Whose health is at risk? The answer is: everyones…at all times. You never know when an unexpected medical expense may pop up and surprise you. Therefore, especially in todays 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 its 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.
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.
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 its 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.
Its not that uncommon to be able to find ways to lower the bill before it arrives – so dont 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 cant 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 dont 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. Dont 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 dont 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??
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.