If there’s one reason why people are striving to lead a healthy life, it would be to avoid expensive medical bills. The last thing we want is to waste our hard-earned money on unexpected hospital fees that can sometimes cost more than a month’s salary. The truth is, healthcare costs take up a significant expense of the family budget, from regular checkups to prescription drugs.
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, more people are becoming conscious of their health status. Some are taking vitamins to boost their immune system while others are applying for health insurance or financial protection in the event of an illness or accident. Meanwhile, those with rare diseases join patient recruitment services to learn more about their condition and earn money in the process.
From medical bills, prescription drugs, to doctor’s fees, the money we spend on healthcare each year seems endless. While we do our best to live a healthy lifestyle, we never know when we’re going to get sick. To learn about the proper management of healthcare expenses, here are ways to save more on medical costs.
Find the suitable health plan
When choosing the right health plan, don’t simply choose the cheapest monthly premium or the one recommended by your colleague. Benefits change every year as well as your health needs.
Before shopping for your health plan, start by listing your annual medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits, drug prescriptions, dental care, and other healthcare services. If your company offers insurance, check the available options and choose the plan based on the list you created.
Another tip is to explore available subsidies. Your government may be offering assistance to cover your health insurance. Once you qualify, you’re eligible for cost-sharing subsidies or premium tax credit.
Maximize your health coverage
Most health plans offer tons of health services you certainly haven’t explored yet. If you have one, visit the carrier’s website to know what’s available. These services range from on-call nurses, wellness care, preventative care, and laboratory and diagnostic care. They also offer discounts on massage treatments, acupuncture, weight-loss programs, and gym memberships.
Other health plans offer programs for patients with existing conditions, such as allergies and asthma. If the patient has frequent asthma attacks, they can get a nebulizer at a discounted price instead of regularly renting the equipment at the pharmacy. Health plan representatives can also refer you to a pharmacy that offers affordable prices based on your medication. Check if your insurer has advocate programs to learn more about your insurance and determine the most affordable treatment.
Some employers offer a flexible spending amount (FSA). Use it to your advantage since they serve as tax-sheltered accounts which you can use to cover out-of-pocket expenses, such as prescription co-pays. Estimating your entire medical expenses for a year will help you utilize the FSA before it disappears. Some examples are dental cleanings or replacement glasses.
Be upfront with your healthcare provider
Most patients feel embarrassed about telling their doctors their financial state. If you have a limited budget, negotiate your fees before or during the appointment. Your doctor will be more than willing to help you with your financial circumstances.
When the doctor is writing the prescription, present them with a copy of the insurance firm’s list of covered prescription drugs. If they’re aware of what’s included on the list, they will choose the best prescription that fits your budget. You can also ask them to consider a generic version.
Another technique is to slice high-dose pills. This applies to antidepressants and allergy meds that have a similar co-pay with their lower-dose versions. Ask the doctor if you can split the pill to help cut costs.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for discounts, especially if you are a loyal patient. Believe it or not, more than half of patients who ask for discounts are actually getting something. You can also ask for referrals to get the right provider for the specific medical service you need.
Most doctors have plenty of free medicine samples from pharmaceutical companies. If you’re short on cash, ask the physician if they have samples or check the pharmaceutical company’s website for free samples or discount coupons.
Taking the time to understand your healthcare needs helps in managing medical costs. Healthcare can take a painful bulk of your budget, so it’s important to minimize its expenses as much as you can. Knowing all available options without sacrificing the quality of healthcare can go a long way to get extra savings on your everyday healthcare costs.