At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we’re well-acquainted with the immediate and long-term aftermaths of medical emergencies. We help victims and their loved ones after car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, defective drug injuries, medical malpractice, dog bites, and more. And while it’s our goal to help those victims get compensation for their medical bills, not all injuries and illnesses are eligible for settlements.
When injuries happen, it’s vital for victims to have insurance to pay some of their bills, as well as a medical emergency fund that they can use to cover out-of-pocket expenses. But life is expensive, and when you’re healthy, it can be difficult to divert money away from other things—rent, mortgage, loans, vehicle payments, etc.—to fund a disaster scenario. However, doing so can be one of the most important and impactful decisions you’ll ever make.
In honor of National Savings Day on Oct. 12, here’s our guide for building up a medical emergency fund.
Step 1: Start an account for medical funds only.
First, it’s important to create an account that will be used solely for medical emergencies. You can create a savings account at your bank or credit union for this, or you can start a Health Savings Account (HSA) with your employer if you’re eligible to do so.
If you’re able to contribute the maximum amount annually to your HSA, you’ll see it quickly grow, especially if your employer contributes to the account as well. These accounts are tax free, provided the withdraws are used on medical expenses, making them safe and wise places to grow your medical emergency fund.
Step 2: Determine your budget.
What is your monthly income vs expenses? It’s important to determine this right away when you begin saving for a medical emergency, so that you’ll know how much you can contribute to your savings account or HSA without putting a significant strain on your finances.
First, determine your non-negotiable monthly payments such as food, shelter, vehicle, and loans. Then, determine where your money is going outside of those obligations. This will give you an idea of how much leeway you have when it comes to funding an account for a future medical emergency.
Step 3: Determine how much money you need.
When it comes to saving for a medical emergency, more is always better. But anything is better than nothing, and you also don’t want to allocate so much of your income to your savings that you make it difficult to live your life and pay your other bills.
In addition, you should also objectively assess your risks. If you’re young and healthy, you may not need to save so aggressively. Remember that money in HSAs and high-yield savings accounts can grow over time, which means that money you put in today will be much more valuable 30 or 40 years in the future when you need it.
If you’re older or have pre-existing health problems, you may want to save more aggressively and divert more of your income to your medical fund, as you may need to tap into it sooner rather than later.
Step 4: Check your insurance coverage and upgrade as needed.
At our law firm, we regularly battle with insurance companies. But we also know that insurers are the ones who typically foot the bill after accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Because of that, we know how important it is for people to have adequate coverage.
First, ensure you have health insurance. This step alone can make a huge difference in your future medical bills. Second, consider purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for your auto insurance policy. Oklahoma has one of the highest uninsured driver rates in the nation, and if an uninsured driver hurts you in a crash, you may have to pay fully out of pocket without this coverage.
When a Disaster Happens, We’re Here to Help.
If you get hurt or sick because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket, even if you’ve got the savings to do so. That’s where we come in. At Parrish DeVaughn, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers help innocent victims get maximum compensation for expenses they incurred through no fault of their own.
Keep your savings where they belong and contact us for a free consultation. We’ll work hard to help you get the money you’re owed for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Call today.