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Fridays (with Benefits) - More than half of workers are taking this risk

Living Well

The cost of health care is a problem. But it's not just a physical one. And according to this week's article, people aren't considering the role medical expenses play in a person's overall financial wellness. In fact, going by one survey from 2018, managing health care costs ranked below all other expense types on the questionnaire.

Here's How 53% of Workers Are Putting Their Health at Risk - Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

This is some disheartening news from Bank of America's 2019 Workplace Benefits Report which indicated that up to 53% of workers have have skipped or postponed necessary treatments to avoid having to pay for them. Treatments like the following:

  • Medical appointments - 32%
  • Medical test/procedures - 21%
  • Purchase of medications - 14%
  • Hospital visits or stays - 10%
  • Skipped health insurance - 7%
  • Purchase of supplies - 4%

And even worse, current health care expenses aren't workers' only concern. In retirement, Medicare may only cover up to 65% of certain employee medical costs, increasing the burden of health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs -- all of which can add up quickly, potentially destroying a retirement savings account.

What's worse, many employees are passing on tax-free health benefits like FSAs and HSAs, which could considerably lower the financial burden that basic medical expenses bring about each year. While nearly 90% of companies offer these accounts, not nearly enough employees are taking advantage of them. And without these protections in place, their focus is on saving money, which means their general health is suffering as a result.

Let's just take a stand here: if you don't take stock of your health through preventive care, there's a good chance you'll pay more down the line when your health becomes more of an everyday concern as the result of aging. That's why FSAs and HSAs are such great options for those looking to save money on health care - you can turn those yearly tax savings into a reinvestment into your overall health by being able to cover those preventive screenings like yearly physicals, eye tests, blood screenings and more.

So keep that doctor appointment you have on the calendar, you may just help save yourself thousands down the road.

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Fridays (with Benefits) is a weekly roundup of the latest headlines about employee benefits -- from FSAs to fitness programs and everything workplace wellness. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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