Healthcare costs can amount to quite a bit, especially if you live in the US. In 2018 the average cost of healthcare per person in the US was $11,000. The prospects in 2022 look rather grim, with 43.4% of people aged 19-64 not adequately insured. With a declining economy and healthcare costs at an all-time high, navigating your costs can be difficult. You should ask your physician about alternative care options to help you live more frugally.
With specific saving habits that don’t compromise on preventive care measures, the following are some tips to cut down and manage your healthcare costs.
Off the bat, the best way to avoid any overspending on healthcare is by investing in a healthcare plan that suits your all-round needs. Take your time to research and choose something that reflects what you want.
But before you contact the insurance company, you should make a list of things you want or questions to ask yourself. How much are you willing to contribute to a plan monthly? Are the preferred healthcare providers within your potential insurance network?
The services provided should be worth what you’re paying regardless of frugality. You can also chat with your insurance company and come to an agreement over what services they can give you and any concessions available to you.
Seek out funds or compensation
You will have to see if you qualify for compensation for a medical condition caused by wrongful exposure. For example, mesothelioma patients can contact trust funds or lawyers to secure money for treatment. Cancer treatment can be quite expensive, and having access to additional funds can make treatment manageable. Average settlement costs amount to $1 million, but this depends on the nature of the case.
Avoid overpaying for medication
You can avoid overburdening yourself by paying for the medication you don’t need or can find generic brands for. Check with your healthcare provider to see if generic or local brands for your medication are available. If so, then switch immediately.
Generic drugs have the same ingredients as brands, but come at a more reasonable cost. You can search for medicines online too and find a better deal.
Have you tried splitting the pill? There are certain medications where it’s possible to order a double dose and split the pill. This way, you can save on the prescription cost. However, ensure your physician is aware of this and has given you the green signal to do so.
Look for discounts
According to your age and income, there are certain benefits that you qualify for. In some cases, your supplemental health coverage is covered due to healthcare needs or upon reaching a certain age. Use websites like NeedyMeds or Optum Perks to find discounted supplements.
Not having a primary healthcare provider means you aren’t able to get the best healthcare possible. You’re making a conscious effort to care for your health, so take it a step further and pick a primary care provider.
Having a family doctor means not only do they know your history, but your family’s too and can give you a better idea of your overall health. These doctors have an idea of your personal health needs and can thus provide more personalized care. Moreover, you’ll find many options available for selecting a family doctor within your insurance network so try to focus on getting one for the long term.
Emergency care happens to be one of the most expensive and time-intensive ways you can spend money. With a primary care provider, you lessen the chances of landing in an emergency. Plus, they will give you a rundown of the closest emergency care facility and a plan if you need emergency care.
Consider medical cost-sharing
If you have medical bills that need paying, cost-sharing programs can be a godsend. These are usually run by NGOs or charitable organizations that collect funds and low monthly fees from their members. While this doesn’t mean health insurance, it can help you pay off hospital bills in a more manageable manner.
You can apply to the program and wait for their approval. While this can help you in the short term, there is no guarantee that they can help you, nor do they have a contract that ensures payment. But more often than not, such programs can lower your medical bills and allow you to choose a care provider yourself, especially because they do not have network restrictions, unlike most insurance policies.
Contact your employer to ask about your health savings account if you haven’t already. An HSA allows you to set aside pre-taxed money for any healthcare expenses in the future. These help you save a significant amount per year. HSA is your investment, you can earn interest on it, and it can be transferred to a new employer.
This is a no-brainer. Practicing improved lifestyle behaviors will have a positive financial impact over the next few years. Not only are you saving money, but taking care of yourself will help you lead a life with fewer health complications. It is always smart to choose prevention over cure.
You will be cutting down on daily costs associated with unhealthy behaviors that can be something as simple as smoking or buying junk food. Plus, regular exercise and maintaining 6-7 hours of sleep daily will reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. You can avoid tests, treatments, and regular visits to the doctor that cost you an arm and a leg and your time.
You don’t need to have your surgery or procedure done at the hospital. You can ask your primary care provider to refer you to a clinic where the costs are more manageable. Outpatient facilities are largely safe; just ensure you have read reviews or know doctors that would recommend the place.
As long as universal healthcare remains a pipe dream for many, you will have to compromise either on your health or your living standards to afford healthcare. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle or seeking healthcare services that meet your needs can help you cut healthcare costs.