All parents agree that when they get sick, it’s bad. But when their kid is sick? It can be terrifying. Part of having a happy family is having a healthy family. Of course, your family’s health is worth any amount of money, but it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune! There are several steps that you can take to help prepare your finances and your family for a great health care experience.
Exercise is good for you, your partner, and your children. It can prevent obesity, hypertension, and obesity-related diabetes. By keeping your family healthy, you automatically reduce some health care costs (you also help set your family members up for a lifetime of low health care costs).
Come up with fun ways to keep your whole family active. Maybe check out a local park where you can hike or go for family bike rides! It’s not important that you’re all in the best shape, it’s just important that you’re all actually out and about.
An understanding of good nutrition is one of the best things you can give your family. Dieting shouldn’t be about weight loss, it should be about getting all of the nutrients you and your family need in your diet. Make it a family activity to find new ways to make old favorites healthy! For example, swapping your regular spaghetti for whole wheat pasta can add some great fiber and whole grains to your diet. Maybe trade fruit snacks for baggies of fresh fruit. Get creative so eating healthy doesn’t feel like a chore.
After the Affordable Care Act, you’re required to have health insurance for your family. What kind of health insurance do you need, though? You may opt for a plan that offers comprehensive coverage, minimal coverage, or somewhere in between. Comprehensive coverage will have the lowest deductible, which is your out of pocket expense. A high deductible health care plan will have the lowest monthly premiums, but the highest out of pocket cost if you have a health issue.
Saving for Health Expenses
No matter what kind of insurance plan you choose, you’ll have out of pocket expenses. For those expenses, you should consider a flexible spending account or a health savings account if you have a high deductible health plan. FSAs and HSAs allow you to deposit pre-tax money into an account for use with eligible expenses. FSA benefits families who aren’t on a high deductible plan, but the HSA contribution limits make it the best option if you do have a HDHP. An FSA or HSA account can greatly increase your financial preparedness, though! Especially in case of an emergency.