How to Help Avoid Medical Debt in 2019

Health spending and unexpected medical bills are the two most feared financial occurrences for Americans, but the odds are much higher for seniors. According to American Health Economy Illustrated, seniors aged between 65 and 74 account for eight times the health spending of those that are aged 18 to 24. Although Medicare is there to pick up the bill, in many cases people find that they’re not covered for everything they need, and even then Medicare often only covers 65% of the elderly’s medical expenses. What then, can be done in order to help avoid the arrival of unexpected medical bills? Try following these simple guidelines for 2019 to reduce the risk of having to cough up huge sums of cash for medical costs.

Know your plan

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to know what you’re covered for, and what you’re not! Check out your health coverage plan from front to back, know how much you’re expected to pay in the case of a health issue, and know whether you have protection against balance billing – something that can often be a financial slap in the face! Being aware of the potential financial outcomes of your medical plan will help you plan ahead and, if necessary, get coverage to fill in the gaps that Medicare doesn’t provide for! Even if you know your plan well, it’s also a good idea to know your network. This is the medical establishments where you’re covered for use under your health insurance policy. Whenever you receive some kind of healthcare service, always be sure to ask whether it’s in your network to avoid unexpectedly high bills for services you thought you had covered!

Homecare as a preventative option

It may sound like an unproductive option – surely homecare costs more, right? However, in the long-run, homecare can actually be a great way of keeping your medical costs down! Frequently seeing a trained medical professional means you’re under constant supervision, helping to catch any health issues early, and acting as a preventative measure for any unexpected health problems. Your home care health professional can give you advice on any extra medical coverage you should get that would suit your needs, saving you money in the long run and keeping you healthy.

Senior woman talking to young care nurse on home visit

Staying healthy

The most obvious preventative measure is to try and change your lifestyle to a healthier one if you have not already done so. Increased exercise, improved diet, and cutting down on smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol all have huge benefits to your health even in old age! Talk to your doctor or health care professional about going on a weight loss or healthy lifestyle plan – it may save you a heap of cash, but will also let you live out your senior years feeling spritely and healthy!

Understanding how best to manage your healthcare in your senior years can save you from being caught unawares with huge medical bills, leaving you to spend your hard-earned money on the finer things in life. Follow these simple steps in order to prevent a financial catastrophe as a result of your health care needs!

How to Become a Home Health Aide in Philadelphia

There aren’t many professions out there that give you the sense of satisfaction you get from being a home health aide. Caring for people that are most in need is both a job and a passion, and for many people, it’s the starting point into a long and fulfilling career! For those that are already caring for their elderly relatives or loved ones, training as a home health aide could mean that you get paid for caring for your relatives. If you’re thinking of a career as a home health aide or if you would like to get paid for caring for your loved one, continue reading below to find out all the key details!

What do home health aides do?

Home health aides provide one to one assistance services for those who need extra help with everyday tasks. The tasks include bath and shower assistance; hair, oral, nail and foot care; medication assistance; cooking, feeding, and preparation assistance; washing and housecleaning assistance; repositioning assistance and emptying urinary and ostomy bags. The range of jobs that HHAs need to complete means that there’s never a dull moment! For many, the qualification to become an HHA is the first step on a long and fruitful career in care and health services.

What are the requirements?

To undergo HHA training in Pennsylvania, you are required to undertake a minimum of 75 hours of training which must include at least 16 hours of clinical instruction. On top of this, you’re required to complete 12 hours of continuing education training for every 12 months that you’re an HHA. The training will include all the necessary care techniques you need to be a fully qualified HHA including assistance training, medication assistance training, washing procedure training, and housekeeping requirements to good cleanliness. Once the training is complete, you will have to undergo a test that covers all of the main elements necessary to gain your qualification. Before you decide on a training program, you need to ensure that the course you’re thinking of is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health!

A senior woman in wheelchair with a health visitor at home at Christmas time.

Other routes to becoming an HHA

Other than taking the route of an HHA program, there are two other ways to become a fully fledged HHA. The first is through the completion of the nurse aide certification and training. This certification is often sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is the first step on the road to becoming a qualified nurse so is a great option for those who want to make a career in healthcare. The other option is to complete a competency test developed by the health care agency where you will be working. While this is the quickest and most convenient option, it is the most restrictive, meaning you are unable to move to another agency without completing their competency test first. However, it may be a good option if you’re looking at becoming an HHA to get paid for looking after a loved one or relative.

If you are looking for a career where you feel the rewards of your hard work and dedication every day, or you want to get paid for the care you provide for your relative or loved one, then you should seriously consider becoming a home health aide! The average wage is $22,000 per year, making it a rewarding opportunity both financially and through the satisfaction of helping those most in need!

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