Keeping up with your health is of the utmost importance. From general doctor’s visits and prescriptions to specialized treatments and preventative care, the cost of health care for an individual can span hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Unless you happen to be a multi-millionaire, paying thousands of dollars in out of pocket costs can be overwhelming if not impossible. While foregoing healthcare altogether could cost you more money in the long run, there are ways you can cut back on the cost of healthcare and related medical services/needs.
Choose the Right Insurance Policy
Whether you receive health insurance options through your employer, the Affordable Care Act Exchange, a medical-cost sharing plan or through a government-subsidized program like Medicaid, you have options when it comes to choosing your health insurance provider. Each provider offers several health coverage options. Review each policy to find an insurer that will cover a bulk of the services you need with the fewest out of pocket costs. Depending on your income level and family size, you may even qualify for discounted health insurance.
Shop Around for Medication
Medication can often account for a huge chunk of your out of pocket health care expenses. Depending on the type of medication you need and frequency of use, you could essentially pay hundreds of dollars per month even if you have insurance coverage. When prescribed medication by your doctor, it is ideal to shop around for the best price. There are prescription price comparison sites like Lowest Med that can make the task easier. You can then ask your doctor to send the script to the pharmacy that has the most affordable prescription.
Take Advantage of Free Screenings
Staying on top of your health means being informed about what’s going on with your body. Screenings are a series of medical tests conducted to determine if you have a medical illness. You may find free screenings for HIV, Diabetes, and blood pressure at a nearby health fair. You might also find free dental, vision, and general health screenings that you can take advantage of.
Ask About Alternative Treatments
When dealing with an illness or medical condition, sometimes treatments can be expensive and long-term. One way to cut back on costs would be to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor or specialist. There may be alternative approaches you could take to getting expensive surgeries or taking medications long-term. Your doctor may be able to help you find a combination of alternative treatments that help you avoid higher medical costs.
Open a Health Savings Account
Health Savings Accounts or HSAs are very beneficial in helping you cut down on medical costs while also cutting down on your taxable income. The account can be used to cover any health care costs that are not covered by your insurance. This could include copays, medication, coinsurance, and more. Each year, you determine how much of your income you want to be deposited into the account. The funds are both pre-tax and tax-deductible meaning the money is not taxed when it comes out of your paycheck or when you use it on medical expenses.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the cost of health care coverage is going down anytime soon. With healthcare also in debate right now, it would be a good idea to get into the practice of learning how to reduce your out of pocket medical costs. The above-mentioned advice can help you save thousands of dollars each year which is a huge chunk of change that you can add to your emergency fund or use to go on vacation.