How To Save Money On Healthcare
Healthcare is one of the most important aspects of any person’s life. Be it in the form of regular checkups, having health insurance, or being able to pay for your prescriptions, your quality of life will decrease without it.
However, healthcare remains inaccessible to 30 million uninsured Americans. This is partly due to the high prices healthcare providers charge, as well as political differences between those in the government.
According to the CDC, the average person in the United States spent $11,172 in health expenses in 2019. This is almost twice as much as any country in the European Union!
Unfortunately, your health is not something you can just disregard in favor of money. Failing to take care of your medical expenses can be a financial disaster in the long term. According to some reports, 40% of Americans wouldn’t be able to spend $400 in case of a medical emergency!
For this reason, we will be talking in this article about how you can save money without compromising your healthcare. Don’t be one of the 1 in 4 people who skipped necessary medical care in 2018.
Why is Saving Money on Healthcare So Hard?
2020 taught politicians, regulators, providers, and patients many lessons about the status of global health care around the world. The COVID19 placed a lot of pressure on the healthcare industry and forced many people to reconsider their healthcare options.
All aspects of healthcare in the US are more costly than in other developed countries, ranging from pharmaceuticals to hospitalization costs. Despite what many believe, this is not due to corporate greed by healthcare providers, but a systemic issue.
Not only do hospitals, doctors, and nurses charge more than in other countries, but providers are also forced to deal with many administrative fees. In addition to this, the government doesn’t control pharmaceutical and healthcare prices.
The United States also has a high prevalence of what is known as “defensive medicine”.
This is the reason why instead of focusing on your need to save money on healthcare, providers might be worried about ensuring you don’t sue them. This means not only that patients don’t receive the best treatment for them, but prices also get higher due to unnecessary testing.
Whether you agree with how the current system works or not, the truth is undeniable: it is a matter of making the best out of it.
Saving Money on Healthcare Compromising Your Health
Saving money on Healthcare and taking care of your health come hand in hand. According to a study done by Purdue University, financial wellness is directly related to your physical and mental health.
It is simple: The healthier you are, the more you will save on medical expenses. The more money you save on healthcare expenses, the less stress you will experience, which translates into your overall health.
Little tweaks on your approach to your medical expenses can make a lot of difference in the long term. This will not only allow you to save money for unexpected medical care but will also open investment opportunities. Let’s see how you can do that!
Reconsider Your Health Insurance Needs
This is a pretty obvious step toward reducing your healthcare costs in the long term. However, a clarification needs to be made here: we are not recommending you go for a cheaper health insurance plan.
Despite what we have come to believe, more expensive is not always better. While it is possible that more expensive plans will offer you more coverage, lower premiums, and more benefits, this is not a universal truth.
Some people don’t realize that they are paying for an expensive plan with a lot of benefits they don’t really need. An alternative for them would be looking for a cheaper plan that provides fewer benefits but the same general coverage in the areas they need.
In some cases, healthcare insurance providers like HealthIQ offer plans that reward you for having a healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t only allow you to pay lower rates but also to have an incentive to be healthier.
You may also want to check if your employer offers you any type of benefits when it comes to healthcare, as it is not unusual for companies to subsidize part of their employee’s healthcare insurance.
These are some factors you should consider when choosing a healthcare insurance provider:
- Premiums: How much will you pay monthly for your coverage?
- Deductibles: Are you required to pay before your insurance covers the rest?
- Provider network: What hospitals, healthcare providers, and pharmacies?
- Copayments: Will you be required to pay part of the costs every time you use the coverage?
- Pharmaceutical coverage: Will your plan pay for some of your medications?
- Benefits: Will you get lower rates for having a healthy lifestyle, offers you dental treatment, or a rewards system?
Considering all these factors and keeping them in mind when looking at the price is fundamental. In the end, you might be losing money if you have inadequate coverage and have a medical emergency.
Save Money on Pharmaceuticals
Drugs are some of the most expensive aspects of healthcare in a lot of cases. Usually requiring frequent use, reducing their cost even a little can add up to quite a lot when it comes to saving money on Healthcare.
There are many ways in which you can save money when buying your medications. This includes requesting generic drugs or using services that find the lower price.
It is not uncommon for people to believe that generic drugs perform worse than brand drugs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the FDA, Generic drugs are required to prove they provide the same clinical benefit as brand-name drugs before being approved.
Being honest with your doctor and asking him to provide you with a generic prescription can save you an average of 54% in price. Saving more than half the price for the same effect is quite the deal.
However, if you are not sure about getting generic drugs, there is an alternative. Services like Blink Health offer a way for you to find your medication at the lowest price, saving you the hassle of asking every pharmacy and comparing.
By doing a quick and easy search on the website, you will get a listing of pharmacies with the price they charge.
You can also buy them directly from the website and have them delivered or pick them up. There is no excuse to be paying more than needed for pharmacy services instead of saving money on healthcare!
Ask Your Doctor for Free Samples
It is easy to feel shame when asking for free samples. However, doctors are more used to this than you would think. This is why free samples exist, after all, to be given.
By asking your doctor to give you free medication samples, you can save money that you can then use for other purposes (we hope you invest it or save it if possible). Being shy can cost you money!
Take Care of Your Health
This might sound like a no-brainer, but a lot of people let their health issues get out of control. Letting a simple health problem escalate can cost you a fortune in the long term.
If you did your homework when choosing your healthcare coverage, you should be able to get regular checkups that in the long run will save you money. If you postpone a visit to the doctor to save a copay of 30 dollars, you could be betting thousands of dollars.
Taking care of your health also includes trying to have a healthier lifestyle as this will reduce the risk of getting sick. Something as simple as using the stairs or walking some minutes each day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, for example.
Making less use of your coverage while ensuring you have it if needed is one of the best ways of saving money on healthcare.
Be Prepared for The Unexpected
While no one likes to think about it, we all should be prepared for the unexpected. For this reason, thinking about healthcare coverage is usually more than just getting health insurance.
For this reason, many people decide to supplement their healthcare insurance with other types of insurance such as disability insurance.
While healthcare insurance will take care of your medical cover in the case of disability, providers like Havenlife will provide you with a source of income. This ensures that you and your loved ones will be taken care of.
While in some cases your health insurance coverage might include other features like disability insurance, this is not always the case. And when they do, sometimes it won’t be enough if it comes to the worst-case scenario.
Saving money goes beyond saving money on healthcare. It also includes protecting yourself in cases where your health might get in the middle of financial security.
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