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Are you in Good Hands?


A health crisis—and all of the missed work, travel time and medical bills that come with it—can take a toll on your finances. When you or a family member needs care, money decisions often take a backseat.

After you’ve coped with the immediate crisis, these four steps can help you get your finances back into focus.

1. Double-check Your Bills Mistakes do happen. Take a hard look at your medical bills to make sure any insurance you have has been applied and that the charges are valid. If you have bills you can’t afford to pay, don’t damage your credit score by waiting for the collectors to call. Contact the payment department of the hospital or medical provider to ask about the possibility of a discount or a payment plan.

Did You Know?

4 The number of workdays an average American loses due to illness or injury every year.

2. Maximize Your Deductions Medical expenses are generally tax deductible as long as you itemize your deductions and your medical costs exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. Medical care, prescription medication, glasses, contact lenses, and even certain costs of travel for medical care are all qualified expenses—and be sure to include medical costs for your spouse and your dependents. A lower threshold may apply for taxpayers age 65 and over. You can find more information at

3. Check Your Coverage Many people who struggle with medical costs are either uninsured or underinsured. If you already have health insurance, make sure you have the best policy you can get for the care you need. If you aren’t sure, insurance experts can help you figure out the best coverage for you.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition. So if your recent crisis had to do with an ongoing medical condition, now is a good time to explore your options.

4. Get Back on Track When you’re feeling more financially stable, it’s time to create a safety cushion for the future. Start building up your emergency fund. Set up automated payments, even if it’s only a small sum every month. That way, you’ll be better prepared for the next crisis.

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Still have hospital bills? Budget outstanding balances as part of a bigger savings plan.