One of the major aims of The Affordable Care Act was to motivate US residents to become well-informed about healthcare spending. The essence was, by using more out-of-pocket money for our health, we would spend more wisely for healthcare services. The glitch is that most individuals haven’t learned how to buy healthcare in a way that keeps their medical expenses down. As a result, healthcare expenses have become one of the top financial problems plaguing an average American’s bottom line.
The good news is that it’s entirely possible to reduce the financial stress related to healthcare expenses. From being a wiser healthcare shopper to living a stress-free life, here’s a look at 3 ways to minimize one of your biggest expenses.
Find the Lowest Cost Prescriptions
It might surprise you to learn that pharmacies, even if they’re located within blocks of one another, might charge different prices for the exact same prescription. Also, the differences are often unpredictable and may vary for different brands, dosages, and medications. How are you supposed to navigate this and ensure you’re getting the best pricing?
Fortunately, for healthcare buyers, companies like Lowest Med offer a prescription shopping service that explores the pricing databases of all the nearby pharmacies and presents the price for the medication at each one. The search takes a few minutes, but the savings can be significant. Those on the go can just use a mobile app to search and find the best prescription drug prices.
Try Negotiating Medical Bills
It may be possible for you to bring down the cost of healthcare by negotiating with your insurance provider. Do this after you get your bill or by trying to get a less expensive bill upfront. If you’re due for a planned procedure, such as an elbow replacement surgery, shop around. Find the prices of this procedure in your proximity. This will give you a heads up on what to expect in terms of cost.
Also, if you get quotes, you can use them as evidence to show your healthcare provider if their quoted price is much higher than what you received from other providers. If that’s not an option, it may be possible to negotiate the bill after receiving the service. Ask the relevant billing office if they can give you a reduced bill if you pay a lump sum.
Plan for Urgent Care in Advance
When an injury or illness arises, analyze how chronic it is and how soon should you get medical assistance. This allows you to decide whether to visit an urgent care clinic, receive emergency care, or call your healthcare provider. It’s smart to decide where to get care by thinking how fast you need care.
For instance, if a pregnant mother could have a permanent injury resulting from breathing problems, chest pain, or severe bleeding, it’s an emergency. If someone needs care for symptoms like dog bite and he/she can’t wait, it’s urgent care. Planning for urgent care will save you time and money rather than visiting an emergency department.
Healthcare costs are expected to rise in the near future. Fortunately, a little pre-planning and smart detective work can net you significant savings.