As you’re approaching retirement, thinking about ways to proactively save money on healthcare costs might be an essential aspect of planning for your financial needs. Obviously, we won?t ever be able to cut all of our healthcare costs, sometimes certain expenditures cannot and should not be avoided if it’s important for your health, but there are many ways to save a lot of money on your health expenditures.
Below, we?ve listed several tactics that will help you save money on your health care costs, without sacrificing your health or the quality of your health care:
Pick the Right Plan
Choosing a health care plan can be a big decision, and you’ll have to shop around and decide what kind of program works best for you. Pick the plan that best benefits you financially, but also one that leaves you feeling safe and insured. Picking the ideal plan for you will require some self-awareness regarding your family’s finances and healthcare needs.
For individuals or families expecting to make a lot of yearly doctor visits, maybe due to bad-luck or chronic health conditions, a health insurance plan with a high premium but low deductible might be the best fit for you. Conversely, if you’re relatively healthy and rarely go to the doctor, you might save money by choosing a plan with a lower premium but a higher deductible.
Stay Within Your Network
Familiarize yourself with the doctors, services, and locations that are available within your health-insurance system. Have a plan for what doctor or facility you’d like to visit in the event of becoming ill or injured. Going to doctors or facilities that are not covered by your insurance network will needlessly cost you extra money.
Having a plan is always your best defense against unnecessary costs. Don’t wait until you’re sick or injured to do a last-minute hunt for a doctor within your insurance network. A quick decision might lead you to a doctor that’s not covered.
Prioritize Check-Ups & Preventive Care
As much as everyone dislikes -needless- visits to a doctor’s office, preventative check-ups can be an important way to screen for conditions that commonly plague elderly individuals. Catching a chronic condition early (whether through blood-pressure checks, the colonoscopy you’ve been avoiding, or a simple dermatology appointment) can save you thousands in healthcare costs down the road. Not to mention, preventative care can be necessary for your long-term health and longevity.
Buy Generic When Appropriate
Ask your doctor to write you prescriptions for generic forms of medications. Whether you’re suffering from an acute condition like a sinus infection or an ongoing chronic disease like diabetes, generic drugs are a cost-effective way to stay healthy. Pharmaceutical companies produce -generic- medication that is equally good at treating illnesses, and they are a lot less expensive than name-brand medications.
Unless your doctor has a good reason for keeping you on -name brand- medications, you can save mountains of money by switching over to the lesser-known and less-advertised generic medications.
Consider Urgent Care Rather Than an ER
Unless you’re experiencing a true life-threatening emergency, try to avoid taking trips to the Emergency Room. Many common conditions (sprained ankles, the flu, ear infections, etc.) can be treated at -quick clinics- and -urgent cares. Visiting an Urgent Care facility can save you a fortune on medical costs, and it is often-times much faster and more comfortable than going to your local emergency room.
That being said, if you’re experiencing what you believe might be an actual life-threatening emergency, Don’t avoid the ER to save a few dollars. Urgent Cares can’t treat major medical emergencies.
Know What you’re Paying For
Sometimes you might receive bills from insurance companies or hospitals that Don’t specify what you’re being charged for. If you Don’t know what you’re being billed for, Don’t pay until you have appropriate documentation that explains why you’re being charged. If you receive a health insurance claim with no details, verify that you received the services you’re being billed for.
Some clerical mishaps can occur that might prompt you to be charged for services you?ve already paid for, services you never received, or services that your insurance companies should have covered. By asking for clarification before settling for a nondescript bill you?ve received in the mail, you can save lots of money with little effort.
Keeping the Doctor Away
Nearly 80% of the chronic disease and illness in the United States is the result of making poor lifestyle choices. Therefore, many of the healthcare expenditures in the U.S. could be avoided if people would be more proactive about taking care of their bodies.
Some healthcare costs are unavoidable, and we all get sick/injured eventually. However, by eating healthy and exercising frequently, you might be able to prevent yourself from developing many chronic illnesses. This can save you money, improve your quality of life, and increase your longevity. In other words: live longer, healthier, and happier for less money.