Common Sense Ways to Save on Health Care Costs – Guest Post
There is a very real reason why healthcare is such a hot political issue. An extremely costly expense is rapidly growing, each one of us has to deal with the advancing prices day in and day out. With no relief in sight, people must constantly look for ways to save money while still getting the treatments they need for optimal health. While healthcare costs are very high, there are ways to make it more affordable even in the current uncertain climate that surrounds it.
Check the Bills
Every bill you receive from your insurance company or even the hospital should be completely and thoroughly reviewed. It is common for bills to contain errors that could cost you a significant amount of money—up to hundreds of dollars. People do the billing, and we all know that people make mistakes. So check over each of the bills you receive to be sure that you are not paying for services you never received. This can be due to a typo in the billing codes, or something keyed or clicked that should not have been by a doctor, nurse, or billing specialist. It has been estimated that as many as 50% of all medical bills contain some type of error that will cost you more than necessary.
Avoid the Emergency Room
Though this is not always possible, a visit to urgent care or even a primary doctor during normal office hours could replace many emergency room visits. If you are ill and not getting better, do not put off treatment that might land you in the ER; get in to see your doctor and get on the path to wellness. Emergency rooms are lightly staffed and the doctors and nurses typically are rushed and overworked, making the chance for errors and misdiagnoses greater. Additionally, your primary doctor knows you and your full history, making it easier for them to help you get better.
Some prescriptions can easily run hundreds of dollars, a huge out of pocket cost if your insurance does not cover prescriptions or offers only partial coverage. When your doctor prescribes a medication, ask for one covered by your specific insurance formulary. Ask the pharmacy for the generic of the medication you are prescribed, unless it is one of the very few that has no generic equivalent. Generic versions of the name brand medications can easily be upwards of 50% less expensive. Shop around when filling your prescription; they are not the same price from one store to the next. Many supermarkets and drugstores now have specials on generic medications, especially antibiotics and maintenance medications, like high blood pressure medicine, that will cost you only $3 or $4, even with no medical insurance.
Get a Checkup
Regular checkups are one of the best preventive steps you can take towards maintaining good health and lowering your healthcare costs. Most insurance companies cover regular doctor visits either fully or with a small co-payment. In the case of well-child checkups, you should never skip them as they help find any health problems and correct them early on. Keeping immunization for your children up to date can prevent illnesses later that would lead to higher health care costs.
Though this area is one that might be considered “easier said than done” as we live in very stressful times, it is vital to keep stress under control to stay healthy. Many people do not realize that stress is wreaking havoc on their bodies until a panic attack occurs, and still others realize that it is hurting them, but have no idea what to do about it. Luckily, some steps you take will relieve stress, short of medication. Nature is a great stress reliever, and getting out and enjoying can help, likewise having a pet has been shown to reduce stress. Exercise, like going for a walk, or doing some yoga poses can minimize stress, and many people find relaxing in a hot tub or getting a massage to be very stress relieving as well.
Exercise and Diet
Keeping your body in the best shape that you can, and eating the most nutritious foods are the two absolutely most vital ways to spend less on healthcare. The healthier you are, the less time you will spend in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Stay away from processed foods, excessive sugar and salt, and exercise regularly for optimal health. Not only will you reduce your healthcare costs, but you will feel better and look great as well.
Denise Gabbard is a Professional Writer and Social Media Devotee. She writes constantly about health, saving money, and other finance topics. Saving money on a home loan is easier with the help of a good comparison site like Tomorrow Finance.