6 tips to help reduce your health care costs
The cost of health care increases over a person’s lifetime to match inflation and other economic factors. A person’s individual health, including the type and number of life-long chronic and acute conditions, also comes into play. Since health insurance can’t cover everything, patients of all ages must have a strategy for lowering their health care costs.
To significantly reduce the cost of health care for you and your loved ones, follow these steps:
Read the Invoice
Human and computer errors often occur and result in higher bills. Some health care systems and individual doctors also package services. They then charge the total amount even if you don’t use all of the services. Always request an itemized bill, and review every detail for errors and incidents of package-style overcharging. If you find a problem, contact your provider’s billing office immediately.
Negotiate a Deal
Many providers offer a discount when a patient agrees to pay their bill on the same day of the visit or with cash. They also offer a discount to a patient who comes from a specific national service career background, such as teaching or the military, or belongs to a certain type of members-only club like AARP or AAA. In addition, if you own your own business, you might be able to negotiate a payment-in-kind deal in which you provide services to your provider in exchange for health services.
Pick Urgent Care
An urgent care center offers many of the same medical services during an acute health problem as a hospital emergency room. These walk-in clinics typically accept most major insurance plans. You pay a fraction of the cost of an ER visit, and you don’t have to wait long to receive medical assistance.
Discuss Hardship Options
If you’re experiencing a financial hardship, most doctors and health care systems have payment options. Some providers agree to give you a discount or spread out payments over a year or longer without interest. A provider might also waive part or all of the bill.
Consider Used Equipment
When a provider insists that you need a particular piece of medical equipment, you don’t always have to buy a new product. Medical equipment suppliers and individuals often sell used equipment, such as used lift chairs, crutches and fitness items. Check with both new and used equipment suppliers. When searching online, focus on classified ads, trade and used product sites and social media yard sale groups.
Maintain Your Health
People pay more for health care far too often because they refuse to see a doctor until they’re extremely sick. Beyond eating well and exercising regularly, you should see a doctor at least twice a year for check-ups. Since poor oral health can lead to poor overall health, it’s critical that you also see a dentist twice yearly. Lastly, always schedule an appointment for an exam if you notice abnormal physical changes, such as wounds that refuse to heal, signs of skin cancer and breathing or digestion difficulties.
For more information about these and others tips that can help save you money, contact our experienced team. We can also provide you with advice on finding an inexpensive health insurance plan option that fits your needs. Call today.