Making a budget that works for you
Financial planning isn't always easy, but if it's an option for you, here are some ways to plan ahead:
Set up an emergency fund: An emergency fund can help you to deal with unexpected changes to your budget, like unplanned medical bills or a drop in income due to a long hospital stay. If you get a regular paycheck, arrange for a portion of it to deposit directly into your emergency fund at every pay period—set it and forget it
- Save up: If possible, try to find a set amount every month that you feel is realistic to set aside in your savings account. Your savings can be used for small goals, big purchases, or key milestones
- Make a budget: You don't need to be a finance expert to create a budget. Simply list all of your monthly expenses and keep track of what you spend on each throughout the month. Compare this to your income, whether it is from full- or part-time work, student loans or grants, or a government program. You'll quickly see where you can spend less and save more (including on your groceries)
Consider meeting with a financial advisor if possible, to discuss financial options that may be right for you.
If you work for a company that offers a 401(k), take advantage of it. If not, there are plenty of other ways to save and invest your money. You may want to look into a certificate of deposit (CD) and other similar types of investments.
Making the most of government programs
If you’re finding it tough to make ends meet because of limitations from cystic fibrosis, it’s worth it to look into Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs provide monthly income to people with disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to work enough to make enough money to live on. Learn more about disability benefits
Medical expenses can be a big part of your financial life, which makes understanding your insurance plan essential knowledge. While you may be familiar with things like co-pays, deductibles, and premiums, here are some tips to help you make the most of your plan.
- Certain life events may change your insurance needs: While you may be familiar with the end-of-year hustle to make changes to your insurance plan, did you know that many life events qualify you to make changes at other times of the year? Events like marriage, birth or adoption of a child, starting a new job or leaving an old one, or even turning 26 can trigger a Special Enrollment Period where you can join a new insurance plan or add spouses or dependents to an existing one. These periods are usually 60 days, so it’s best to be proactive when you’re looking to make a change.
When in doubt, call for help
There are many people and organizations that can help you understand your insurance plan and its requirements. If you need help, try reaching out to:
Making changes to your plan: When the time comes to change your plan there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Do your homework. Understand the details of the new plan before you enroll.
- Remember that every plan is different. Just because your old plan covered certain prescriptions and visits doesn’t mean that your new one will do the same.
- Ask questions. The only way to find out the answers you need is to ask. Some questions to get you started include:
- When does coverage begin and end?
- Are my current/preferred doctors, specialists, CF Center, emergency care, and hospitals covered or considered in-network?
- Are my prescriptions covered?
- Does the plan cover generic and brand-name prescriptions?
- Are any prior authorizations needed? What are the requirements?