The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
In the US, rising healthcare costs are a significant concern. Americans can work to reduce the burden of healthcare costs by applying specific strategies to use resources and make the most out of healthcare benefits. Read on to learn how you can maximize your savings and cut costs on your overall healthcare.
Creating a Game Plan
Illness and injury often come on unexpectedly. In these emergencies, we do what we need to do to receive medical attention and end up spending more than we can truly afford. If we prepare for emergencies in advance, we can make smarter choices for our finances while still looking after our health later on.
When health crises strike, you want to have a game plan for recovery, just as you would for handling vehicle damage after an accident—but, instead of calling your lawyer or getting an auto body estimating guide, you’re using your healthcare resources.
The options typically boil down to emergency care, urgent care clinics, or a phone call to your provider. No matter how well prepared we are, accidents happen. Do your best to reserve the emergency room for true emergencies only, as going there will generally cost you more than it would to be seen at a clinic.
Furthermore, if a medical professional says that you need surgery, ask if there is an outpatient clinic where you can have the procedure. Outpatient clinics are typically more affordable than going to the hospital. Likewise, if you need to see a specialist such as a chiropractor, radiation therapist, or gastroenterologist, consider which specialists are most affordable to you based on your health plan.
Considering Health Coverage
If you can do so, get health coverage that allows you to see in-network and out-of-network providers. Doing so will make it more affordable to receive the care you need and it will give you more options for choosing the right doctor. You’ll pay less to receive care from in-network providers, so don’t bypass these options if they are available.
Take Care of Yourself
Lowering healthcare costs also comes down to how well you take care of yourself on a regular basis. Knowing this, do what you can to eat healthy, stay active, and live a healthy lifestyle most of the time.
The healthier you are, the less often you’ll need to see a doctor in the first place. Financial wellness is part of aging well and aging well is about always taking care of yourself.
Compare Drug Prices
Always compare prescription drug prices before you pick up your medications. There might be an option to get the same medicine for less using a generic version or through sites that can price match you with the same prescription.
In either case, you can inquire about these options with your pharmacy to find more affordable care options. Remember that the medical industry is still an industry, so advocate for your financial needs.
Healthcare Plan Considerations
When you’re ready to select healthcare plans, remember to choose plans that match your needs. If you need routine care, you might want a plan with a higher premium, so more of your costs are covered. If you don’t need care nearly as often, going with plans that have a higher deductible will allow you to pay cheaper monthly premiums so you can save money.
The Main Idea
Reducing healthcare costs is about being proactive, finding care plans that meet your needs, and advocating for yourself. Follow the suggestions in this article to make the most of your health benefits and ultimately achieve more affordable healthcare for yourself.