Even worse? It’s anticipated that family healthcare costs will rise another 4.7% this year alone. Although this is the lowest annual increase in 15 years, it is still taking a financial toll on today’s families. According to Chris Grod, co-author of the Milliman Medical Index, this is a “significant and somewhat unsettling milestone.”
Unsettling is right. What exactly does this data mean for you and your family? What can you do in light of these rising costs?
According to the report, the cause of increasing healthcare costs is due to two factors:
- A reduction in employer contributions
- A rise in prescription drug costs
And it’s not just the fees associated with insurance and doctor’s visits, it’s the actual prescriptions themselves that are rising in cost too. According to Milliman, prescription drug costs alone make up 17% of the average family’s healthcare costs, which equals an average of $4,270 annually.
These increases can be challenging to navigate. Here’s what you can do to help offset them:
- Look for ways to lower your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. For instance, by using the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card on a consistent basis, you can start saving immediately on your prescription drug needs. If you don’t already have a card, you can easily download a free card by visiting https://familywize.org/prescription-savings-card/get-your-free-card/. You can also request a card by calling 1-800-222-2818. Not interested in carrying the card with you? There’s an app (Apple and Android), available here.
- Always ask your doctor for the lowest cost, most effective way to treat a health condition. In some cases, this may be ordering a generic form of medication, when available. Be your own advocate!
- Use the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool to find the pharmacy in your area with the best price on your medication.
- Practice preventive medicine, which can help lower your family’s overall healthcare costs. Eat healthful meals, get adequate sleep, exercise, and alleviate stress to help keep your immune system strong. Managing chronic health conditions can help alleviate more complicated, and costly, health challenges.
- Look to lower or alleviate costs in other areas to help offset your overall household increases. For instance, check out this post regarding the best couponing blogs for valuable information on saving on household expenses.