Reduce Health Care Expenses: 7 Frugal Living Tips, Plus One
Do you want to save money? It’s possible to save $500 or more per month.
But, how do you make it work?
For several years, health care expenses have been on the rise. For nearly every household, healthcare costs continue to be a major expense. The expense for the care itself continues to increase, and, naturally, insurance costs tend to rise also. Discovering ways to lower these costs can be well worth your time.
Here are several tips and tactics that could reduce your health care costs:
1. Make sure you have an appropriate medical or health insurance plan. This is where a local, independent insurance agency can help tremendously. They do the shopping, so you don’t have to. Keep in mind, the best plan for a healthy 24 year-old probably isn’t the best insurance plan for an obese 54 year-old that may have high blood pressure and diabetes. Different plans cost different amounts. Find a plan that works for you, taking into account your age and health. There is that Affordable Health Care Act at Healthcare.gov
2. Consider using mail-order for drugs. Do you take the same medications on a regular basis? You could save up to 70% on your pharmacy bill. This could save you over $1,000 per year on many common brand-name drugs.
3. Exercise: get in shape and eat well. Many health issues are reduced, avoided, or solved by regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
4. Use a flexible spending account. In most cases, this kind of account can avoid income taxes. Pre-tax dollars are always nice. You can take care of medical expenses using money from your flexible spending account.
5. Does your employer offer wellness benefits? Take advantage when you can. Many employers provide insurance premium discounts when you participate in various health programs.
6. Offer a lower payment. Suppose you receive a large bill from a medical provider. If you can’t afford a large bill, ask if they will accept a smaller amount as payment in full. It’s possible that they may be willing to settle for a lesser amount if they realize your funds are limited.
7. Review your hospital bill. Believe it or not, it’s common for hospital bills to have errors. Be sure to ask for a copy that’s formatted for us lay-people. (Lots of times a bill can consist of nothing but procedure codes and dollar amounts.) Did you receive every procedure, test, and drug? Ask questions. You may have to be assertive.
8. Stay out of the emergency room (like you didn’t see that one coming). Unfortunately, the emergency room may be absolutely necessary. But, whenever you’re able to use an urgent care center instead, do that. Many emergency room visits could be avoided. On average, an emergency room visit tends to cost people $1,000. In comparison, an urgent care center may have charged only $75.
Medical care can be expensive. Make sure you have the right health insurance. Your local independent insurance agent can help you. They do the shopping, so you don’t have to. Consider all the options for reducing your healthcare costs. We’ve presented a few ways of reducing your annual health bills. Please, make an honest effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, prevention is the best strategy for cost reduction.