Healthcare costs have skyrocketed in recent years and many people are questioning whether the costs of insurance are worth it anymore.
While new policies have attempted to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, costs are still higher than ever. The average deductible for those with employer healthcare in 2014 was over $1200, and costs show no indication of slowing down anytime soon.
Today, you need to be savvy to keep your costs down and make sure you’re only paying for the healthcare you need. Here are five ways to save money on healthcare.
1. Ask Questions
One of the easiest ways to keep health costs down is to always ask your healthcare providers questions. Let them know you want to keep your costs as low as possible. Ask to make sure procedures they’re suggesting are completely necessary. Often times, doctors lose touch with the cost of their services and will over prescribe treatment without considering the monetary cost to the patient. A quality doctor or health provider will work with your budget to help you find an affordable treatment plan.
2. Compare Prices
Different facilities charge different prices for different procedures. Sometimes it can be hard to nail down an exact price for what you need, but it’s always worth comparing prices. Several different dentist offices within the same zip code often charge vastly different prices for exams and xrays. It’s worth your time to consult different offices asking for price quotes with your insurance. This is a good way to select the most affordable provider possible and keep overall costs down.
3. Choose the Right Insurance Policy
Different people have different healthcare needs. If you’re young and in general good health, you might not be able to justify a plan which covers a lot of regular treatments you likely won’t need. Research different insurance providers to determine which one best suites your needs and get a health insurance quote from a reputable third party. Insurance providers tend to recommend expensive, unnecessary plans, so don’t be afraid to question what’s really necessary for your situation.
4. Shop for Medication
People often forget they might be able to get their prescription medication for cheaper without insurance. While many insurance plans cover prescription medications, there are also generic options which can be cheaper. You can research different prescription costs using a reputable search engine or even call different pharmacies in your area to determine what they charge for your medication.
5. Always Ask for Costs Upfront
Receiving bills from doctors and hospitals in the mail can often be horrifying as you realize how much a simple procedure actually ended up costing. It is always best to ask the cost of medical procedures and visits upfront to avoid unexpected fees, and always review insurance statements and bills for errors.
Many facilities like hospitals offer discounts for cash payments received at the time of service, so always ask about your options. Be vigilant about hidden fees and unexpected costs so that you don’t get caught off guard by your medical bills.
Save Money on Healthcare
Healthcare can be expensive. Remember that sometimes the best treatment is preventative treatment. Be proactive with your health, and always attend free community screenings to catch any problems before they start. Preventing disease and health problems is much cheaper than treatment, so the best way to save money on healthcare is to simply lead a healthy lifestyle.
If you do need treatment, however, don’t be afraid to ask for your payment options. Always communicate your desire to keep costs low with your doctor to avoid unnecessary treatment and exams. It’s important to choose the best health insurance plan for your unique needs, and to be proactive about keeping the costs low from the start.