As the cost of healthcare continues to rise, here are a few strategies that may help you save a few dollars.
Negotiate With Your Doctor and Hospital
Even if you stay within your provider network, multiple visits to the doctor can add up. Especially if you are in a plan that has a high deductible that leaves you responsible for the full costs. But don’t hesitate to ask you doctor for a contracted rate that is well below the retail rate. Sometimes these discounts can be as much as 50-70% especially if you are willing to pay cash. And if you are going into the hospital with a high deductible, you definitely need to talk to the finance department regarding a negotiated rate along with a payment plan. Most providers are very willing to work with you.
Switch to Generic Pills
Close to 65% of all medications dispensed now are generic. And many health plans offer an incentive (no RX deductible and lower copay) if you utilize a generic. You should ask your physician and pharmacist each time you have a prescription filled if there is a generic available and will it work for you. And there are some pharmacies that offer a very low or no cost copay for generic antibiotics. Don’t be afraid to shop and compare the different pharmacies.
Question Your Tests
Many doctors will prescribe various diagnostic tests for an injury or ailment. But you may be on the hook for the cost of these tests. Confirm the need for each one and then shop around for that MRI, CT Scan or other diagnostic test. Not all providers charge the same amount, and in many cases there is a big difference in cost to you.
No new news here. If you are on a path to healthier living, your overall healthcare costs will be decreased. Smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption and stress all lead to increased healthcare costs. Try your best to monitor throughout the year.
All of these strategies have one key component, and that is having you as a better consumer of healthcare. Don’t be afraid to engage the healthcare system, ask questions and shop around.