3 Ways to Fund Medical Emergencies for Your Family

An ambulance transporting a patient.

When a member of your family suffers from a medical emergency, worrying about their health and welfare can be very stressful. Fortunately, preparing for emergency medical expenses now will make paying for them much easier later. Instead of spending time trying to come up with the funds needed for treatment, you can help your sick or injured relative focus on getting better. The most obvious method of financial preparation is good, old-fashioned saving. There are even checking accounts that reward you for practicing good saving habits. Aside from that, here are some ways to help your family pay for medical emergencies.

1. Make Sure You Have Insurance

The right health insurance can help you pay for medical expenses for yourself, your spouse and your children. It will cover pre-existing conditions as well as emergencies, and most companies will give you an insurance card that you can show when you need treatment to make using your policy faster and easier. To supplement your health insurance, you can also choose a fixed health benefit plan that pays a predetermined amount for specific illnesses, injuries and medical procedures.

You should also consider other types of insurance. Homeowner’s insurance will often take care of the costs if someone visiting your house trips in your yard or has another injury. You can get pet insurance for your four-legged family members as well. Like medical bills for people, expenses for pets can get high. With a good plan, you can keep your animal companion healthy as long as possible.

2. Get a Credit Card

Unfortunately, insurance won’t pay for everything. Most policies require a copay for tests or treatment, along with a yearly deductible that you must pay before coverage starts. Many plans also have coinsurance rates. They pay for a percentage of your medical costs, and you must take care of the rest. If you get treatment from a practice that’s not part of your insurance company’s network of providers, you could have to pay for all of it yourself.

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With a credit card, you can pay whatever is necessary to take care of your relative’s treatment, even if they’re not covered by your insurance. It can also increase your credit score and make getting loans easier. Your credit score is based on your payment history, the length of your credit history, the percentage of your available credit that you use and other factors.

A new card increases your available credit and gives you a chance to show future creditors you can pay your debts on time. With a credit card from USAA, for instance, you can enjoy low interest rates and excellent service. Some cards also offer 1.5 percent cash back and no interest for a limited time.

3. Start a Health Savings Account

A Health Savings Account (HSA) will help you save for medical emergencies. It lets you deduct the money you contribute when you file your taxes, and withdrawals for medical costs are also tax-free. You can use it for dental work, eye exams, medication, hospitalization, lab fees and more.

Saving money in an HSA and choosing an insurance plan with a high deductible is often less expensive than paying for a more expensive policy with lower out-of-pocket costs. If your insurance covers your family, you can contribute up to $7,100 per year until you turn 65. After that, you can still use the money for medical costs.

With plenty of insurance, a credit card and an HSA, you can take care of your family if there’s a medical emergency. Being prepared will reduce your stress and help you and your relatives stay financially secure.

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