The price of healthcare has been a hot-button topic for several years and things have only been getting progressively worse. The average cost of health insurance for a family is $1,168 per month. For some people, that’s a large chunk of their monthly income. While some people think the answer is to forgo having medical coverage, this can have its own set of inconvenient and negative consequences. But, don’t despair! With a little know-how and creativity, there are a few ways you can save money on healthcare costs. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Discount Clubs
No, we aren’t talking wholesale clubs like BJ’s or Costco. There are actually discount clubs for dental care and coverage. If your current plan doesn’t cover any dental costs, plans like AmeriPlan and Careington International offer discount cards that offer participants discounts up to 60%. Although you’ll need to pay a monthly membership fee, its minimal compared to what common dental procedures can cost. Dental implants, root canals, and other major oral procedures can cost upwards of $1,000. There are a few stipulations to consider, though. Most members are required to pay cash up front for the service they receive. You should also verify that your dentist participates and accepts dental-discount cards.
2. Check for Special Offers for Chronic Conditions
One of the most costly expenses associated with medical coverage is treating chronic conditions. Medications and treatment for pain management, diabetes, and cancer can cost several thousand dollars per month depending on your current health insurance plan and the severity of your condition. But what if there was a way to save money on repeat visits to the doctor’s office for the same ailment? The good news is, most of these plans already exist under your current coverage. You just need to ask. Chronic, ongoing conditions such as asthma are often eligible for special offers. This might save you money on prescriptions or other beneficial treatments like inhalers or nebulizers.
Other services to look for are those that most people either don’t know exist or don’t think to utilize. Some health insurances offer around the clock access to professionals over the phone. Doctors and nurses are available to answer questions or concerns you might have regarding your current medical condition. Even better, if you’re looking to supplement your current treatment plan with holistic approaches like massage, acupuncture, or even a gym membership to lose weight, discounts may be available. What’s important to keep in mind is that most insurance companies won’t willingly offer up this information. You need to ask and know what you’re asking.
3. Flexible Spending Accounts
This type of healthcare saving is only available if you receive health insurance benefits through your current employer. Some companies offer what’s known as flexible spending account, or FSA. These accounts allow you to save money, tax-free, and use it for medical expenses, including prescriptions and co-pays. Utilize your company’s FSA like you would any other savings account. Based on your medical needs (and those of your family), deposit a set amount into your FSA every paycheck. This means less worry and stress over paying unexpected medical bills when the time comes. The catch? Whatever money you don’t use out of your FSA by the end of the calendar year, is lost. If you don’t have an FSA you can still use the idea and try to use a simple budget template to help you save money each month.
This makes FSAs a little tricky for those people who can’t predict their annual expenditures. But if you’re someone who sees a specialist regularly or requires costly medication, you can easily reap the benefits of an FSA — and should! If the end of the year is closing in and your FSA is full with unused funds, invest in a new pair of glasses, trip to the chiropractor, or that dental cleaning you’ve been putting off.
4. Get Creative with Your Medications
Before we get into this next point, let’s preface by saying that you should never experiment with medications unless under the direct supervision of your doctor. Prescriptions are given in specific doses for a reason. Straying from the recommended dosage or timeline of when to take your medications can have disastrous effects. But with that being said, there are a few ways to save money by getting creative with your prescriptions. The first avenue is to invest in prescription insurance. While some health insurance plans cover part of your medication costs, others pass that responsibility onto you. In those cases, paying for prescription insurance is well-worth the investment. But what if you already have coverage and are looking for ways to save a few bucks? Looking to save money on your medication? Check out these prescription discounts!
Most insurance companies require the same copay regardless of the dose of medication. Because of this, ask your doctor about taking a higher-dose pill and cutting it in half. Now, you’re doubling the number of doses you receive for the same amount of money. Again, depending on your condition and medical history, this may not be a viable option. However, if safely directed by your doctor, taking half the dose of a high-dose pill may be equivalent to filling a script for the lower dose — meaning you can fill your prescription half as often!
5. Use Preventative Methods
This is the easiest and most practical way to cut costs when it comes to medical coverage. If you’re not sick, don’t require medication, and have no reason to visit the doctor or specialist, you won’t have a hefty bill to pay. But how is this done? Using preventative care. When you invest in your health, you’re also investing in your wallet! Copays, prescriptions, and diagnostic testing all cost money. In fact, the minute you step foot in the doctor’s office, you can hear the dollars adding up. Now, this isn’t to say that you should skip or avoid regularly scheduled check-ups or appointments. In fact, these are the appointments you need to keep!
Early detection is key when it come to diagnosing and treating chronic conditions and life-threatening illnesses like cancer. But if you want to stay out of your doctor’s office for preventable issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, now’s the time to take control of your health and your life. Incorporate regular exercise and a well-balanced diet into your weekly regime. Reduce stress whenever possible and know the warning signs of serious conditions. The more aware you are of what your body needs and how it functions, the better able you are to detect a problem early on and save yourself some cash!
At the end of the day, your health is priceless. Being healthy means the ability to work, play, and live life to the fullest. But everyone can agree that the cost of healthcare can be staggering at times. By using a few of these helpful tips, you can help put money back into your pocket and discover a new lease on life.
Article Submitted By Community Writer