Unless you are a budgeting nerd, you might not keep track of every aspect of your healthcare costs. Sure, you know the fixed monthly cost of your health insurance premium, but it’s not as easy to track the deductible and copays you get hit with if you actually use your insurance, and the portion of your tax bill that goes toward Medicare. Sitting down? An analysis estimates that the average household typically shells out between 10-20% of their income for healthcare related costs.
Given the big bite healthcare expenses can take out of your cash-flow, taking a spin through free online calculators can help you fine-tune your healthcare spending strategy. We’ve compiled a few tools here to help you easily calculate how much your healthcare may cost you.
Get a sense of your all-in health care costs.
Motivation is often the secret sauce to tackling a financial goal. This household health spending calculator coughs up estimates of total healthcare spending, using public data. It can be an eye opener. Some of those costs – FICA taxes for Medicare—are fixed, but you have more control over other costs.
Compare which type of health plan makes the most sense for you.
We’re all creatures of habit. The health plan you’ve had for a bunch of years may still be the best one, but plans can change over time, and you will too. Marriage, divorce, newborns and adult children out on their own are all considered “ qualified life events” that can change what type of health insurance plan is best for you in that moment. This Health Plan Calculator does the number crunching for you; plug in a few bits of personal and plan info and you can get a quick side-by-side comparison of two plans.
Start thinking about retirement health care expenses.
Medicare covers plenty once you are 65. But you will be on the hook for Medicare premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. An analysis of current data estimated a 65-year old woman on Medicare in 2018, spent more than $5,000 on average on premiums and out-of-pocket costs. You can use the government’s Medicare out-of-pocket cost estimator to see current costs based on where you live and the type of coverage you choose.
Tip: You don’t need to be enrolled in Medicare to use the tool. Choose the prompt that asks if you are searching for someone else, and then you can explore potential costs.
If what you learn here gives you pause, you might want to consider whether saving in a health savings account (HSA) today could be a smart retirement planning strategy. Dollars you save in an HSA today can be used tax free any time to pay for qualified medical costs; that can be next month or decades from now.
Calculate the potential tax-free pot of money you could have to pay for retirement healthcare costs.
If you are enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) that is HSA-eligible, the money you contribute to your HSA (your employer may kick in some money as well) can be saved for future use. This HSA Value Calculator will give you a quick picture of how annual contributions to an HSA can grow over time, and what your potential tax savings might be based on your tax bracket.
Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.