Costs keep going up and up, but there are still things you can do to protect your wallet. Here are 10 ways to save money on your healthcare.
Like most people, you’re always looking for ways to save money. Here are 10 easy ways to save on your healthcare costs. You can lower your monthly expenses and put more money in your pocket with some focus and effort.
Take a look and see which tips work best for you!
1 Inform Yourself
The more you know about your condition, the more you can advocate for yourself. Save money by preventing unnecessary, duplicate, outdated, or ineffective services from being done.
The more you know about your condition, the more you can advocate for yourself.
Being informed will help to prevent unnecessary, duplicate, outdated, or ineffective services from being done to save money.
So, be sure to spend time:
- Researching best-practice treatments for a diagnosis
- Understanding the purpose and side-effects of prescriptions
- Knowing what tests you’ve had
- Learning what outcomes your treatment should accomplish
Asking a few simple questions is a big step toward saving money on healthcare.
2 Know Your Network
Some health plans only cover services where they have discount contracts with providers. These providers form a ‘network.”
Service provided outside your health plan’s network not be covered or require a higher out-of-pocket expense. This expense may even apply to urgent or emergent services.
Know your network. Then, use network providers as much as you are able.
You may even want to consider reviewing your network provider list before traveling so you can use a network provider if needed.
3 Know Your Benefits
The medical and legal language can make reading health plan documents and details confusing.
Start with these four main areas:
- Benefit Exceptions List (these services are not covered and generally do not get covered even if you request coverage upfront or file an appeal after the denial)
- Plan Summary/Fee Schedule (will list your co-pay per service type)
- In-Network Provider List
- Preventative Services (maybe on a form called a fee schedule which lists covered services with more details).
Know what is and, perhaps more importantly, what is not a covered service.
4 Use a Primary Care Provider
Specialty services, urgent cares, and outpatient facilities charge higher fees for services that may be available at your primary provider’s office.
While it is usually lower than the emergency room, you can save even more money by visiting a primary care provider.
A primary care provider may be a:
- Pediatrician physician (sees children only)
- Family medicine physician
- Internal medicine physician
In addition to the cost savings, getting established with a primary care provider can offer additional perks, like:
- Getting appointments at the last minute
- Prescription refills
- Access to online e-visits (where you do not have to go to the doctor’s office to get treatment or prescriptions for common ailments).
5 Use Preventative Services
More health plans are covering at least some preventative services now. Preventative services can help detect health problems early, reducing overall healthcare costs now and in the long run.
For example, depending on your age, you may have access to no-cost preventive services such as:
- Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests
- Cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies
- Counseling on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthfully, treating depression, and reducing alcohol use
- Regular well-baby and well-child visits
- Routine vaccinations against diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis
- Counseling, screening, and vaccines to ensure healthy pregnancies
- Flu shots and other vaccines
So, don’t wait to get checked out!
6 Avoid the Emergency Room for Non-emergent Services
If you’re not feeling well, it’s important to know that you have options other than the emergency room.
For non-emergent needs, you can visit your local urgent care center or primary care physician.
While the emergency room is always there for serious and critical medical needs, sometimes it’s not the best choice for smaller issues.
Avoiding the ER can help you save time and money.
Non-emergent emergency room services can be denied or cost thousands of dollars more than the same care received in a doctor’s office.
If the need isn’t emergent, seek care from urgent care or wait to call your primary care provider in the morning.
7 Use a Nurse Call Line Before Going to the ER
If you have a healthcare question, chances are a nurse hotline can help.
These services are available 24/7 and are staffed by nurses and other healthcare providers. So if you need answers outside of regular office hours, call them.
Nurse call lines have symptom management guidelines. The nurse can give you simple home remedies, inform you to go to urgent care or ER, or possibly connect you with a provider by phone.
Typically, these decisions are made utilizing a physician-built and approved symptom triage guideline. As a result, you have an excellent way to avoid the emergency room and feel confident that it is safe to do so!
8 Use Generic Medications
Even though generic medications typically contain the same ingredients as their name-brand counterparts, they usually cost much less.
The medications do not have marketing expenses.
So, if you want to save money on your next prescription, ask your doctor if a generic option is available.
9 Shop Around for Medications
You might be surprised to learn that there can be big price variations from pharmacy to pharmacy, even with prescription drugs like generics.
However, this doesn’t mean you must spend a lot of money to get the medication you need.
You can do a few things to get the best prescription drug price.
For example, you can compare shops by calling different pharmacies or checking their websites. Numerous apps offer these cost comparisons for free or a small monthly charge.
You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist for help in finding the best price for your medication.
10 Be Compliant with Your Treatment Plan to Save Money on Your Healthcare
The most important thing you can do is to follow your provider’s plan. And be honest with your provider about what you aren’t going to do.
For some, something as simple as avoiding salt in your diet can prevent very costly inpatient hospitalization.
An important part of your treatment plan includes your self-care.
There are many ways to save money on healthcare costs, but it comes down to being informed, researching, and making educated choices.
And don’t forget to follow your treatment plan – including proper self-care!
Self-care is essential for managing chronic conditions and keeping overall healthcare costs down.
So be sure to sign up for our free self-care starter guide below. It’s packed with tips and resources to help you get started on your journey to better health – without breaking the bank.
It can be stressful and overwhelming when you begin improving your self-care, and many people also feel guilty when they start taking time for themselves. So, I made this free faith-based guide to help you get started. Be sure to grab yours!
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Lisa Kimrey is a 30-year veteran registered nurse, speaker, and author of the Bible study, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. At Mylifenurse, Lisa writes about simple ways to care for yourself to stay happy, healthy, and rejuvenated while you serve and care for others. Combining her years of nursing expertise with Scripture-based encouragement, Lisa shows readers easy ways to begin and maintain their self-care journey – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care Starter Guide!