Having to deal with healthcare and the out of pocket medical cost is something that I have found to be very important in these past few years. I always took for granted that healthcare would be there to take care of our needs. I never realized when my husband lost his job in 2017 just how expensive healthcare can be. Then I started to worry about my parents and my grandmother who is turning 94 this year. My parents are now starting their 70s and my Grandma, although sound mind has had some physical issues that have put her into an assisted living care situation. Until she broke her hip 3 years ago, she had lived on her own.
Sitting Down and Talking About Healthcare Costs
I decided, being the oldest child I would sit down with my parents and discuss what options they had and make sure they were covered properly. I feel it is important for medical expenses to be taken care of no matter what age. As we get older, and as our loved ones get older, planning ahead is even more important to make sure mine and their finances are in line.
A few things I felt were important to discuss with them were:
- That taking control of their health care wasn’t just about scheduling their appointments
- It is also important to stay up to date with their preventive care
- Make sure they keep track of their medical costs, both the expected as well as unexpected
- Monthly budgeting sheets like the one at the bottom of this post are a simple and stress-free way to keep track of their finances
I will admit talking to my parents about topics like this was a bit hard. Once I explained I was just looking out for them, they seemed to receive my ideas and thoughts better than I expected.
Once we were done talking about these topics I found that not only did I feel better, so did they. We were able to open up the conversation to include other topics I have been worrying about and get it all out in the open.
How To Discuss Healthcare Planning
Do you find that you have concerns about affordable healthcare options, or loved one’s healthcare needs? If so take time to have the discussion with them. Here are some tips:
- Let them know you are only concerned about their well being and not trying to pry.
- Make sure you set up a time to talk to them, and not in front of other family members or friends.
- Plan ahead and have the information ready whether it is online or literature.
- Offer them help when needed or someone that can help if you aren’t always available.
- You know your parents or grandparents so approach them in a way that feels comfortable if my way isn’t workable for you.
To help plan for healthcare costs, Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans have developed a cost calculator. This calculator can alleviate some of the stress of managing healthcare cost for your entire family by being prepared for the year ahead.
Using this graphic below as I mentioned earlier might be helpful. Download it here and then print it out for your use.