Healthcare expenses continue to increase. In 2020, because of the great demand, the cost got even higher, which explains the GDP’s report of decreased health care spending among Americans.
Even at the start of 2021, 66% of Americans already admitted their fear about not possibly being able to afford healthcare, especially the unexpected medical bills. And according to AccessOne’s survey in December 2020 that included more than 1,000 American adults, 49% of them are afraid of unexpected medical bills, even if less than a thousand dollars.
It’s true that the cost of healthcare in the US is higher than in any other country, but what made Americans concerned about the cost? As per Kaiser Family Foundation, it’s because less than half of America’s population got their health insurance from their employers.
When the pandemic broke out and people lost their jobs, they’re immediately left without medical insurance and would have to pay out-of-pocket for any healthcare expenses. In fact, 12 million Americans lost their medical coverage.
The best way to deal with this is to reduce healthcare costs, which can be done through various ways without compromising your health, such as the following:
Invest in better health insurance
This may sound counterintuitive. Why would you pay for pricier insurance coverage when you want to save? Truth is, when you get medical coverage that costs less right now, you may have to deal with the higher expenses later.
In most cases, you’ll find that certain procedures or tests are actually not covered or that it’s only provided by a smaller network, which makes it still difficult to access care. You might also have children that get sick most often, and so, will have to use your insurance now and then.
Getting better healthcare coverage now will greatly help you cut down costs in the future. However, this may not mean you have to pay for pricier premiums. When you’re on top of your health and don’t need medical care, you may pay a lesser premium by getting a plan with a higher deductible.
Use your benefits
Don’t wait until you get sick to use your benefits. Use the health screenings included in your coverage too. Catching illnesses early on, you can treat any before they get worse, which may require expensive procedures.
If your healthcare coverage includes the service of case managers or health advocates, seek help so you can maximize the benefits. Take advantage of discounted or free services as well every time you visit the gym, optical, or dental office.
Prepare for medical emergencies
You never know when emergencies might happen, so best be prepared. Know the difference between needing to get to the emergency room or urgent care. Anything that gives an immediate threat to a person’s life needs emergency care whereas medical concerns without immediate threat can be treated at urgent care centers.
Make sure to determine where the urgent care centers are in your area. Many Americans tend to go to the ER when their situation can just be treated at an urgent care clinic. ER can be very expensive, so make sure that you know which to go when untoward events happen.
Know the medication hacks
Medications on a brand name can be expensive, so ask your doctor if there are generic versions of your prescription available in the market. Generic medications almost always provide the same effect as branded ones and are much cheaper. Switching to generic can greatly help you save big.
You may also want to ask your doctor for drug samples. Healthcare providers tend to have plenty of new drugs to promote and have several of them handy. Don’t hesitate to ask for some sample medications. If your doctor can provide you with supplies that can last for a month or two, then you can already save a great deal.
Consider purchasing medications by bulk too, especially those that you take regularly. Many pharmacies offer huge discounts to any buyer that purchases in bulk. Most preferably, buy a 90-day-long supply, mail-ordered, which can sell at a lesser price. This way, you also save time and gas to get to the pharmacy.
While you can just buy from the pharmacy near you, it helps to ask around for prices too. Call different pharmacies. When you find those that offer the drug you’re looking for at a lower charge, it can significantly help you save.
Aside from drugs, you can compare lab test prices too. Before going to a facility suggested to you, call other laboratories to determine how much they charge for the same procedure.
The more you take care of your health, the more you prevent medical problems and expenses. Invest in your health and insurance above all.