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How can I budget for health insurance?

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Figure your known costs. Sort through your health-related expenses each year. Some key parts of your annual expenses will be health insurance premiums, dental exams, eye exams, prescription drugs, and medical doctor visits.

Ask your dentist, eye doctor, and medical doctor how often you should schedule check-ups. Based on your health insurance, you may have to pay for part of the visit fees and for any tests you have undergone. You will need to consider copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Add those amounts to your health insurance premium.

Include your medicine costs. Don’t forget to include the cost of any regular prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins you take regularly. Check with your health plan to see what part of the prescription drug expense they pay.

Remember your family members' costs, too. Repeat the last two steps above for everyone covered by your health plan.

Total your fixed costs. You now have an estimated annual total healthcare cost to assist in planning. You can divide the total by 12, and you will have an estimated monthly fixed cost of healthcare.

Save for the unexpected. You will have more challenges figuring out unplanned “surprise” costs. These expenses might include visits to the doctor for an illness or injury, medications to help with any illnesses, unplanned hospital stays or operations, and emergency room visits.

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