a high deductible.
  4. Ask about Cheaper Prescriptions – At times in a medical setting your physician might initially offer pricier brands of prescription drugs but be aware that you have other options.  Ask for the generic versions of the same types of drugs and you can save a lot of money on your medication and avoid a surprisingly expensive medical bill.  These medications are usually equally as effective and are a fraction of the cost.
  5. Read through Your Medical Charges – Often the most expensive types of healthcare bills are the ones that contain a number of mistakes and overcharges that people don’t even notice.  Ask for an itemized invoice that lists every single charge and look through all of them to make sure that there is nothing suspicious.  If you find anything that does not reflect the services you received then you can ask for it to be removed.
  6. Consider a Community Clinic – If you are worried that your income will not be enough to meet your healthcare costs then there are plenty of community programs that offer free or inexpensive health care services for those with low incomes.  These centers have all the resources of a traditional doctor’s office without the high cost.
  7. Take Steps to Maintain Your Health – As a young adult you have the opportunity to prevent your health from becoming a problem.  If you develop good habits now like eating healthy food, exercising regularly and cutting down on alcohol or smoking then you have a better chance of avoiding costly illnesses.  Not all aspects of health are in your control but your lifestyle choices can have a big impact on your well-being in the future.

photo credit: Lisa Brewster via photopin cc