45% of Americans with health insurance still avoid care due to cost

You often hear that not having health insurance is a dangerous thing. If you are injured or require extensive treatment in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, you could be facing truly catastrophic bills without some kind of coverage.

But let’s be clear—having health insurance does not guarantee that your medical bills will be affordable. In fact, 45% of insured Americans avoid medical care because they know or fear their health insurance won’t cover the cost, according to a new survey from Policygenius. this is a big problem.

You can’t let health problems escalate

The problem with avoiding medical care is twofold. First, you may risk damaging your health if you allow certain problems to worsen. If you don’t seek treatment early when you have a health problem, you may run the risk of letting the problem escalate to a point where treatment becomes more expensive.

That’s why it’s important to set aside money for health care expenses. This won’t necessarily be easy, but this way, you’ll have funds to draw on when the need arises. And you don’t have to risk worsening your physical or financial situation.

The best way to save on medical expenses

When it comes to setting aside money for medical expenses, you have several options. You can add more funds to your savings account. But you may want to contribute to an account that offers a tax deduction for the money you deposit.

One option is to deposit funds into a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). When medical expenses arise, you can withdraw money as needed. Just be careful with FSAs, as these plans often operate on a “use it and lose it” basis, and the money you put in doesn’t roll over from year to year. If you contribute too much in a given year, you may lose unused funds.

Another option worth considering is a health savings account (HSA). These accounts are similar to FSAs, except you don’t have to spend down your plan balance each year. In fact, we actually encourage you not to do this if possible, because an HSA allows you to invest your balance tax-free, so it can grow larger over time. The only problem is that with an HSA, your health plan needs to meet certain rules to qualify. These may change from year to year.

In 2024, to qualify for an HSA, you’ll need a deductible of at least $1,600 for self-insurance or $3,200 for home insurance. Your out-of-pocket maximum must also be limited to $8,050 (individual coverage only) or $16,100 (family coverage only).

How much medical expenses can be saved

As for how a lot of One measure of saving money is saving enough to meet your health insurance deductible. In the aforementioned survey, 28% of people with health insurance said they couldn’t afford their deductible. But if you save that much money, you can buy yourself some protection—so you don’t have to sit on the sidelines if a health problem arises.

Your deductible is the amount you must pay before your health insurance company will pay for your care. Once you hit your deductible, you’re not necessarily done paying your medical bills for the year, but typically, from that point on, your bills won’t be that great because your coverage kicks in. So if you can save more money than your deductible needs, that’s even better. But at least saving on your deductible is a good start.

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