If there’s one thing we know about healthcare these days, it’s that the service isn’t cheap. Of course, the upside is that we can access some of the best healthcare in the world, and we can utilize a health insurance plan to help spread out those expenses over time and prevent large “surprises”. But still, most of us are subject to a deductible and co-pays, meaning we are responsible for some of our healthcare bills even with insurance. So, you might be looking for ways to manage your spending a bit…
Use routine screenings judiciously. Talk to your doctor about which routine screenings are right for you. If you’re at high or moderate risk for a particular condition, regular screenings can catch the disease early while treatment is easier (and more affordable). On the other hand, we often undergo costly and possibly unnecessary screenings for conditions which are unlikely to occur in us, due to age, sex, genetics, or lifestyle. So, use routine screenings judiciously, knowing that your needs might change with age.
Live a healthier lifestyle. If you don’t maintain a vehicle, it begins to need serious repairs. In a similar fashion, failing to take care of your body will often result in higher medical bills (and increased suffering). Remember to eat right and exercise, and consider ending any unhealthy habits like smoking or heavy drinking.
Compare prices. When you do need care, in-network doctors and facilities are almost guaranteed to be the most affordable option. But even within your network, prices can vary. So be sure to comparison shop before you choose a particular hospital or physician.
Use urgent care rather than the emergency room. If your condition is not life threatening, an urgent care center is probably a more convenient and affordable option than the local emergency room.
Consult with your doctor about regular prescriptions. Generic drugs are cheaper, and can almost always be substituted for name-brand prescriptions. Prescription costs can even vary by dosage, so also ask your doctor about splitting or doubling pills (as the case may be) in order to obtain a more affordable prescription while accessing the medication you need.
Obviously, we never want you to cut corners in areas that actually impact your health. But there are plenty of ways to access the high-quality care you need, while keeping bills more manageable. Most importantly, remember to evaluate your healthcare plan each fall during Open Enrollment, compare it with other plans, and consider supplemental coverage (for dental, vision, or prescription services) as needed.
We can help with that last part. Just give us a call, and we’ll help you decide which types of insurance could best benefit your budget.