It’s no secret that the cost of healthcare is rising at an astonishing rate. In 2019, the average American household saw a 6.8 percent increase in total household income – far above the historical average. That same year, the average costs of living increased by 2.8 percent while private health insurance spending grew 3.7 percent, and out of pocket healthcare spending increased by 4.6 percent. With numbers like this, it’s no wonder the average American family just can’t seem to get ahead.
Private health insurance, either employer sponsored or privately paid, has often been seen as the solution to this problem; however, one study recently found that in 2020, the average annual deductible for single, individual coverage is $4,364 and $8,439 for family coverage. Traditional health insurance itself costs, on average, over $1,400 per month and while many employers share that cost burden, many households still see payroll deductions between $200 and $800 per month for healthcare premiums.
In the near-term, there is no relief in sight so each individual, and family, should take a close look at their healthcare needs, and expenses, with an eye towards doing everything that they can to reduce costs and optimize savings. During a normal trip to the grocery store, a wise consumer might look at two similar products, brand, packages size, serving size, and total costs – then make a decision as to which represents the better value. With the right tools, healthcare costs can be controlled in a similar manner.
Some households have access to a private or employer sponsored Health Insurance Plan and some have even chosen to enroll in a Health Saving Account where they can have a portion of their pay deducted, tax free, for future use on healthcare expenditures. In addition to monthly premiums, these Individuals, often must cover the first $500 – $5,000 in costs each year (deductibles) plus between 5 and 20 percent of the cost of care (co-pays). Some households do not have access to traditional Health Insurance, even a high-deductible plan, and must pay all healthcare costs out of pocket. In either case, healthcare costs need to be approached with the same, value based, diligence as any other financial decision. Most consumers “shop around” for even small purchases, yet often fail to approach healthcare expenditures with the same mentality. With access to tools like those found in a Discount Healthcare Program like Advantage Health Plus, consumers can put themselves back in the driver’s seat and take control of healthcare costs.