For most Americans, healthcare costs are a major burden. From insurance premiums to doctor visits to trips to the emergency room, the price of medical costs has gone through the roof lately.
Case in point: Medical costs are the number one reason Americans file for bankruptcy, and, it’s estimated that 25 percent of adults struggle to pay their medical bills.
If you fall into this percentage, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything you can do to save money on healthcare.
Well, there’s good news: there are actually several ways you can save money on your healthcare bills. You just have to approach the problem from a few different angles.
Read on to learn about the top four tips to save money on healthcare.
1. Shop Around For the Best Insurance
First things first, you want to make sure you take some time to shop around for the best insurance.
With health coverage, you usually really get what you pay for. It can definitely pay off to find a plan that has a lower monthly premium and a higher deductible. That is if you don’t get sick often.
However, if you tend to use your insurance a lot, it’s actually a better idea to go with a lower deductible. You also want to make sure to keep the coverage in mind. By paying a little more in premiums, you usually get a superior range of coverage, which could save you on out-of-pocket costs in the long run.
Shopping around for insurance is always a good idea, especially if you are paying for your insurance yourself. Chances are, there’s a better plan out there that will suit your needs and lower your overall costs. If you need some help getting started, you can check out this list of the best health insurance companies.
Just as you shop around for the best price on groceries, so too should you shop around for the best price on your medications.
For starters, you want to make sure you always ask your provider for the generic version of your prescription. This can lower costs by $20 or more.
Secondly, if it’s a medication you take on a regular basis, you should see if you can get 90-day supplies instead of 30-day supplies. Typically, you can get a big discount when you order pills in bulk.
You should also shop around online to see if there are any coupons out there, and, check with your provider to see if you can pay for your prescription in cash. If you pay in cash, you also tend to get a big discount.
3. Check Bills and Statements for Mistakes
It doesn’t happen all of the time, but you sometimes will come across a bill for something that should be completely covered.
A simple mistake in coding can mean the difference between a PAP smear that costs you $700 and one with no copay.
Therefore, it is very important to be vigilant about checking your bills and summary of benefits.
4. Get Copies of Medical Records and Test Results
It’s very important that you get copies of all of your test results and records and bring those with you to your consultation.
By doing this, you can cut down on the number of tests and office visits that you need. Most times, if you’ve recently had a test, there is no way to repeat it. Plus, if you visit your doctor with your test results in hand, he or she can immediately advise you on what you need to do rather than setting up another appointment once the test results come in.
As you can see, there are many simple ways you can save money on healthcare costs.