How to Cut Your Health-Care Costs

Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Thanks to these online tools and tricks, you can get the care you need for less.

In the fall (or sooner if you switch jobs), you'll need to sign up. These four strategies could shave hundreds off your health care spending.

  1. Consider a high-deductible plan. Most employers now offer a plan with a deductible of at least $4,068 for families ($2,190 for singles) in exchange for lower premiums. They're usually offered with a health savings account (HSA), which lets you use pretax money to pay for medical costs. Use the tool at wageworks.com/hsacalculator to see if it's a good deal for you.
  2. Go separate ways from your spouse. Many companies are increasing the cost of adding your partner to your plan. See whether the premiums and deductibles for each of you individually add up to less than family coverage.
  3. Use your FSA. If your employer offers flexible spending accounts, you can stash up to $2,500 of pretax money to pay for out-of-pocket costs. (You cannot contribute to both an FSA and an HSA in the same year.)
  4. Grab wellness incentives. According to a Towers Watson/National Business Group survey, two thirds of companies offer employees rewards to encourage participation in health programs.

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