Did you know that healthcare costs in the United States are two times higher than they are in other parts of the world? Researchers blame many factors for the high costs, from the inflated prices of prescription drugs to doctors’ salaries.
Regardless of the reasons, Americans are finding it more and more difficult to afford their health expenses, even with insurance.
In this article, we’re going to show you 10 ways you can save that money while maintaining good health. So, follow along!
How to Save That Money
You shouldn’t have to choose between buying your medications and grocery shopping for your family. Here are 10 ways you can cut your medical costs once and for all!
1. Be Open with Your Doctors
Whether your doctor is prescribing you a new medication or they’re discussing a medical procedure you will need, you should create a dialogue with them about your payment concerns and options.
You may not have realized this before, but you aren’t always stuck with the first price you are quoted.
If you tell your doctor that your medical expenses are a bit too high, they can help you with other options like payment plans or less expensive alternatives that will fit your budget better.
2. Shop Around
The best way to save money what you’re purchasing is to shop around and compare prices before you make a buying decision. Believe it or not, you can do the same with things like prescription drugs.
Take a look at any new and old prescriptions you have. If you aren’t already getting the generic brand, ask your pharmacist if there is a generic version available. According to the FDA, generic medications are typically 80 percent to 85 percent cheaper than their name brand counterparts.
Additionally, you can purchase medications in bulk at online pharmacies at cheaper rates. But make sure you’re careful when doing so.
A safe online pharmacy will be based in the United States and have a valid street address. They will require a prescription from your doctor and have a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist available to answer questions.
3. Consider a Medicare Advantage Plan
Medicare Advantage Plans are sold by private insurance companies that have been given the green light by Medicare; they’re usually less expensive than other plans. Depending on the county and state you live in, you may be able to obtain this type of plan with a $0 premium.
Also, there is a limit to how much money you can pay out of pocket annually. If you reach your limit, you won’t have to pay anything for services that are covered for the rest of the year.
4. Double Check Your Paperwork for Errors
Your insurance company and doctors’ offices can make mistakes regarding what services you should and shouldn’t get billed for. Double check any statements you receive for inconsistencies and dispute any that you find.
Don’t just stop with your medical bills. Look over your explanations of benefits as well. And if you ever have to call in for errors, keep your records organized and note the names and departments of the people you speak with.
5. Use Free Screenings to Your Advantage
Do a little bit of research and find out what health screenings are available in your area for free.
Most communities have health fairs that offer things like blood pressure, diabetes, and HIV screenings without even charging a copay.
6. Make Preventive Care Part of Your Daily Life
Many of the illnesses and injuries that end up costing us money can be avoided with some small lifestyle changes. Eat healthier and exercise more to keep yourself in the best health possible.
Also, if your doctor has you on a prescription for an illness you already have, make sure you are keeping up with your dosages as well as your appointments. The more you take care of yourself, the less you’ll have to worry about medical expenses.
7. Try Different Types of Consultations
You’ll need to do some research on this one because it depends on your health insurance policy and your doctor. But some physicians are offering telephone, email, and video consultations at rates that are much cheaper than traditional in-person office visits.
There are also insurance companies that offer telephone hotlines where you can ask questions for free. Doing this can save you some cash, especially if you plan to visit an urgent care center.
8. Apply for Your Local SPAP Program
State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs) provide prescription drug payment assistance to disabled adults and seniors who have low income. Since the programs are run on a state level, the coverage will vary depending on the state your in.
Not every state offers this benefit. To see if yours does, you’ll need to choose your state from the dropdown menu on Medicare.gov.
9. Ask for Copies of Your Medical Records and Tests
Obtaining copies of recent medical records, especially tests, can save you a lot of time and money if you’re visiting a new physician. For starters, if the test results are recent, there’s no need to perform the test or bill you for it a second time.
Having your records with you also makes it easier for your new doctor to advise or treat you without having to wait for test results and then set up another appointment to go over them.
10. Ask about Cash Discounts
When it comes to asking about cash discounts, it’s best that you do so ahead of time. The reason is, you may have to call multiple parties, such as your doctor’s office, your insurance company, or a hospital or treatment facility.
Completing this extra bit of legwork can pay off though. There are many treatment centers and doctors who will give you a discounted rate if you’re paying up front and in cash.
Follow Us for More Tips
Online pharmacies and free screenings can take your healthcare savings up another notch. And if you’re looking for more ways to save that money, follow our blog!