Tricks for saving on healthcare
Even if you have good health insurance in place, you’re probably facing surprisingly large out of pocket expenses for your medical care. Given the rising amount of care you’re expected to handle before the policy kicks in, it’s a good idea to develop strategies to save on some of these costs. According to Money magazine, these six can make a dent in your medical bills. Here’s some examples:
- Do your own health monitoring: These days, the devices you need to monitor your vital signs or test your blood sugar are fairly affordable. Consider buying your own in-home glucose testing kid ($20 to $130) and your own blood pressure monitor ($30 to $140). That way, you won’t be forced to pay co-pays for doctor visits that only involve simple tests like these.
- Be crafty about medication spending: If you and your spouse have health insurance, make sure you’re using the plan with better med benefits when you fill prescriptions. Another option is to ask your doctor for the cheapest pills available to treat you. Thirdly, switching you to generics can sometimes mean you contribute little or no co-pay dollars. Yet another option is to order 90 days of meds via mail order, which is usually cheaper than three 30-day refills.
- Avoid extra tests: Ask your doctor whether the tests she’s ordering will change the treatment plan. If not, you may want to go ahead without them, assuming you don’t have any severe symptoms. If you do need a test, especially imaging tests (such as MRIs, CTs and X-rays), see if you can negotiate a lower price for cash payment; sites like FairCareMD.com are set up help you do just that.
- If you get tested, make sure it’s the right test: Be aware that if you do actually need a test, the amount you pay may differ depending on whether the order is “coded” as a preventive test or not. Don’t be shy: ask the testing facility whether the order is coded right.
For more background on how to save, check out this excellent piece in Money magazine here.