How to Reduce Your Healthcare Costs

I am happy to live in a place with very affordable healthcare, but even so, some things can add up. And unfortunately many people live in a place where healthcare eats such a large portion of their budget if not puts them into debt. Here's some tips from a reader on how to keep down your health care costs.

With the cost of healthcare continuing to increase, it is now high time to limit your out-of-pocket health expenses. The good thing is that a bit of detective work and comparison shopping can go a long way to helping you net a significant saving. Here, we tell you how to save money while still receiving the care you need. 

Go Generic and use Online Pharmacies

Generics medicines cost less than their brand-name equivalents and are very affordable when ordered online. As soon as your doctor makes a prescription, find out if there is a suitable generic alternative. Most plans charge a larger copay when brand name drugs are used. Generics have the same active ingredients as the original medications - the only important difference is the far lower cost.

Lifestyle Changes

The surest way to saving money on healthcare is by eating well, taking care of your teeth, and avoiding bad habits such as smoking. Healthy diets will contain more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in the place of refined starches. Regular exercise and adequate sleep are also sure-fire ways of maintaining a healthy body.

Question the Need for Expensive Tests

Avoid pushing for new tests simply because you believe they are better. Also, if your doctor recommends a CT scan or an MRI, find out how necessary it is and the difference it will likely make. Today, the number of tests being done in hospitals is increasing by the day, most of which are unnecessary. However, if the test needed is required, compare costs for lab tests. Before walking into the recommended facility, compare costs in other testing facilities to see if you can get a lower charge for the procedure.

Establish a Relationship with a Primary Care Provider

Sticking with one healthcare provider ensures that they know you and your medical history better. This means they stand a better chance of advising you on how to stay healthy and the steps to take to avoid specialized medical care, which could be expensive. A primary care provider can also advise you on cheaper spots to purchase your medication and make home follow-ups.

Plan Ahead for Emergency Care

Planning ahead for emergency care makes it easy to know when to report to an urgent care clinic, seek emergency care, or call your healthcare provider. Using an urgent care center or contacting your doctor can save you a lot, compared to seeking help from an emergency department. Emergency departments tend to be expensive because they often need to order tests to make proper diagnostic and treatment decisions. Planning ahead means establishing the best and most cost-effective urgent care center near you. If you have a primary health provider, call to get advice from them in the case of an emergency.

Take Advantage of your Benefits

Routine health screenings are vital, given that they can help catch health problems early when they could be easier and cheaper to treat. For these screenings, you will not be required to pay a copay. If you are expecting, you should get the needed prenatal care to ensure that you and your baby do not experience complications. Most health plans give members a health advocate who can guide you and help you get all your benefits. Be sure to take full advantage of discounted services.

Choose the Right Health Plan

Be led by your health needs when choosing a health plan. A plan with higher premiums, for instance, will tend to cover many health costs. However, only pick such if you have an underlying long-term illness such as hypertension or diabetes and will require frequent care. Choose a plan with a higher deductible if yours is a minor case. That will mean paying lower monthly premiums.

From endless doctor's visits, copays, and drugs, the amount of money spent on healthcare annually can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many approaches that can be taken to ensure you save money on healthcare while still getting the treatment needed. Listen to your doctor's advice to avoid landing back in the hospital and racking up another bill.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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