You need—and deserve—the means for sufficient healthcare, especially when conditions come up that you have no control over. Unfortunately, healthcare can be extremely expensive, creating a substantial burden on your finances. As a full time employee, you should have access to some health care benefits that can help reduce that burden on your healthcare! Here are a few examples of those benefits you should take advantage of if possible.
A health savings account (HSA) is a space you can deposit money into routinely and then access later when your high deductible health plan does not completely cover the necessary expenses. Withdrawing money from the account, especially for non-medical reasons, may cost a penalty fee, but this could still be worth the extra cost if the money is needed for emergencies. With an HSA, the owner has full control over the money in the account, and that money rolls over from year to year. Keep in mind that individuals with an HSA will not be eligible for Medicare!
Where an HSA is held solely by the individual for whom it benefits, an FSA or “flexible spending account” is held by an individual’s employer. Even though the individual does not have direct control over this account like they would an HSA, it can be accessed similarly for as long as you are employed. You can use your FSA to pay for a variety of medical expenses, including dental treatments. The biggest benefit of an FSA is the fact that beneficiaries do not have to pay taxes on this money. Instead, they save the amount they would have had to pay in taxes, on the money they have held in the account.
Paid Sick/Medical Leave
While HSAs and FSAs are both obviously beneficial account options, don’t forget about the lower key benefits of your workplace! Paid sick leave or medical leave is one way you can take the time you need to heal and improve without missing valuable workdays. This is as much a means of prevention as it is a means of rest and recuperation—allowing yourself the time to actually heal can keep your condition from worsening, which then requires non-paid leave and more medical expenses! Look for jobs with these benefits, and use these days when you need them most, remembering that it is actually saving you money in the long-run!
While healthcare is not going to be a walk in the park to handle, there are resources out there to help. If you feel like your payments have or may become a burden, remember these three benefits. Do your own research as well to find what help you qualify for!
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