Could you improve your financial health with a chronic condition?
So often I talk about improving well-being in the areas of mental, social, spiritual, and physical health. But the reality is, finances are just as important in managing a chronic condition or disability. In fact, uncertain finances can cause major mental distress. This is true for both the person with the chronic condition and the caregiver.
So, how can you decrease worry and stress and improve your financial health with a chronic condition?
One step is to determine the best healthcare plan for you and your healthcare needs. The fall is often the open enrollment period for many insurance plans. So, this is the perfect time to do a deeper dive into how your insurance worked for you this past year. And what changes you are anticipating for next year. While it might seem easiest to renew the same policy from one year to the next, it may be worth your time to ask yourself some important questions.
Items to Consider
Is the health condition stable? Or do you expect a significant change to how the condition is managed this year? For example, are you anticipating surgery? If yes, the costs associated with surgery might call for a second look at your current insurance plan. Additional questions to consider are:
- will the surgery be performed by a doctor you are already working with, or a new doctor?
- If the doctor is new, are they in your insurance policy’s network?
- Is the facility in which the surgery will take place also in-network for your plan?
Does your current plan cover your prescriptions medications as you expected? If not, investigate your options. Also, if you expect more prescription medications this year, how will that affect your choice of plan?
Are you interested in trying an experimental or novel intervention? If so, is that covered by your insurance?
Are you more comfortable with a lower premium/higher deductible or higher premium/lower deductible? It may seem obvious to choose the lower monthly premium. However, as one doctor said, “If you have a chronic condition and use a lot of health care, the plan that is the most expensive to purchase could end up being the lowest cost given how it covers your needs.” So, don’t assume that the plan with the lower monthly premium will be the best plan for you in the end.
Did you come close to meeting the out-of-pocket expenses? If you reach that amount each year, you may want to consider a plan with lower out-of-pocket costs. But, only if you are also agreeable with the premiums, deductibles, and prescription coverage for that plan.
The bottom line is that choosing the right insurance plan can be intimidating. But spending time comparing plans can have a big pay-off. And help you improve your financial health with a chronic condition. If you need help making the right decision for you or your family, consider consulting with your doctor. Also, a social worker or an accountant may be able to help.
Disclaimer: This blog is a resource through which you may obtain information regarding your health and wellness. Information is intended for the general reader and is not a substitute for medical advice. The content in this blog is intended to be informational only and not interpreted as specific advice for you. There may be delays, omissions, or inaccuracies in information contained in this blog. You should always consult with a licensed healthcare professional who is familiar with your health and past medical history before making any changes you may read about in this blog.