Worried About Healthcare Bills? 3 Accounts Worth Saving In

It’s no secret that healthcare can be expensive. From insurance premiums to copays, the cost of caring for ourselves can be monumental. So it’s not surprising that 22% of respondents in a recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education said they’re worried about covering their medical costs. If you have similar concerns, here are three accounts to consider saving in for healthcare.

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1. A traditional savings account

It’s a good idea to have money in a savings account for emergencies. But you may also want to open a separate savings account for medical bills.

While healthcare costs can sometimes be an emergency, they should also be budgeted and saved for accordingly. And socking money away in the bank will give you the freedom to easily take withdrawals for medical bills as needed.

How much should you save for healthcare? A good bet is to go through your medical bills from the previous year and put in enough money to cover an equivalent set of bills. Also, if your health insurance plan charges a deductible — the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket before your insurer pays for your services — then aim to save at least that much money. In fact, socking away your deductible is a good goal for your emergency medical expense fund.

2. A flexible spending account

With a flexible spending account, or FSA, you allocate pre-tax dollars for healthcare bills. If you contribute $1,500 to an FSA, that’s $1,500 of income you won’t pay taxes on. But an FSA also requires you to accurately estimate your healthcare expenses for the year. If you allocate too much money to your FSA and don’t use it up within your plan year, you risk forfeiting the balance.

For the current year, FSAs max out at $2,750, and as of this writing, we don’t know what the maximum allowable contribution will be for 2022. You

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Majority (55.5 percent) were equally worried about the privacy of medical records, DNA data, and facial images collected for precision health research — ScienceDaily

Uses of facial images and facial recognition technologies — to unlock a phone or in airport security — are becoming increasingly common in everyday life. But how do people feel about using such data in healthcare and biomedical research?

Through surveying over 4,000 US adults, researchers found that a significant proportion of respondents considered the use of facial image data in healthcare across eight varying scenarios as unacceptable (15-25 percent). Taken with those that responded as unsure of whether the uses were acceptable, roughly 30-50 percent of respondents indicated some degree of concern for uses of facial recognition technologies in healthcare scenarios. Whereas using facial image data in some cases — such as to avoid medical errors, for diagnosis and screening, or for security — was acceptable to the majority, more than half of respondents did not accept or were uncertain about healthcare providers using this data to monitor patients’ emotions or symptoms, or for health research.

In the biomedical research setting, most respondents were equally worried about the use of medical records, DNA data and facial image data in a study.

While respondents were a diverse group in terms of age, geographic region, gender, racial and ethnic background, educational attainment, household income, and political views, their perspectives on these issues did not differ by demographics. Findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

“Our results show that a large segment of the public perceives a potential privacy threat when it comes to using facial image data in healthcare,” said lead author Sara Katsanis, who heads the Genetics and Justice Laboratory at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and is a Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “To ensure public trust, we need to consider greater protections for personal information in healthcare settings, whether it relates to medical records, DNA data, or facial images. As facial recognition technologies become more common, we need to be prepared to explain how patient and participant data will be kept confidential and secure.”

Senior author Jennifer K. Wagner, Assistant Professor of Law, Policy and Engineering in Penn State’s School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs adds: “Our study offers an important opportunity for those pursuing possible use of facial analytics in healthcare settings and biomedical research to think about human-centeredness in a more meaningful way. The research that we are doing hopefully will

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