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Trying to save money on medical bills?
That can sure be a tall order. In today's contributed post, we tackle this difficult issue.
One of the best ways to take care of your health is to see a doctor. As medical professionals, they can provide effective info regarding everything from fatigue to weight loss. Listen to them and your body should start to reap the rewards in the short, medium and long-term.
The only problem is the cost of medical cover. In America, there is no such thing as free healthcare and citizens have to pay to play concerning their well-being. So, visiting a doctor on a regular basis can be expensive, and that puts you in a tight spot. You want to be as healthy as possible yet don’t have the budget.
Thankfully, there is no need to choose between your bank balance and your health. By figuring out ways to cut the costs of healthcare, you can have your cake and eat it too. Although a physician may tell you to slow down on the junk food!
Here are five tricks to save money on medical bills which should come in handy.
Want to save money on medical bills?
It all starts with your health insurance policy.
According to the American Journal of Medicine, around 62% of bankruptcies in the US are medical-related. Of those that file, at least 92% of people have debts exceeding $5,000 or more, and it’s down to their policy. See here for more.
The one you choose will dictate how much you have to pay every time you visit a hospital or surgery. However, it isn’t as simple as picking the least expensive plan because it may lead to out-of-pocket bills.
Something insurance experts point out to the insured is the deductible. Before the company pays out, the may require you to meet a certain amount. Typically, it can be as high as $1,000, but that’s only for big procedures. For prescriptions and consultations, there is copay to pay. What you may want to do is opt for high premiums to bring the amount down. That way, the policy is cheaper over time if you see the doc a lot.
Consider the things you are going to pay for which you won’t use before signing. These are a waste of money even if they act as a backup plan.
Because it’s a business, there are links between doctors and hospitals and insurance companies. In simple terms, the ones which have a relationship are known as “in-network” providers. The others are out-of-network providers. As a rule, the former charge less for services as they agree to a certain rate for their procedures. Going with an in-network doctor is essential then as they won’t cost you as much in the long run.
Finding one is tricky as it isn’t something they widely advertise. Regarding patients, practitioners like to keep it strictly professional. Still, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask. A straightforward “are you an out-of-network” provider will tell you everything you need to know. If they say no, you should follow up and work out whether your insurance company has a link.
Please note that just because your doctor is on a list doesn’t mean all the services are covered. Always double check if your treatment is eligible as well as the practitioner him/herself.
Modern medicine is split into different camps. There’s a specialist for back pain and another one for the heart or the brain or the stomach. While this appears to be the best method, it’s ineffective in some ways. The holistic approach suggests everything in the body is linked, like a well-oiled machine. Therefore, treating one area isn’t dealing with the issues under the hood.
Functional medicine attempts to solve problems by increasing the efficiency of the body. View here if you’re interested in learning more about the process. Anyone who prescribes to this logic needs to speak with their doctor to prevent return visits. Going away and coming back again is only going to cost you a small fortune. Rather than asking “what drug matches up with the disease?” you should think “why has function been lost?”
Every patient has the right to tailor their treatment to best suit their needs. All you need to do is consult with your physician to find the perfect balance.
Medical experts say you need this drug and you duly oblige. It would be silly not to take their advice because they understand the human body better than anyone. However, it’s tempting to listen to their opinion and take it for granted without questioning the motives. Think about it: do you need a round of antibiotics?
If the answer is no, there is no reason to pick up the prescription and fork out money. Alternatively, decide whether there are cheaper places to pick up the pills. Plenty of supermarket drug stores will see medicines over-the-counter at a discounted rate. Last but not least, there are prescription hacks to factor in.
Probably the best one is to ask for samples. Pharmaceutical companies hand them out to doctors to analyze before going live. Depending on your insurance policy, this may well slash the costs of treatment. Of course, there are 90-day supplies too. Insurers offer discounts on bulk orders so it’s usually better not to renew every 30 days. Be sure to check if you need to use a specific pharmacy to apply for the new rate.
One of the worst things that can kill your plans to save money on medical bills is:
Even with insurance, the company can turn around and say they aren’t going to pick up the check. Straight away, this increases your liability by a huge margin.
Obviously, you need them to stick to their end of the deal, which is why it’s important to appeal. Time restrictions apply, so ensure you do it before the deadline runs out.
Also, patients can haggle over the price of treatments. Doctors and providers are sympathetic for two reasons: A) their job is to help, and B) they want to get paid. The latter won’t happen if you file for bankruptcy.
Never be too scared or proud to negotiate.
When it comes to trying to save money on medical bills or anything else, your best bet is to be proactive and not to accept the status quo.
Challenge everything you hear and try to think outside of the box.
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