We all want to protect our health, but this can often come at a high price. For some, medical bills can be start to result in unhealthy debts, which continuously pile up. Fortunately, there is a way to pay less. Here are just a few ways to save money on medical costs.
Everyone should have medical insurance. Rates can be expensive, but if you take the time to shop around it can be worth it in the long run. Comparison sites such as HealthInsuranceQuotes.co are specifically designed to save you money, collecting quotes and comparing various perks. There are other ways to save money on medical insurance such as upping your deductible.
Take out a Health FSA
If your employer offers one of these, you should jump at the chance. A Health FSA (Flexible Savings Account) is a tax-free account into which some of your earnings can be saved for affording medical costs. The ‘tax-free’ part literally means that any income that goes in here won’t be taxed. Health FSAs do have a limit as to how much you can save, but unlike normal FSAs the money you save won’t get wiped after a certain period. An FSA can be great for paying off a deductible or simply for paying off odd medical costs such as doctor visits and prescriptions. In some cases, it can even be used to pay for dental expenses and corrective eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses. The likes of Healthcare.gov can offer more information on what is included.
Shop around for medication
You can usually save money on prescriptions and everyday medicine by shopping around too. Many people opt for the big brands, thinking that they are more effective. However, in most cases generic brands will do the trick, having passed similar tests to get on the shelves. Sites such as PharmacyChecker.com are particularly useful for comparing medication costs. Always buy from trusted sources and be wary of holistic medicine.
Shop around for treatment
Few people think to shop around clinics for treatment. Obviously, you won’t get a chance to do this in an emergency. But if you’re planning big treatment, why not look at a few other clinics in your area to compare costs. You may even be able to save money by travelling further afield – many people are now jetting off abroad to get major treatment and are finding that even with the added cost of flights that they are still saving money.
Negotiate the price
It’s possible sometimes to negotiate the price of treatment simply by asking. For example, you may be able to save money on surgery or an appointment by paying in advance. Cancellations cost clinics money and so they can usually justify a discount for paying ahead of time. You may be able to hire an advocate to do this negotiating for you in some circumstances. Companies such as West.com can provide these advocacy programmes.