It’s no secret: healthcare costs in the US are completely out of control.
In fact, the U.S. spends on average about twice as much on healthcare as other high-income nations do. But, it has the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality rates.
That’s a pretty sobering stat to read. And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re headed in the direction of significantly cheaper healthcare anytime soon.
So, if you’re forking over a lot of money on your healthcare bills, and you want to spend less, what do you do? Read on to learn five simple tips to save money on healthcare.
Simple Tips to Save Money on Healthcare
1. Pick the Right Insurance Policy
Your journey to cheaper healthcare costs begins with choosing the right health insurance policy.
If you just received a health insurance cancellation letter, you can see this as an opportunity to find a healthcare plan that is more cost-effective.
You want to make sure to select a plan that will include your doctors and medications, as well as one that will cover any chronic illnesses.
It is very important to be aware that information online is sometimes inaccurate or outdated. So, to make sure a doctor covers the plan you’re considering, be sure to call them directly.
Once you have an insurance policy in mind, make sure you also know the ins and outs of everything it covers. You should find out about copays for doctors, emergency room visits, pre-approvals, and co-insurance prices for procedures.
2. Shop Around for Medication
Just as you need to shop around for the best prices on clothing and food, so too do you need to shop around for the best prices on medication.
First of all, when you have prescribed something, always ask for the generic version of it. It is virtually always the same, and, it usually costs significantly less. Once you know what the generic version is, be sure to check with different pharmacies to see who offers the lowest price.
3. Pick the Right Facility
If your condition isn’t life-threatening, don’t make the mistake of rushing to the emergency room.
A painful cough or broken finger may seem scary, but unless it is truly life-threatening, you are wasting your money by going to the emergency room. Instead, you should be heading to a regular clinic or an urgent care clinic.
Both of these come with a significantly cheaper price tag. However, just be aware that not all clinics and urgent care centers are the same, so be sure to investigate them online before heading in.
4. Check Insurance Statements and Bills for Errors
Yes, it happens.
Insurance companies make errors when billing all the time. A simple mistake in coding can mean the difference between a mammogram that is completely covered and one that costs $800.
Make sure to always vigilantly check your bills and your statement of benefits. This statement summarizes which procedures are covered and which you need to pay for. And be sure to keep records of phone conversations, as the calls are often recorded.
5. Bring Copies of Medical Tests and Records to Visits
Lastly, make sure to bring copies with you of your medical tests and records to your visits.
Doing so may eliminate the need to repeat a test or to set up another appointment for a test after the consultation.
Healthcare bills can be a tough pill to swallow, but with these five tips, you should definitely see your payments go down! Please comment with any questions you may have.