Healthcare costs are among the most significant financial concerns for senior citizens. When Mississippi seniors retire, they typically lose their employer-sponsored health insurance and depend on Medicare to cover healthcare costs. Although Medicare covers many of the medical expenses seniors face, it also includes deductibles for inpatient care and coinsurance for outpatient treatment. Fortunately, there are some things seniors can do to minimize their out-of-pocket costs and avoid excessive medical debt.

One way to avoid bankruptcy due to medical debt is to reduce expenses. Seniors can do this by keeping their employer health plan as long as possible to delay signing up for Medicare parts B and D. After they retire, seniors could reduce expenses by purchasing a Medicare gap policy. This kind of private insurance covers coinsurance and deductibles that the senior would be responsible for if they only had Medicare coverage.

Another option is to contribute money to a health savings account. The funds in these accounts are either pre-tax or tax-deductible and may be used after retirement to pay for health-related expenses. While seniors cannot add to the account after they enroll in Medicare, the funds they add prior to retirement will be available to them until they’re exhausted.

Seniors may use these strategies to avoid using credit cards to pay for medical expenses. Healthcare costs could lead to excessive debt and lower a senior’s credit score at a time when they have limited income to repay the lenders. Doctors and hospitals may allow seniors to pay their bills directly to the provider over time if they request this kind of arrangement. Seniors who have excessive medical debt may wish to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get debt relief. This may help them lower, or even eliminate, their medical debts.

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