Last Updated on July 13, 2018 by NandiNN
If you often struggle to pay your medical bills, you should know that you are not alone. The most challenging aspect of managing health care is dealing with out-of-pocket costs – costs that you have to pay out of your own pocket because your insurance provider does not cover them. We want to explore ways to for you to reduce your healthcare costs today.
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Back to ways to reduce your healthcare costs. In general, out-of-pocket costs include coinsurance, co-pays, and deductibles. Be sure to keep all your medical receipts and use it to get back money if you are owed with Paribus. It is FREE to join.
You can reduce your healthcare costs by doing the following:
Research Health Insurance Plan Prices
Although the subsidies offered in the ACA make healthcare more affordable, you might end up spending more than 10% of your income on out-of-pocket costs if you buy your insurance through exchanges. However, shopping around for health insurance is not that easy especially if you want to reduce your healthcare costs.
Because there is very little transparency in the prices in healthcare, many Americans end up spending too much money on it. It is easy to overpay for something when you do not know how much it usually costs. In the recent past, many insurers have enhanced their price comparison tools; you can now use GPS to estimate healthcare costs from your in-network providers.
If you are undergoing surgery, you need to find out how much you will be paying in advance. If you cannot find the information that you require, you should call several local hospitals and ask to speak to their billing departments. Once you know the estimated price for a specific procedure, you will not overpay.
No matter how much you want to save costs, you should never sacrifice quality healthcare to save money. Receiving good treatment is more important than saving a few dollars.
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Be Persistent When Dealing with Bill Errors
You need to start asking for an itemized bill after a major procedure or staying in the hospital. If you do not understand something in the bill, you need to ask. You should also do the following when you encounter errors in your medical bill:
– Call your insurance or healthcare provider
– Be persistent and polite
– You should always document your calls and write down the name of whoever you spoke to as well as the time
– Follow up until the issue is dealt with
Calling and waiting can be frustrating but you have to do it if you want the errors to be corrected. As a plan holder, you can always appeal a denial because insurance determinations are not final.
Discuss Your Financial Concerns
You can reduce the cost of healthcare by talking to your doctor. Many people think that medical prices are set in stone but that is untrue. You can always negotiate a lower price if there are other healthcare providers offering the treatment you require. Doctors are often willing to lower their prices but only if you ask.
Moreover, you can get a discount if you decide to pay in one lump sum or in cash. To know if your hospital offers this option, you should call in advance and ask.
Don’t Go to the Emergency Room All the Time
Unless you have a life-threatening injury or condition, you should avoid the emergency room. A broken finger can be treated at an urgent care center at a lower cost. Health insurance does not cover all emergency room costs, so you need to visit the ER for emergencies only.
You should find out whether a nearby urgent care center is under your insurance coverage. If you have a real emergency, you should consider whether an ambulance is necessary before you call 911.
Choose in-Network Providers
The most expensive medical mistake that you can make is going to an out-of-network provider for treatment. If you have insurance coverage, your insurer negotiates special rates with some healthcare providers. If you receive treatment from doctors who are within the network, you will pay less.
However, if you go to an out-of-network provider, you will pay much more. If you have a PPO plan, you might have partial coverage for out-of-network providers but you should ask your insurance provider first. If you are older than 65 or have a disability, you qualify for Medicare PPO, which is a federal health insurance. If you want to know more about this service, you can learn more about Medicare Part C in this article by HealthMarkets.
Explore Drug Discount Programs
Even if Medicare, Medicaid, or your employer offers you prescription drug coverage, you should know that the medical costs can add up quickly for people who take many drugs. If possible, you should request the generic version of a drug because they cost less than name-brand drugs. Thinking out the box to reduce your healthcare costs will save you thousands each year.
Generally, generic drugs cost up to 80 percent less than their name brand counterparts do.
Moreover, you should ask doctors for discount cards and coupons that make it easier to buy meds. Nowadays, health insurance companies collaborate with mail-order pharmacies that deliver drugs to your doorstep.
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