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Use a health savings account

The Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged funding source that helps you save up for medical expenses. Contributions are tax-deductible and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free, so you’ll save money the instant funds leave the account to pay a bill.

The contribution limits for 2023 are $3,850 per individual and $7,750 to cover your family, according to the IRS. That’s up from the $3,650 and $7,300 thresholds in 2022. The HSA can be used not only to help you save money for short-term health expenses but also to build a cushion over time.

That’s because you can actually invest HSA funds in stocks and bonds. But of course you’ll always discuss these options with a trusted financial adviser before setting up an account.

Stop overpaying for home insurance

Home insurance is an essential expense – one that can often be pricey. You can lower your monthly recurring expenses by finding a more economical alternative for home insurance.

Officialhomeinsurance can help you do just that. Their online marketplace of vetted home insurance providers allows you to quickly shop around for rates from the country’s top insurance companies, and ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your home insurance.

Explore better rates

Shop around for health care services

Looking for standardized health care costs is like walking into an office supply store and hoping they have just one type of printer cartridge instead 300.

Cruising through the ClearHealthCosts website will show you just how much a medical procedure can vary in price within the same metro area or region, not uncommonly by a factor of 10 or more. And statistics cited in Harvard Magazine show that even pre-COVID, $3.5 trillion was spent on healthcare in America — with a third of that wasted.

While ClearHealthCosts still serves a limited number of areas in the U.S., it may be the best comparison shopping tool online for medical procedures. It also gives you guidance on how to fight a bill — something the husband with sticker shock should’ve definitely looked up before his tantrum.

Review and revise your health insurance

Reviewing your health insurance policy is, yes, healthy. Doing it regularly will help you understand your coverage and the potential costs associated with medical treatments. Look in particular at deductible, copays, and coinsurance amounts, which can vary by wide amounts from plan to plan.

A 2020 study by eHealth found the average deductible for individual health insurance plans came to $4,364, actually on par with 2016 figures. That’s good news in terms of standard coverage. But be sure to review your plan — and perhaps switch coverage — if long-term hospitalization costs or major surgeries are only partially covered, or have a high deductible.

Here, it makes sense to consult a medical professional you know and trust for guidance. Do your own research through trusted sources as well, including ClearHealthCosts and major news outlets that can point you towards valuable resources.

Hopefully this will help you get started. And at least we now know what not to do. Just ask that new dad. He could be on his way to finding out how a hissy fit over an $8,000 bill leads to a much, much costlier divorce settlement.


Unexpected vet bills don’t have to break the bank

Life with pets is unpredictable, but there are ways to prepare for the unexpected.

Embrace Pet Insurance offers coverage for treatment of accidents, illnesses, prescriptions drugs, emergency care and more.

Plus, their optional wellness plan covers things like routine vet trips, grooming and training costs, if you want to give your pet the all-star treatment while you protect your bank account.

About the Author

Amy Legate-Wolfe

Amy Legate-Wolfe

Freelance contributor

Amy Legate-Wolfe is an experienced personal finance writer and journalist. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Toronto, a Freelance Writing Certificate in Journalism from the University of Toronto Schools, and a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University. Amy has worked for Huffington Post, CTVNews.ca, CBC, Motley Fool Canada, and Financial Post. She is skilled at analyzing trends and creating content for digital and print platforms. In her free time, Amy enjoys reading and watching British dramas on BritBox. She is a mother and dog-mom to a Wheaten Terrier.

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