The cost of healthcare in the United States can be incredibly high, which leaves many patients wondering how they can afford to seek treatment for their health issues. Whether its high co-pays, expensive deductibles, or the skyrocketing purchase price of many prescription drugs, there are a lot of ways you can find yourself owing a significant amount of money to cover the cost of your medical care. Since the government hasn’t yet done anything to address these rising costs, patients are left to look for less expensive alternatives on their own. If you’re struggling with the cost of your healthcare, read on to learn about four tips that can help you manage your medical expenses.
1. Choose the right insurance plan.
The first step in managing medical expenses is to make sure that you choose from the best Tricare billing and insurance plan available to you. There are so many plans on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you and your family. If you expect to have high medical bills, a higher premium in exchange for a lower deductible might be a smart choice. For a healthy person with minimal projected yearly medical expenses, saving money on your premiums and accepting a higher deductible can make more financial sense.
2. Look for medical billing errors.
Believe it or not, studies suggest that between 40 and 80 percent of medical bills include at least one error that cost a patient money. These mistakes include things like charging for a more expensive procedure than the one that was actually performed, duplicate charges for the same item, and billing services that should be combined in a package individually at a higher cost. If your bill looks high or you don’t understand anything on your itemized bill, talk to the hospital and ask questions. Eliminating these unnecessary costs can save you thousands of dollars.
3. Find discounts for your prescriptions.
The rising cost of prescription drugs is a well-documented problem in the United States, and the price you pay for a given prescription can vary just based on which pharmacy you go to. Services like USA Rx can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your prescriptions. USARx provides discounts you can use at any pharmacy to save on the purchase price of your medications. The cost of your medication can also vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, so take the time to call a few different places and compare prices before you fill your prescription.
It can also be worth it to ask about generic drugs, which contain the same active ingredients as a brand-name drug and are allowed to be manufactured after its patent, or trademark, has expired. Adjusting your dosage or how frequently you need to refill your prescription is also a matter of paperwork for your doctor. Ask if they think there are any reasonable adjustments they can make to help save you money.
4. Be proactive about preventive medicine.
Any doctor will tell you about the importance of identifying problems early and the difference that a healthy lifestyle can make when it comes to preventing common medical issues. A healthy lifestyle includes everything from your diet to exercise and keeping up with things like annual physicals. Reducing stress, addressing mental health issues, and prioritizing pursuits that add value to your life can also help you stay healthy and engaged. All the small choices you make add up when it comes to keeping you healthy.
While it can be overwhelming to try and find ways to reduce your healthcare costs, there are more resources than ever available for patients faced with high medical bills. You may find you can reduce the amount you owe by thousands by being engaged and asking questions about your care, and both third parties and manufacturers offer discounts that can help cut costs. Ultimately, the most reliable way to reduce your medical expenses is to live a healthy lifestyle and be proactive about preventive medicine, so you can avoid many of the illnesses and health problems that can leave you with a hefty bill in the first place. If you do find yourself with a bill you can’t afford, do your research and ask your doctor for help, you may find a solution was right under your nose the whole time.