Everyone knows that the cost of medical care is rising much faster than income levels and that even with insurance, medical bills can be extremely high. However, there are some tricks of the trade that you can learn that will help keep the bills to an affordable level. Seven of these are discussed below.
Inquire With Your Provider About a Price Break
A lot can be done by simply asking about a price break for services rendering. While each facility will likely have different regulations about negotiating bills, it is always a good idea to ask about it. This can be a way to save a significant amount of money.
Choose Your Providers Wisely
The location of your care provider can make a huge difference in how much your care costs – and emergency rooms are significantly more expensive than urgent care clinics or the doctor’s office. Try whenever possible to use one of these for your care.
Compare Providers Using Online Databases
The Internet is giving patients more information than ever to compare the quality and cost of medical facilities. Cigna and Aetna, for instance, both have tools where customers can investigate a facility for a certain procedure – say, a colonoscopy – and compare fees and quality of service.
Compare Test Fees Between Facilities
Medical testing can be incredibly expensive, whether it is bloodwork or imaging services like MRI’s. Asking about fees beforehand can save you a lot of money, as fees will vary significantly from one facility to another.
Save On Drug Costs
Another great way to save money is to switch whenever possible from brand-name drugs to generic drugs, which on average cost 30-60% less. Some drugs are not available in generic forms, so talk to your doctor about an alternative to your brand name medication that can treat you effectively at a better price.
Use Your Freebies From Your Insurance Provider
Many health insurance companies offer a variety of free services, especially those aimed at preventing an illness or complication before it begins. These can include mammograms or Pap tests for women and prostate screening for men; take advantage of these free offers, as they can not only save you money, they can also save your life.
Take Advantage of Discounts
In addition to promoting preventative care, many insurance companies also promote healthy lifestyles by giving discounts on things like programs for smoking cessation or weight loss, memberships to fitness clubs and even chiropractic visits. Take advantage of these discounts.
Most of the methods listed above are pretty straightforward and don’t usually take up a lot of time. However, they can lead to significant savings of healthcare costs and great reductions on your medical bills, something everyone can feel good about!
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