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Managing Healthcare Finances: Ages 45 to 64

Between the ages of 45 and 64 you might be dealing with a lot of responsibilities. On top of all of that, dealing with your financial situation can also be straining. Thankfully, getting your health insurance coverage squared away is an easy way to reduce costs and get some peace of mind. We’ve got you covered—here are some ways to do that.

1.     Know when you can switch plans
You can enroll in a health plan during Open Season, which runs yearly from the Monday of the second full work week in November through the Monday of the second full work week in December. There are special cases when you can enroll outside of this period called qualifying life events. Some examples of these are a death in the family, getting married or divorced or losing job-based health coverage. When a qualifying life event happens, make sure you are enrolled in the right plan based on your family’s needs. Click here to see if you qualify for enrolling outside of Open Season. If you do experience a qualifying life event and you’re not sure what plan is best for you, try using our AskBlue tool. It recommends the right plan based on your healthcare needs.

2.     Save up for your loved ones
Are you taking care of your aging parents? Do you have children going through college? It can all feel overwhelming, especially in addition to your own expenses. If you can, talk to a financial advisor about your healthcare costs and saving up for retirement. Consider that the Service Benefit Plan can be combined with Medicare Part A and Part B to provide extra benefits in retirement.

Be sure to also sign up for MyBlue®—you’ll get access to a financial dashboard that makes it easy understand your healthcare expenses. To avoid any unexpected bills, know exactly what your plan covers and what you’ll pay for medical care. One way to do this is to download the fepblue app on your phone. It lets you easily check to see if a provider is in-network, view your benefits and track any claims you receive.

3.     Take care of yourself
Adults between the ages of 45 and 64 may start to see rising costs of healthcare and prescription drugs. Maintaining or improving your health can make a big difference in how much medical care you need, even if you haven’t been active previously in life. FEP offers incentive programs that give eligible members rewards for making healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising more or managing chronic health conditions like diabetes.

4.     Protect your eyes and teeth
Taking care of your eyes and teeth is important to your overall health. Many health issues can first be detected by getting annual vision and dental checkups. Your medical plan may include some dental care and a Vision Care Affinity Program. If you need additional coverage, you can look into a supplemental dental and/or vision plan through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

5.     Plan for the unexpected
Advanced directives are tools to express your desires in the event you can’t speak for yourself, like life-threatening illness or death. It might be tough to think about this but it’ll give you peace of mind. Consider it extra insurance for yourself and ensuring your loved ones know exactly what to do in case something happens. There are two types of advance directives: a living will and power of attorney. A living will indicates clearly what life-sustaining treatments you prefer, such as resuscitation or mechanical respiration. In the event you’re unable to speak, a power of attorney designates someone you trust to speak on your behalf on matters like finances or healthcare issues not outlined in a living will.

6.     Think about what comes after
No one really wants to think about it, but planning what happens after you die and writing a will saves your loved ones a lot of stress and ensures they’re legally protected. If you have a specific plan in mind, you can outline conditions, such as withholding finances from your children until they reach a specific age. If you die without a will, states have strict laws that determine how much goes to your spouse and children. Contact a lawyer that specializes in estate planning to guarantee your will is legally sound, has no loopholes and isn’t subject to unnecessary tax.