Welcome to Blogtober Day 4! Today I am sharing a guest post written by the lovely Valentina who contacted me through my Facebook page. I love her tips and hope you find them useful too!
6 Ways To Plan Finances When You Have A Chronic Illness! – A guest post from Valentina Wilson
Having a chronic illness can take a toll on your health, both physically and mentally!
In many cases, chronic illness sets a limit to a person’s daily activities. You start a day with high energy levels. But things like chronic pain, immune problems, and everyday tasks are enough to drain your energy levels!
Apart from all these physical demands of a chronic illness, it needs financial attention too! Being a patient of chronic illness, you should know about the financial implications of the illness.
If you are living with a chronic illness, following these tips can be helpful to manage finances in a bit easier way!
Stick to your budget
No doubt, sticking to a realistic budget helps you to handle your dollars efficiently. Besides, it helps you to develop a habit of saving money by trimming unnecessary expenses!
But when you have a chronic illness, healthcare costs are never far from your mind! Every time you visit the doctor or get a new prescription, you might think about the expenses.
Go through your previous year’s medical bills and calculate how much you have spent on your chronic condition. Make sure to include copays, premiums, lab work, specialist visits, etc.
You can make a rough estimate of how much you will pay this year. Compare your current insurance plan to last year’s if anything has changed.
By the way, do you have an out-of-pocket prescription every month?
Include that in your budget too and try to find out categories where you can trim your costs!
Maintain an emergency fund
It’s impossible for us to predict our future! But what you can do is to prepare for any kind of adverse situation!
And here lies the importance of a rainy day fund! You can’t use your health insurance for every expense. To cover any sort of minor emergencies, you can use your emergency fund.
Let’s say, you need an emergency room visit or an urgent repair of your car or your home. In this situation, you might tend to opt for short-term loans to cover the expenses.
But let me tell you, usually these loans come with very high-interest rates which are enough to make you fall prey to the debt trap!
So, start saving your money for your emergency fund right from today!
Know about health insurance policies
A great way to cover qualified out-of-pocket medical costs is buying a health insurance policy.
Well, before you opt for a health insurance policy you need to review certain things like:
- List of things which the plan will cover
- The deductible and coinsurance of that policy
- How much you will need to pay for the copay
- What prescriptions will cost
Besides, you should note down any exclusions or exceptions to the coverage of that policy.
In the US, depending on your income and health situation, you might be eligible for assistance programs! For example, Medicaid, CHIP, and other government subsidies are there to help with the cost of insurance premiums.
In the UK, if you are a permanent resident, you have a good chance of getting free healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS).
On this note, are you one of those lucky ones with an employer-provided insurance plan?
Well in the US, it’s called Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA). Your employer will deduct money from your paycheck. And it will get deposited into a savings account that you can use for medical expenses.
Moreover, you will get tax benefits too! Let’s say, your annual paycheck is $30.000. And you put $2,000 into your FSA. You will be taxed at $28,000 though you earned $30,000! In 2019, you can contribute up to $2,700 to your FSA.
Keep track of the medical costs
You should keep a tab on the out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, and non-formulary prescription drug costs.
Keep all your medical bills organized and arrange them according to the “date of service”.
You may talk to your financial advisor to discuss the medical costs. He/she can help you consolidate your accounts and simplify your finances!
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Doing exercises can have important health benefits when you have a chronic disease like diabetes, asthma, or back or joint pain.
One of the smart ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle is doing an aerobic exercise regularly. For example:
In diabetes, doing exercises regularly can help insulin lower your blood pressure level. Besides, it can help you control your weight and boost energy level.
Back pain: If you do regular low-impact aerobic exercise, it can increase the strength of your back. Moreover, it can improve your muscle function.
Arthritis: Exercising with arthritis can help you to reduce pain and maintain muscle strength in the joint and reduce joint stiffness.
Usually when you have a chronic disease, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious food and regular exercise can make you feel better. And thereby you can spend less time and money on medical treatment!
However, consult your doctor before you start exercising. The doctor might recommend specific exercises to reduce pain or build strength!
Plan things beforehand
Have you thought of creating an estate plan?
I would say, it’s a high time to do that now. Creating an estate plan will give you peace of mind. You can plan how you want your assets settled.
An estate plan is a set of legal documents to ensure how you would like your estate to be managed after your incapacitation or demise.
You can protect your family and other beneficiaries from the burden of inheritance tax by creating an estate plan.
Besides, you should include creating a living will to your estate plan. So that, it can help you to make specific decisions about your medical care.
You can give power of attorney to someone you trust! He/she will manage the household details if you become temporarily incapacitated.
So, what are you thinking? You might have thought it would be cumbersome to plan your finances being a patient of chronic disease! Actually, it’s not that!
What do you say? Let me knoiw in the comments box below!