Everyone knows that healthcare costs can be high. While we try to keep all of our expenses as low as possible, there are certain things we cannot avoid spending money on. Likewise, even though we like to believe our health and that of those who depend on us is priceless, it’s not something you want just to let go of either. This leaves us with the challenging task of balancing the two.
The good news is that there are many ways to save money on healthcare costs. The following eight tips will show you how:
1) Preventative care
One way to get more for your healthcare buck is to invest more in your health. This means getting regular checkups, so you know what sort of shape you are in and learning how to maintain your well-being. The more healthy you are, the less you spend on doctor visits, medication, etc. And yes, this includes exercise, too!
2) Shop for insurance wisely
When it comes to insurance, you want to make sure that your coverage is as good as it can be for the least amount of money. Often, families find themselves going with a high deductible plan because they feel they cannot afford a more traditional health insurance policy. It turns out that a higher deductible does mean lower premiums, but this isn’t saving anything if you’re not able to pay your deductible when you need to make a claim.
3) Go generic
Generic drugs are great for saving money because it’s doubtful that you will receive any diminished performance or quality. This is especially true if you talk to your doctor about possible alternatives and then compare prices among various manufacturers and suppliers to find out which offers the most excellent savings for your family. Be sure to ask about pill quantity discounts as well—sometimes several large bottles work out cheaper than many smaller ones even though the price per pill is slightly higher with the larger quantities.
4) Investigate your health insurance benefits
It’s a myth that you have to wait until it’s too late before knowing if your health insurance will cover a particular treatment or medication. Don’t be afraid to ask what your coverage entails and check with previous policyholders regarding their experience with the company’s customer service workers and how much they paid for specific treatments or medications. You may even find out that the medical services you thought were not covered are, in fact, reimbursable by your project. All you need to do is ask!
5) Research medical tourism options
Medical tourism or ‘global healthcare trips’ are a relatively new phenomenon. It’s the outsourcing of medical procedures to countries where they can be performed more cheaply. The cost savings with these trips is tremendous, especially for those who need expensive surgeries or treatments that cannot be obtained locally. With most medical tourism agencies, you never have to leave home as your treatment is coordinated from start to finish—from flight and hotel accommodations, food, even companionship—all at a fraction of the price!
6) Ask about pricing transparency
Healthcare is one area that certainly needs more transparency. It’s estimated that we pay up to ten times as much as the actual cost of a service or drug simply because we don’t know how much it should be, and there’s no way for us to find out. Ask your doctor, hospital, and pharmacist what something costs to have an idea next time instead of paying whatever they say just because you don’t know any better.
7) Talk with your provider
If there is a medical procedure or treatment you want, then ask if it would be possible to get it done in less expensive ways—for example, injections rather than surgery, splints instead of casts, etc. Furthermore, ask if they can do more than one dental coverage treatment like Invisalign or teeth replacement at the same time. If you wait until all of them have to be done separately, it might prove more expensive in the long run.
8) Get healthy
Perhaps the best way to save money on healthcare is simply by avoiding it as much as possible with preventative measures such as eating a nutritious diet and keeping active. This is especially true when it comes to kids, who grow up healthier and more robust if they’re given the correct fields from an early age. Good health costs nothing, but being ill can be extremely expensive.
The principles presented here remain valid for all medical procedures and treatments, including those not mentioned, such as cosmetic surgeries, dentistry, or chiropractor visits. We all know that we need to take better care of our bodies—it’s the only one we’ve got. By taking some basic steps towards a healthier lifestyle, you will find yourself sleeping better at night and, most importantly, enjoying your life to the fullest.