By 2023, health care spending is expected to climb to $14,944 per person each year. In 1960, the average cost was $146. Even adjusting for inflation, it’s already nine times more expensive than it was back then.
If you’re ill, disabled, retired or earn low wages, healthcare expenses can cause financial hardships. That’s why so many people are looking for ways to save on medical costs.
Luckily, there are tons of ways to save money on healthcare. If you’re looking to improve your life while saving money, keep reading.
We’re sharing some easy tips on how to save on healthcare expenses.
Save on Medical Costs By Looking at Your Current Insurance
You have options when it comes to health care expenses. If you earn a low income, check to see if there are health care subsidies you qualify for.
You can also look at other options. If you’re healthy and don’t visit the doctor often, you may want to opt for a plan with a low premium but a high deductible. Those who visit their doctors frequently may also want to consider this option as they’re more likely to reach their deductible quickly.
If you’re married, check your spouse’s plan. He or she may have a better plan that you both can be listed on.
And look to see if you can’t use a Health Savings Account (HSA). It’s money you set aside for medical expenses on a pre-tax basis.
While some members of Congress are looking to take many features of affordable health care away, they love HSAs and are looking to expand on their features.
Work With a Broker
Trying to save healthcare costs when you don’t really understand it all is a waste of time and stressful. Working with a broker can help you figure out which healthcare plan is best for you.
And brokers work for you, not the healthcare companies. They also have a vast amount of knowledge of the plans available and can help you understand the differences between each one.
They can help you explain the difference between HMOs and PPOs in a way you can understand. And they’ll help you find a plan that fits your budget.
Save on Your Medications
It’s incredibly stressful and scary when you know you need medications to help you live a better life but they’re so expensive you aren’t sure if you can afford them. But there are some steps you can take to make it sure you can afford your medications.
Start by asking your doctor for free samples. You may be able to save on one or two months worth of medications.
Buy in Bulk
Also, see if you can buy your medications in bulk. Check to see if you can get a 90-day supply of it. You’ll save on trips to the pharmacy and there are often discounts for patients who purchase their medications in bulk.
You may also be able to save even more money by getting your medications through an online pharmacy. However, make sure they’re a legitimate pharmacy first.
Request generic drugs
There’s no reason to buy brand-name medications unless you have no other choice. Always ask your doctor to prescribe you generic versions of whatever medication they’re recommending you take.
Check With the Pharmaceutical Company for Discounts
Sometimes there are no generic forms of your medicine. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still receive a reduced price.
Some pharmaceutical companies are willing to help their patients afford the medications they need. The heart medicine Pradaxa offers a savings card for eligible patients.
All you need to do is to perform an online search using the keywords “brand name of medicine” and “savings”.
Medicare Advantage Programs
If you’re over 65, you have Medicare. Many seniors are worried about doctor expenses. If that’s you, there are alternative programs you need to know about.
Check out the various Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap Plans to see if they’re right for your needs.
Both are designed to help you save money while providing you with additional coverage.
Look at Your Medical Bills
It’s hard not to feel so overwhelmed by the medical bills that you just want to pay what you can and then toss them aside. In cases where you are struggling to pay, you may feel you just want to ignore them until they go away.
But what you’re not considering is whether or not a mistake has been made on your bills. Look closely at your bills to ensure the proper procedure codes were used.
Check to make sure the payments you have made have been properly noted. Make sure your insurance company is paying for everything it should.
Ask for Help
If you’re really struggling because your health care expenses are too high, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. He or she may be willing to offer a discount.
They may also be able to put you on a payment plan that you can more easily afford. And in some cases, they may be willing to barter for services.
Eat Well and Exercise
Many of today’s illnesses are attributed directly to poor diet and a lack of exercise. You can do a lot for your physical, emotional, and mental health care just by taking care of yourself.
Make sure you get plenty of rest every night. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Quit smoking and don’t drink too much.
Exercise a few times a week. And do things that help you reduce your stress levels like meditating.
Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment
If you realize something is wrong, do not wait to seek treatment. Go immediately.
Waiting only makes problems worse. While it’s scary to think something could be wrong, it’s way worse to find out that you waited so long that there’s now nothing that can be done.
Don’t let a minor problem become a major expense and worry. See your doctor at least once a year for your annual check-up and make an appointment if you think something may be wrong.
The more you learn about how to save on medical costs and how to improve your own health, the more you’ll save. You’ll also feel less stressed because you’re more in control of your own well-being.
We’re here to help you learn how to improve your finances and make better financial decisions. Click here to learn about a smart investment you can make in 2019.