From monthly premiums, co-pays, prescription drugs to doctor’s visits – the amount of money needed for health care every year can be overwhelming. Fortunately, it is possible to save, while still getting the best medical treatment. Here are some of the best ways to save money on health care expenses.
Choose In-network Providers
In-network providers are doctors, pharmacies and other care providers who have arrangements with health insurance companies to help control medical costs. It pays to use providers within the network of one’s health plan because of the low-cost of care involved. Visit sites like Healthcare.org to find the plan that fits your medical needs and stays within budget.
Be sure to check the website of your insurance company to find a list of providers who are within its network. It really helps to avoid paying unexpected expenses associated with visiting out-of-network providers.
Consider a High-Deductible (HD) Plan
A high-deductible plan involves paying a high amount of out-of-pocket expenses before insurance kicks in. For people used to paying $20 office co-pays, switching to a high-deductible might seem counterproductive, especially when trying to save money. However, it can actually help save hundreds of dollars per month because of the lower monthly premiums. For healthy families who don’t visit the doctor regularly, this option is worth considering, as it can help save some money in the end.
Most HD plans allows people to open health savings accounts, where they can save (pre-tax) money to pay for insurance premiums, as well as out-of-pocket medical expenses. Any unused money on the savings account continues to grow year after year.
Ask for Generic Prescriptions
Generic drugs are not only FDA-approved and safe, but also contain similar active ingredients as the doctor’s prescription. They are a good way to save money because they are less expensive and work the same way. Therefore, always ask your doctor if there is a generic alternative to what you’ve been suggested.
Get the Recommended Preventive Care
Regularly going for the recommended medical exams, immunizations and screenings, can help detect a problem in its early stages, making it easier to treat. In the long run, this can help save hundreds of dollars that would otherwise be used in treating serious conditions that were not detected early.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps to stay out of the doctor’s office, thus lowering health care costs. Eating healthy foods in the right proportions, getting enough sleep, quitting smoking and regular exercise, are just some of the ways to stay healthy. For those who find it hard to hit the gym regularly, walking is an easier alternative. Make it a habit to go out daily for a quick stroll and use a pedometer to track your progress; preventative measures are the best way to shave dollars off of your health expenses.
Compare the Prices of Lab Tests and Prescription Drugs
Before visiting that doctor-recommended laboratory or pharmacy, consider visiting a couple of other medical facilities to compare their prices. Because different facilities charge differently for their services across the country, it is possible to get prescription drugs or lab tests done at a lower price.
Shop Around for the Best Price
Though we shop around for the best price when it comes to our clothes and food, we often forget to do this when it comes to health-related products like vitamins, medical alert services, topical creams and more. Just because you have a written prescription doesn’t have can’t take order items online. For example, Replacemycontacts.com sells discount contact lenses, enabling you to choose between more than merely the offered price of your closest pharmacy.
Check the Medical Bill Before Writing a Check
According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, about eight out of ten medical bills have errors. It is therefore in your best interest to take time, and check the medical bill thoroughly to ensure that everything is in order before paying.
If there is anything that is not clear, contact the hospital’s billing department for further clarification. Doing this will help save money that would otherwise be wasted in paying for unknown charges.
Follow to the Doctor’s Orders
Research shows that 20 percent of patients don’t buy prescriptions they get from doctors, while another 10 percent don’t take their medications correctly. Failure to follow the doctor’s orders can make one’s condition worse, landing him back in the waiting room. This is yet another medical bill that can easily be avoided by being obedient.
The above simple tips, if implemented, can help to significantly reduce health care expenses.