No matter how healthy your lifestyle is, everyone has to deal with health issues from time to time. Setting money aside specifically for health related expenses is a good way to be prepared for everything from the flu to a broken bone or unexpected diagnosis. Even if you have insurance, deductibles and co-pays can quickly become a burden to your budget. And if you have a pet or a family, the likelihood of having health related expenses goes up considerably.

Since health issues can take you by surprise, you’ll want to choose an account that offers flexible access like a health savings account (HSA). If you don’t qualify for an HSA, a money market account is a good alternative to consider because it gives you flexible access while helping your savings grow risk-free.

How Much Should I Save?

If you have an HSA, there are limits on what you can contribute each year. If you don’t qualify for an HSA, it’s a good idea to think through how much you might need per year. You can do this by considering your health plan’s annual out-of-pocket maximum and adding to that for any known costs or planned health expenses. When looking at deductibles, remember to look at all the different types of coverage you have (health, vision, dental, pet).

3 Things to Consider

Your lifestyle and family history.

The amount of your deductibles.

Your monthly budget.