- Personal Finance
14 Ways to Save Money on Healthcare
Health care services hold an essential part of our lives and we all seek to be a part of some kind of good health insurance scheme always in order to secure our present and future. Usually, when people are faced with health crisis or emergencies, they seldom tend to think very rationally on what services they are going to get and spend without giving a second thought, which is natural as their primary concern at that time becomes more of an emotional concern, either for themselves or for their family members.
Apart from planning out your insurance policies, there are certain other things which if kept in mind already, can help you a lot in planning your health care services and dealing with them more effectively, while saving some additional huge bucks at the same time. Below are certain tips:
1) While purchasing medicines, try to purchase them from the pharmacies that give the lowest priced drugs. Discounted drugstores generally give you the best prices.
2) Avoid purchasing non-prescription drugs in huge amounts unless they are critically required. Also, always check the expiration date on any medication you buy.
3) Make it a habit to keep a check on your locality's free immunization services and other healthcare related events from your local health departments, and avail them.
4) Ensure that your health insurance coverage is adequate and updated with latest amendments to prevent any financial catastrophe in case of any serious or prolonged illness. Whenever you go for a change in your job, assure that you have coverage during the switching period.
5) Stay hygienic in your living. Always wash your hands a couple of times a day, especially before eating. A good living definitely ensures saving money on doctor's bills.
6) If possible avoid getting the emergency room care, except for the cases of real emergencies. Generally, the emergency room fees are the highest of all, and will cost you lots when added to the physician fees, medication and other extra services you avail at the hospital.
7) In case of hospitalization, seek for the hospitals that are affiliated with teaching institutes as the fees here is usually less and the standard of care is similar to what you get at private hospitals.
8) If possible, avoid checking in a hospital on Fridays. Majority of the hospitals don't have the complete staff on weekends and you might end up waiting until Monday before necessary laboratory and other diagnostic tests can be done and end up paying money on various services without even availing the maximum benefits out of them.
9) While getting diagnosed by your physician, you can always ask for the "starter" supplies of drugs. Many doctors receive samples of drugs from pharmaceutical companies that they can offer to you for your initial dose. This way you can receive benefit in two ways: You get your initial dosages free, and you can also test the effectiveness of the medication and check for any allergic reactions before you actually buy them.
10) Ensure that you don't pay a professional charge for a non-prescription, over-the-counter medicine. Many times physicians recommend drugs that can be sold without prescriptions too. These non-prescriptions medicines may make you pay service fee to the pharmacist if these are handled as prescription drugs, so you might end up paying $5 tip for a $2 medicine. You can simply ask your physician about that and get the drugs without prescriptions too, thereby saving yourself the cost of additional service fee.
11) If possible you can try to get your minor aches and pains screened on phone with the physicians who agree to do that. However, don't expect the complete and definite diagnosis, and this is definitely not recommended for critical or severe illnesses.
12) You can always ask your physician to prescribe you the generic drugs that can save you around $2 to $10 per prescription. These generic drugs are just as effective and safe as the expensive branded drugs, since all the drugs are properly approved by the Food and drug administration and must definitely meet the required standards.
13) Quit smoking. By simply reducing the pack of cigarettes a day, you can save thousands of dollars annually as well as also increase your life span and save money on doctor and medication bills.
14) In case your insurance policy does not offer you 100 percent coverage of hospital costs, you can try to take a semi-private room if possible. It is always cheaper than a private room and the standard of care is also appropriate.
Usually the clinics supported by Government and teaching institutions provide medical services at lower rates than what you get at privately owned medical institutes and doctor's offices. Because of that, you may always have to face crowd and delays at Govt. hospitals and the ones run by teaching institutes. So, plan and choose accordingly depending on the need of the time. The best tip to save money on health care services is to live healthy and safe! I hope the above tips help you in living better and saving more.