Healthcare costs in the country are on a continuous increase. This scenario has in the recent past pushed people, especially those with terminal illnesses and no insurance cover, into near bankruptcy. But did you know it is possible to save money on healthcare thereby shielding your finances from taking a major hit in case of severe medical complication or emergency? Here are eight practical ways on how to go about it.
1. Plan ahead for emergencies
Familiarize yourself with some medical conditions and injuries that as well as the level of care each needs. For instance, save all of your non-life threatening but serious injuries and conditions that can’t wait for urgent care as opposed to emergency centers. Such include snake bites or bladder infections. Only use emergency care for life-threatening conditions like Stroke, severe chest pains or bleeding and painful cramps in pregnant women. The planning should also involve identifying all the emergency and urgent care centers near you. Note that you stand to save more on time and money by using urgent care as opposed to emergency care centers.
2. Cut costs on medicine
Is the long-term medication for your condition taking a toll on your finances? Consider discussing possible cost-cutting methods on medicine like a switch to generic medicine over brand-name drugs with your doctor. Alternatively, seek their consult on the availability of less-expensive medicine for your condition. Most importantly, take all of your medication as directed by your physician as this speeds up recovery while preventing further aggravation of the disease that would mean digging deeper into your already drained pockets.
3. Consider regular preventative checks
As Dr. Ella Dekhtyar, a dentist would put it “preventative healthcare like screening not only helps identify ailments before they occur but helps save on possible future health care costs.” In line with this call, take advantage of all your benefits by going for regular checkups, parental care during pregnancy, and screening for genetic disorders like cancer. You will note that most preventative health care, including gym membership and eye care, is either free or heavily discounted by your current cover.
4. Shop for a right coverage plan
Are you or any of your family members exposed to a terminal illness or have a history of genetic disorders? In such a case consider subscribing to a high premium health cover as it in turns means more coverage of your health care costs. If most of you rarely need medical care, take a higher deductible premium. However, let the prescription drug coverage inform the choice of your cover.
5. Discuss your finances with the doctor
Don’t be afraid to negotiate for reduced and discounted health costs with your clinician. Instead of nursing an illness at home, show up at a clinic and be upfront about your current financial situation or higher deductible plan. While they may not treat you free of charge, they may offer reduced prices or discounts, with some giving you an option of paying in installments.
6. Avoid supplements without proven health benefits
Safe for calcium and Vitamin D supplements that have a proven record of effectiveness, consider cutting on your expenditure on supplements and herbs. Pay particular attention to available data and research backing the effectiveness of the supplements and you will note that most only rely on information supplied by the manufacturer with no scientific-backing. Steering clear of such supplements saves you from literally flushing your money off the drain as most pass right through you.
7. Shop around for discounts
Are you on prescription drugs? Shopping around and keeping an eye on discounts for your type of medicine can help you save on medical expenses. If you find your doctor or ophthalmologist’s prices for drugs and lenses exorbitant, ask them for a copy of the prescription so you can buy them affordably elsewhere.
8. Go to a medical school
You are more likely to find quality and affordable healthcare in medical school hospitals and dental facilities. While student doctors staff these facilities, they are well supervised and often charge up to 50% less than their professional counterparts.
The healthcare industry isn’t short of exploits that you can take advantage of and cut down on your medical expenses. Whether you seek to save on current or future costs for either medical attention or prescription drugs, you can implement a factor that best suits you.