How to save on Medical Expenses

Most consumers have learned from personal experience that the cost of healthcare steadily increases year after year leaving us with higher out-of-pocket costs. Here are few ways we have learned to save money on healthcare related expenses.

By spending a little time learning how to reduce your healthcare expenses you can make a significant difference in reducing your out-of-pocket costs.

  1. The cost of prescription drugs is continually escalating.

    • Discuss receiving a generic equivalent with your physician or pharmacist. You can save as much as 40% to 60% by choosing a generic drug instead of a brand name prescription.

    • Many drugs have similar over-the-counter alternatives (no prescription needed) that will save you money.

    • Purchasing a store brand (instead of a name brand) of an over-the-counter medication can easily save a consumer over $100 a year.

    • Ask your physician for free samples to test a medication’s effectiveness. It is possible that your body may not be able to tolerate a new medication and it’s better to try the samples BEFORE purchasing an entire month’s supply.

    • When you need a prescription filled, call around to your local Pharmacies to see who is offering the lowest price for the medication you need. Many consumers don’t realize that Pharmacies set their own medication pricing.

    • You may find your best deals on-line but make sure the website is legitimate. Reputable online pharmacies should carry the seal of Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). This means that the online pharmacy complies with the licensing and inspection requirements for their state and the states that they distribute pharmaceuticals to.

      VIPPS Logo

    • Ask your physician about splitting a higher-dosage pill in half. The difference in cost of the higher-dosage pill is usually minimal and you may come close to receiving two pills for the price of one. This could be the best two for one deal around.

    • Be sure to take all of your medication as prescribed – even if you start to feel better – as a relapse could occur and a return visit to your doctor may be needed.

  2. Visit a retail health clinic when possible

    • These healthcare clinics are located in many retail stores, pharmacies and grocery stores throughout the United States. They offer limited services but are perfect for treating common illnesses, infections, skin conditions and many also offer vaccinations services. These clinics are fast and inexpensive. Urgent Care facilities and hospital emergency rooms have a large cost associated with their services. Even for those who have medical coverage, an insurance co-pay is usually much higher for an Emergency Room visit than for a clinic or physicians office visit.

  3. Negotiate the cost of your healthcare services.

    • A poll conducted by Harris Interactive found that about 66% of adults that tried to negotiate their charges with a hospital or a dentist were successful and about 60% were successful when negotiating with a physician. You have nothing to lose by asking for a discount.

  4. It is very important that patients follow doctor's orders.

    • Studies indicate that about 10% of hospital confinements are a direct result of patients not following their physician’s instructions.

  5. Keep a log of medical services provided to you.

    • This is especially important if you are hospitalized. Always ask for an itemized bill and compare it to your log. It has been found that more than 50% of hospital bills have some type of billing error. Also remember, you may be able to deduct medical, dental and vision expenses on your Tax Return.

Knowledge + Awareness = Lower Healthcare Costs


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