With all the changes happening with health care, we wanted to give you some thumbnail tips to help keep your costs down. Beyond healthy eating habits, safe behavior and common sense, keep these in mind:
1. Ask your doctor for their lowest price for an impending procedure. Asking doesn’t cost anything! Check prices at www.ClearHealthCosts.com. Cash costs, location, specific doctors and hospitals can vary greatly.
2. Pay cash if possible. Some doctors and clinics are willing to take a lower cash payment just to avoid all the insurance work involved with each patient.
3. Avoid going to the doctor unless its absolutely necessary. In a lot of instances, a phone call will suffice. Your doctor should call you back with no charge. Many times, urgent care or walk-in clinics may be all you need. And they cost a great deal less.
4. Ask questions about medications. If your doctor wants to try a different medication than what you have been taking, ask them for samples or a limited-day prescription to see if they work as well. Or is there a lower cost generic that will provide the same result.
5. Shop around for those medications. Prices vary greatly between pharmacies. Check those prices at www.GoodRx.com. It tracks more than 6000 FDA approved medications at over 70,000 pharmacies. There is also a free app for this website.
6. If you have to spend time in the hospital you know what your hospital bill is probably going to look like! Not just the well-publicized errors like hundreds of dollars for a blanket or a pain pill. If its totally confus-ing and looks like the national debt, it might be advisable to talk to a medical billing advocate. They charge roughly $100 an hour or 1/3 of the discount they can negoti-ate. In some cases, they have managed to cut bills in half just by combing through all those charges.
7. Do not skimp on insurance if you are healthy. Sometimes the ‘what-ifs’ do matter. The cost of an affordable deductible and a reasonable out of pocket cap will prevent a financial disaster if one happens.
Still have questions? Come talk to us! If we can’t answer, in all likelihood, we can refer you to someone who will have the answers!
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