|How to keep your health up and costs down|
|Written by BPT|
No matter your age, you can help keep your body healthy and your money out of the health care system by eating right, exercising and avoiding habits that contribute to chronic illness. Having the appropriate insurance may also help your bottom line more than you think. Follow this guide to see if you have what you need at various stages in life.
“It also comes with a powerful triple tax benefit: Not only are contributions tax-deductible, but earnings and qualified withdrawals are tax-free, too,” says J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner at USAA.
Here’s another option: If you’re an unmarried dependent who doesn’t have access to employer-sponsored health care, you can stay on your parents’ health plan until you turn 26.
While a health plan may cover much of your treatment costs, a critical illness plan typically pays a lump-sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a significant illness or suffer a heart attack or stroke. It may provide extra money for things like child care and housecleaning while you’re on the mend. “The benefits provided by accident and critical illness insurance help take away the financial stress so you can focus on recovering,” says Greg Galdau, USAA assistant vice president of health solutions.
Health insurance can pay some of your medical bills, but what about the income you could lose if you become seriously sick or are injured and can’t work? That’s what disability insurance is for. Your employer may provide some coverage, but it usually isn’t portable, so consider a personal policy you can take with you if you quit or lose your job.
Consider a flexible spending account. Your employer may offer one of these tax-advantaged plans that let you use pretax dollars to pay for medical expenses and dependent care, too.
Start learning about long-term care insurance. If you equate long-term care insurance with nursing home coverage, think again. While it can cover those costs, it generally does something even more appealing - help give you the resources you need to stay in your home.
If you’ve become a caregiver for a parent or other family member, tap into information resources such as care.com or those provided by the National Alliance for Caregiving to make your role as easy as possible.