How to save on healthcare costs in 2018

Source: Central Jersey.com
Your cable bill, entertainment expenses, grocery extras — these often top the list when people sit down to discuss where they can save money. One expense you should consider in 2018 is your healthcare costs. Since the annual open enrollment period for employees, now is the ideal time to sign up for a new health benefit plan or make adjustments to your current plan.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are two options for people looking to save money pre-tax in the New Year. An FSA, which is provided by your employer, allows you to save funds for eligible healthcare expenses. An HSA — which you can obtain on your own or through your employer — is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows you to set aside money to cover medical expenses throughout your lifetime.
Both accounts have the major advantage that the full amount of your pre-tax dollars may be used toward care that you or your family may need. Employees who enroll in an FSA can contribute a portion of their salary pre-tax to pay for qualified medical care expenses within the plan year, while an HSA provides people with qualifying high-deductible health plans the ability to rollover balances and pay for current and future medical expenses.
Awareness and interest in HSAs has increased this year, with the highest levels of interest stemming from Millennials and Gen Xers, according to the 2017 Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account Consumer Research study commissioned by Visa and conducted by C+R Research. This nationwide online research was conducted in March 2017, with the FSA survey conducted among 1,306 consumers and the HSA survey conducted among 1,090 consumers.
One of the most convenient ways to access funds in an HSA or FSA is with a healthcare debit card, which allows people to use funds in their HSA or FSA to pay for qualified medical expenses wherever Visa debit cards are accepted, making it easy to pay for Co-pays and deductibles, plus everything from prescriptions to exams to help with quitting smoking. For added convenience, many retailers that sell healthcare products have the capability to distinguish between covered items and non-covered items, so you don’t have to wonder whether something is covered.
By using a healthcare debit card at these locations, you no longer have to pay out-of-pocket and then submit receipts to be reimbursed for your medical expenses, saving you time and money!

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