Sunday, January 12, 2020

Tips for Saving on Healthcare Expenses

Healthcare can be really expensive! I live in a place with relatively low costs for healthcare, and even locally things can add up. But in places like the US without socialized medicine, prices can be exorbitant, so here's some tips on how to lower the cost.

Healthcare, no matter how you save up for it, will always be an unwanted expense. So, as much as possible, it’s best to find different ways on how to trim down the costs. Yes, it is possible to be frugal and healthy at the same time. Here’s how:

Get Health Insurance

If you haven’t yet, you may come across healthcare insurance providers that will offer you cheap plans to make the sale. Often, it is tempting because you don’t want to spend a fortune on a monthly premium.However, these low-cost health insurance plans will usually cost you more when you go to use them.

For example, the premium you are paying may be lower, but this plan does not include some necessary laboratory tests or procedures. Plus, most of these low-cost plans offer limited providers, causing you unnecessary hassle. You also have to think about the inverse relationship between deductibles and premiums. This means that your low-premium plan comes with a higher deductible. If you think about it, all these little costs could add up and cause you to pay more.

Ask for Generic Drugs

If you have been paying a fortune for brand-name drugs, it is time to shift to generics. Don’t be ashamed to ask your doctor if the drugs they are prescribing have a generic alternative. In fact, generic drugs do not differ much in their efficacy compared with brand-name drugs. Shifting to generic medications can save you a lot of money in copays. About 90% of generic drug copays cost less than $30 - that’s a lot compared to only 39% of brand-name copays.

Buy Drugs in Bulk

If you are taking medications regularly for any of your critical illnesses, it would be wiser to buy drugs in bulk. Ask the pharmacy if your prescription is available for a 90-day supply. Bulk buying could save you tons of money in terms of discounts and gas money. Plus, it’s nice to have your medications ready in your medicine cabinet.

Request Free Medication

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if they have a sample of the drug they are prescribing you. Most of the time they do because pharmaceutical reps give them samples in exchange for promoting or prescribing their drugs. For example, if the drug costs about $40 in monthly copay and the doctor gives you a two-month supply, then you’ll save $80 on your medical expenses that year.

Scrutinize Your Medical Bills

It pays to be frugal and being frugal means carefully looking at the bills before paying for them. Often, medical offices make mistakes when they submit claims or when sending out bills. Make sure that every service and medication listed on the bill was indeed rendered and received.

Get CPR Training

Getting CPR training from organizations, such as Lifesaver Education, can be a lifesaver when it comes to your healthcare expenses. When people recognize you as someone who contributed to the system by saving people, they often give you discounts and free services.

Apply for a Patient Assistance Program

If your medical bills are making life harder for you to manage, you can apply for a patient assistance program. These programs are often available through pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations. It is easy to qualify for these programs. You have to show proof that you are in a financial bind and that the medications contribute to your hardship.

There is nothing wrong in looking for ways to cut costs on your medical care and expenses. It just shows that you are well-aware of your financial status. However, staying frugal does not mean that you have to forgo quality healthcare. Remember, our health is our wealth.