5 Ways to Save on Medical Expenses

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Whose health is at risk? The answer is: everyone’s…at all times. You never know when an unexpected medical expense may pop up and surprise you. Therefore, especially in today’s high-cost healthcare environment, you have to be ready to save ahead of time and learn to save on medical expenses.

And you might think that saving on medical expenses is too lofty a goal – but it’s not always as hard to achieve as you think. Understand how the system works and how to take smart steps at the right time, and almost anyone can save substantially.

Related: Top 5 Reasons People Go Bankrupt and How to Avoid It

5 Ways to Save on Medical Expenses

Here are five ways you can take action to bring down your medical expenses:

1. Choose Your Insurance Carefully

There are many online tools to help you find the most affordable and most appropriate insurer and insurance policy to fit your needs. But before you can make a decision, you need to know several things:

  • Which providers in your area charge less for the same services?
  • Which providers are in which insurance networks?
  • What insurers cover more for less, on the very medical procedures and prescription drugs you are most likely to need?

After you have the above information, the rest is just crunching the data.

Save on medical expenses

2. Get a Lower Price Before Being Billed

If you really want to save on medical expenses, then this is a biggie. Always ask if a medical procedure is necessary and if there are other options available. If you don’t need the procedure or if there are cheaper options available, you could save time, hassle, and most importantly…tons of money!

Also, don’t forget to ask how much each option costs or if it’s covered by your insurance. Then take it one step further and see if there are any discounts offered. You might be surprised that you qualify for one of them.

It’s not that uncommon to be able to find ways to lower the bill before it arrives – so don’t assume that nothing can be done about it!

3. Get a Lower Price After Being Billed

Even after they arrive, there are often ways you can negotiate medical bills. If you can’t afford to pay in full upfront, and if you are in a specific income category, you might qualify for income-based repayment. This would give you affordable monthly payments and a lower total amount to pay.

There are many factors involved in when you can negotiate and how much negotiation room there will be. But it is well worth your while to learn how to be a good healthcare negotiator. And if you don’t think you can manage that – then get a local healthcare advocate to help guide you through the negotiation process.

4. Get Less Expensive Prescription Drugs

If you opt for a generic brands of drugs, you can save a lot. Ask your doctor to prescribe a generic equivalent – the FDA requires them to contain the same active ingredients as the drugs they “imitate,” so they often work just as well. And you might even be able to get an over the counter equivalent.

Also, think about adding a Medicare Advantage Plan that will cover prescription drugs if you use a lot of them each year. Don’t forget to look into mail-order or big-retailer discounts for bulk or regular orders. There are a lot of ways to save on drugs out there, so don’t fail to explore them.

5. Offer to Pay in Cash

Should you be temporarily without insurance, or if a particular service is not covered by your policy, ask your doctor if you can save anything by paying in cash. Oftentimes, the answer will be “Yes.”

Doctors do this because they can avoid waiting on insurance company payouts and avoid paying credit card transaction fees when dealing in cash. They often have very limited cash on hand even with large volumes being processed – so cash discounts are common and worth asking about.

No More Excuses: Start to Save on Medical Expenses

I get it. Medical insurance and billing can be complicated, but that doesn’t excuse you from being responsible. Take control of your money in all circumstances, even when it comes to medical items.

If you want to save on medical expenses, follow the guidelines above. Just these simple steps could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year!

Do you plan to step up your game and save on medical expenses this year??

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