Have you ever been handed a medical bill, and you felt like it was bigger and worse than the illness you had? Healthcare is very expensive, but life is so unexpected that you can’t leave it to fate. So, instead of waiting around for a rash or a cough that doesn’t go away and ends up giving you a huge bill that you didn’t expect, take control of your medical expenses. If you want to cut down your medical expenses without compromising the quality of healthcare, here are a few tips.
Many of the outpatient facilities or family medicine practices cost way less than a hospital. So, if there is a procedure that is possible in an outpatient facility, utilize it. You can simply ask your healthcare provider if whatever procedure you need to get done is possible in an outpatient. Common procedures in an outpatient facility include tonsillectomies, cataract surgeries, gallbladder removal, and hernia repairs. Even some cosmetic surgeries are possible in outpatient facilities.
Yeah, you heard that right! Just like buying a house or a car, when you cover all the options before actually making a purchase, you should do the same for medical expenses. You can compare quotes for health insurance plans and even individual procedures, especially if it is an expensive procedure. This way, you know you’re getting the best plan for health insurance or the most affordable price for a procedure.
Before any procedure, research if your insurance covers it; if it doesn’t, then make sure you compare costs from different hospitals.
Health Insurance Plan
Without health insurance, a medical emergency becomes a financial emergency. Instead of focusing on getting better, all you can think of is how to manage it financially. The out-of-pocket healthcare costs turn out to be much more than what you would pay for insurance, especially if you have a family dependent on you. What’s important here is that you go for a good plan and do it strategically. Research and understand what you need and then decide on any plan.
You don’t need a health insurance plan for everything. Most of these plans include deductibles. A deductible is what you pay before the plan begins. In some cases, paying your doctor saves you money. This is because healthcare providers may offer discounts and cash pricing. So, talk to your healthcare provider, make a list of the pros and cons, and see if you’d be paying less for a particular treatment if it is out of pocket or with insurance.
Do Not Go To The ER
Well, not ever. If it’s something life-threatening, you need to go to the ER! However, if you were planning to go there because you sprained your ankle or broke your wrist, you can avoid the ER and go to an urgent care clinic. Urgent care clinics cost way less than an ER and often take health insurance as well. The bills that the ER hands you after your care may need them to have another bed ready for you! So in case of immediate care, consider the urgent care clinics.
Go To Schools
Many dental schools offer care at inexpensive rates. You’ll not only be helping the next generation of dental surgeons but also saving lots of money. There is the drawback of confronting students, newly equipped with the drills and whatnot, but the tons of savings will help you bear it. Don’t forget that they are always supervised.
Read the fine print to ensure you can afford your medical bills. It’s not a fun thing to do, but sometimes there is an error that you’ll never know about unless you read it. There may be an unnecessary overcharge or an item that is not even related to your treatment. Medical bill errors are more common than you think. So, ask for an itemized bill. With an itemized bill, it becomes way easier to see what they are charging you for. Read it with scrutiny. Ensure there is nothing wrong with your bill. If you find something, call the billing office and ask them about it.
Many times, even after reading an itemized bill, you either do not understand it fully, or you realize that you’ve been duped, but you don’t know what to do about it. So, you need a pro for that. If you feel like you’ve been overcharged, involve a medical billing advocate. They will review the charges for payment. However, if everything’s good in your medical bill, you don’t need to pay them. If there is an issue with the medical bills, the medical billing advocate will charge around one-third or more for the total amount that they save you. The total savings can turn into thousands of dollars. So, if you think there is an issue with the medical bill, seek assistance from the pros.
Rather than going to a hospital and discovering you have nutrient deficiencies, hypertension, diabetes, or some other horrible illness, go for regular check-ups. Regular checkups are usually covered under health insurance plans or healthcare membership programs. These include pathology tests, screenings, dental exams, mammograms, immunizations, etc. These help in detecting any issue in the early stages, when it can be easily maintained. Many illnesses may be prevented altogether. For example, if you check your cholesterol and find out it’s a little high, you can control your diet and get it to a normal level before it’s too late. This will not only help you save lots of money but also keep you healthy!
Low-cost medications do not mean low-quality medicines. Nowadays, many brands charge you a lot for generic medicines. So, while buying medications, ask for generic ones. The only difference between the branded and generic ones is cost. They are usually just as effective as a brand-name equivalent.
You can also get low-cost medications through medicine-specific coupons or prescription discount programs.
Medical expenses are a pain themselves. Even with health insurance, you may need procedures that are not covered. Play your part by eating healthy, sleeping well, and keeping a good work-life balance to eliminate the chances of various illnesses. However, many other causes lead to medical bills. Follow the tips above to reduce these costs, and play your part in keeping yourself healthy!