How to Budget for Medical Costs in 2023

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    A budget helps control your finances by providing a clear picture of your income and expenses. Health cover is an essential expense to include in your annual budget as this cover provides protection against medical costs. Discover how and why you need to factor in health cover, like health insurance, medical aid or gap cover into your budget as Bloom discuss these topics in more detail.

    Why is health cover so important?

    Health cover is important for a number of reasons, some of which include:

    • It protects one against high medical costs. Having health cover, like a medical aid plan, health insurance policy or gap cover, will assist with the cost of medical treatment and reduce the financial burden placed on people who need healthcare services.
    • Provides access to private healthcare. Health cover will ensure you and your family have access to top-quality private healthcare facilities and services.
    • Peace of mind. Having good health cover means you can rest assured that you and your family are protected against unexpected medical costs.
    • Better healthcare options. Those with access to comprehensive health coverage gain access to the correct type of healthcare services when needed. That means you get an early diagnosis and treatment for health conditions or diseases.
    • Preventative care. With health cover, you can undergo annual or routine screenings, assessments, tests and check-ups, which promote better overall health and identify any concerns which can be addressed by making lifestyle adjustments or going on a treatment plan. 
    • Prescription and chronic medication. Many health cover plans will provide benefits for prescriptive or chronic medication, which can really push up those medical costs if you’re paying out-of-pocket.

    Who needs health insurance?

    In short, everyone needs health insurance. Even if you’re young, fit and healthy, it’s still advisable to have health coverage. The following types of people benefit hugely from having cover in place: 

    • People with pre-existing medical conditions, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Health cover will help cover the cost of treatment and management. It will also cover the cost of chronic medication needed to manage the disease.
    • Children. Families with children are advised to safeguard their child’s health and well-being with health cover. Children often require frequent medical attention as they’re growing up. 
    • The elderly. As one grows older so our health declines. Older people are more inclined to develop several types of chronic conditions, like dementia, cancer, arthritis or diabetes. Furthermore, it’s difficult to get health cover when you are over a certain age threshold so it’s advisable to sign-up for a plan or policy while you’re still eligible. 
    • People with chronic conditions. These types of diseases, like diabetes or high blood pressure, require ongoing treatment, which can amount to very high medical costs if paid out-of-pocket
    • Pregnant woman. Pregnancy and childbirth can be expensive. However, it’s imperative that an expectant mother receives the correct medical care during her pregnancy journey, to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery for both mother and baby.

    What happens if you don’t have health cover?

    Many people decide not to get health cover because it’s viewed as a luxury expense. However, be advised that if you don’t have health insurance or medical aid, there are several consequences, including:

    • Increased financial burden: Without health cover, you will have to pay for medical costs out-of-pocket, which can be expensive and put a strain on your personal finances.
    • Limited access to medical care: Without health cover, you may not be able to access comprehensive medical care or may have to go without treatment altogether.
    • Under-resourced state care. While government hospitals and clinics are free, they are also under-resourced, which means you will have to wait until you can receive treatment. This could take some time. 
    • Delayed treatment. Without access to medical treatment due to cost concerns, it means that your recovery may be compromised. This could contribute to additional health problems.

    6 Ways to budget for medical costs in 2023

    The best way to make sure you include health cover in your budget is planning. There are various advantages to creating a budget, like gaining greater financial control over your income and expenses, which will allow you to make informed decisions about where and how you allocate your money. Furthermore, when you have a budget in place, you will find that you can identify areas where you can cut back and save, which leads to increased savings in the long run. It’s also a great way to avoid and manage debt. If you’re disciplined about your budget, you will refrain from overspending on expenses you don’t really need. 

    Here are some ways you can implement financial planning methods to ensure you include health cover in your budget and avoid rising medical costs: 

    1. Determine your monthly income. This is the gross income you earn each month.
    2. Calculate your expenses. This includes your housing, food, transportation or loans, like a car repayment. 
    3. Allocate a portion of your income for health cover. The way that you do this is to set aside approximately 10-15% of your monthly income.
    4. Compare different health cover plans. Take a look at medical aid, health insurance and gap. They offer different benefits and have different cost implications. Choose the option that best serves your medical needs and your available budget. 
    5. Once you’ve selected a plan, contact a broker to enrol in the plan or policy.
    6. Monitor your spending. Continue to keep track of your expenses to make sure you remain within your budget.

    Get affordable health cover with Bloom and Health4Me

    If you would like to invest in quality healthcare and value financial protection against unexpected medical costs, then you should get health cover. Protect your finances, access top-quality healthcare services and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you and your family will be taken care of in the event of unexpected medical expenses. Find a healthcare plan, like health insurance, medical aid or gap cover to suit your budget. Contact our offices to make an appointment with a trained insurance broker to discuss your options.

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