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Coping with rising health-care costs

The headache that can't be cured with a pill.

The health-care battle is being waged daily not only in Washington and the media, but also in homes and businesses throughout the U.S. Rising costs are forcing some Americans to choose between buying groceries and getting prescriptions filled. And some people even put off medical procedures to avoid exorbitant costs. What's more, corporations offering benefits to employees are being forced to reevaluate cost-sharing arrangements with their employees due to escalating expenses. Some people are now finding health insurance through the public exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act.

According to our 2014-2015 study, "Financial Experiences & Behaviors Among Women," 66 percent of women surveyed said it's very important to keep pace with rising health-care costs, but only 9 percent are confident they'll do this.

What can you do that may help keep your family financially fit and healthy? Here are some simple tips:

  • Promote a healthier lifestyle within your family. Practice healthy eating habits, include more physical activity in your daily regimen, and schedule routine checkups.
  • Go generic. Ask your doctor if generic medicines are an option. You could save yourself hundreds of dollars annually.
  • Select the proper company-sponsored medical plan. Make certain the medical plan suits your needs and those of your family. Some plans save you more up front, but make sure you understand potential out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Practice preventive care. By encouraging good hygiene, getting enough sleep, or researching your family's medical history to address possible hereditary conditions, you may avoid costly medical conditions. Ask your doctor for suggestions to circumvent repeated trips to his or her office.
Insurance issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates. Each is a Prudential Financial company that is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Our policies contain exclusions, limitations, reduction and terms for keeping them in force. A licensed financial professional can provide you with complete details. The availability of other products and services varies by carrier and state. Prudential Financial, its affiliates, and other financial professionals do not render tax or legal advice. Be sure to consult with your personal tax and legal advisors.