Healthcare shouldn’t be expensive, but nowadays, it often costs a fortune. Luckily, there are several ways to get quality care without breaking the bank. Here are budget-savvy ways to save on healthcare costs.
Take Advantage of Extras
Health plans sometimes may offer valuable services that many don’t know about, so make sure to read more about your choices to see what’s available. For instance, some carriers offer upright and open MRI tests using open and modern scanners, providing quality imaging while ensuring the patient’s comfort. Other health plans may also provide discounts on weight loss programs, massages, and other holistic healthcare services.
Get Regular Check-ups
Always get check-ups whenever possible, and you can reduce your expenses for these visits by signing up for the Affordable Care Act. Under this program, all preventive care visits like a regular check-up with providers within their network are free, allowing you to monitor your and your family’s health without spending a dime. The program usually covers preventive care such as annual physical check-ups, OB-GYN check-ups, paediatric check-ups, and mammograms.
If your doctor prescribes you a medication, regardless of what it is, always ask if there’s a cheaper generic alternative for it. That’s because there’s plenty of plans that’ll charge a significantly higher copay if you use branded medications than generic ones. So, that means taking generic alternatives can result in significant savings.
Additionally, you may want to ask your local pharmacist if there’s an over-the-counter alternative, especially if it’s a particular type of medication that won’t affect your condition. These include supplements, vitamins, or medicines for gastrointestinal problems.
Always Double-check Your Medical Bills
Medical Billing Advocates of America revealed that around 80% of medical bills have errors, making patients pay more — and doctor’s offices and medical laboratories aren’t exempt from making mistakes. That’s why it’s best to always double-check your medical bills and medical records before paying for anything at the hospital. Don’t hesitate to call your physician or the hospital’s billing department if you discover a discrepancy.
Find Ways to Lower Prescription Costs
Determine if any of your prescribed medicines are available through the Patient Assistance Program (PAP). This program can help you receive low-cost or free medications, and this also applies to patients who may have already had prescription drug coverage. However, eligibility for this program depends on several factors, including your income, the copay amount for the medication in question, and if you have an existing prescription drug coverage.
To benefit from this program and save more money, buy in bulk. Extend your prescription to 90 days if possible since this can cost less than filling a month’s worth of supply at a time.
Invest in a High-deductible Plan
Getting a high-deductible health plan means you need to pay more costly out-of-pocket deductibles. However, monthly fees are typically much lower than conventional health plans. That’s why if you only meet with your doctor once or twice annually, investing in a high-deductible plan is the best choice. It can save you more money while ensuring top-quality care.
Just ensure you have enough money on hand to cover the deductible if you do require significant care. However, if you need to go to the doctor regularly to monitor a chronic medical condition, this plan isn’t ideal.
Use an FSA
Getting a flexible spending account (FSA) enables you to set aside pre-tax dollars toward your annual medical expenses. Doing this helps reduce your taxable income, decreasing the amount you’ll need to pay on a particular date. So, if your employer’s offering an FSA and your healthcare expenses are relatively predictable, take advantage of it. However, keep in mind that you’ll forfeit any amount you don’t use by the end of the year.
Be Upfront About Your Finances
Whether you’re short on cash or are facing a costly insurance deductible, don’t hesitate to tell your doctor about your financial situation. They can help by suggesting less expensive treatment options or, in some cases, lower their fees. Try negotiating the costs before or during your appointment since some doctors may agree to reduce rates if you inform them regarding your financial circumstances early on. Surveys have shown that several individuals who ask for a discount when negotiating on medical fees usually get one.
From check-ups to expensive medications, the amount of money you spend on healthcare can feel like it’s never-ending. Fortunately, you can save money in several ways while receiving quality care — and the tips mentioned can help you get the care you deserve without breaking the bank.