Ten ways to cut healthcare costs

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 00:00 |
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If you are scheduled for a non-urgent procedure, you may want to research how much it would cost to have it done at different hospitals or outpatient clinics.

The savings from shopping around can be significant. However, it’s important to use good judgement about when you need to go for emergency services.

Some situations require immediate attention and the patient doesn’t have the luxury of choosing where to go or when.

When you can, reach out to your doctor for advice. You may want to consider less costly treatment options.

Routine health screening

Skipping your regular check-up can cost you down the road. Some diseases have mild initial symptoms, some almost unnoticeable.

Having regular tests can help diagnose health problems early and greatly save on treatment costs. Also get prenatal care if you are pregnant. It is the best way to increase your health and that of the baby.

Opt for outpatient services

If you need a procedure or surgery, ask your provider if you can have it done at an outpatient clinic.

Often, getting care as an outpatient is cheaper than having the same procedure while admitted in hospital.

Choose in-network healthcare providers

Depending on your health coverage, you may have the choice to see providers who are in-network or out-of-network.

You pay less to see providers who are in-network, because they have a contract with your health plan. They charge less.

Embrace technology

With technology, you can have healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat you online or over the phone.

The 24/7 convenience of telemedicine may save you costly trips to urgent care clinics or emergency rooms.

Go for generics

Ask your healthcare service provider if you can switch to generic medicines.

They have the same active ingredient and cost less than brand name drugs. But generics aren’t always an option, especially with newer drugs.

Such is the case with treatments for psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that causes scaly patches to grow on the skin.

Also, enquire on less expensive medicine that treat the same condition.

Review, negotiate bills

Medical bills can be confusing, but it’s important you carefully review any invoices because mistakes happen.

Don’t assume your bill is cast on stone. Additionally, the bill can be negotiated down.

Take medicine as prescribed 

Failure to adhere to prescriptions may lead to further health problems, complications and cost.

Therefore, it is advisable to complete the dosage. And if the medicine is not working for you, it is always good to contact your doctor.

Choose a health plan that is right for you

When choosing a plan, think about the health needs of you and your family. If you pick a plan with higher premiums, more of your health costs will be covered.

This may be a good idea if you have a health problem, such as diabetes, and need regular care.

If you rarely need medical care, then you may want to choose a plan with a higher deductible. You will pay lower monthly premiums and likely save money overall. 

Prevention always better than cure

A simple way to save money on healthcare is to stay healthy. Of course, that is sometimes easier said than done.

But staying at a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and not overindulging in unhealthy practices such as smoking lowers your risk for health problems. 

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