Save on Health Care Costs With These 8 Tips
Did you know that there are many ways to save on your health care costs. Here are eight suggestions to help keep more of your money in your wallet.
Stay Within Your Network
Out of network providers can charge more and their services usually require a higher deductible and higher annual limit on your out-of-pocket expenses. If you have an HMO, you’ll have to pay the full amount of going out of network. So stay within your network whenever possible.
Does Your Doctor Have a Super-Preferred Rating?
Did you know that some health plans have extra incentives for you to use certain in-network doctors or facilities? These doctors and hospitals may meet guidelines for having high-quality, cost-efficient care, and, as a result, you may save money by paying lower co-payments or coinsurance rates. Check to see what the ratings are for your doctors and the hospitals you use.
Urgent Care Center or Emergency Room
If the situation isn’t life-threatening, choose an urgent care center to lower our health care costs. Not only are they cheaper, but they’re usually faster and treat a variety of conditions such as minor cuts, burns, sprains, fever, flu, joint or lower back pain, and urinary tract infections. Emergency rooms handle such things as trauma, x-rays, surgical procedures, and other life threatening situations such as allergic reactions to food, animal or bug bites, broken bones, head injuries and unconsciousness.
Saving on Prescription Drugs
Call the number on the back of your Member ID card and ask about mail-order pharmacy savings. Depending on your health insurance plan, you might be able to get a three-month supply of drugs at a much lower rate than at a local pharmacy.
When it’s time for a refill talk to your pharmacist or doctor first. There might be other generic drugs for you to take that are just as effective as the name-brand versions, at a fraction of the cost.
Be a Joiner, a Quitter and a Loser
Be healthier and save money at the same time! Sign up for special health and wellness programs and you may get extra cash or discounts by taking a health-risk assessment, meeting a healthy weight goal, or participating in a tobacco-cessation program. Check your plan to find out what’s available for you.
Roll Out the Roll-Over FSA
Some FSAs (flexible spending accounts) allow members to roll over up to $500 in the account from one year to the next. However, be aware that not all employers allow this, so check your benefits when you enroll for the new plan year.
Ask Your Doctor About Cheaper Facilities
Your doctor may work at several hospitals or outpatient surgery centers. While the surgeon’s charge will be the same, the hospital’s fees can vary by thousands of dollars. The cost may be even less at an outpatient surgery center, even though the same doctor is performing the procedure. Also, make sure the facility you choose is in your insurer’s network.
Now that you have this information, are you ready to save money? No matter how you get your insurance, you are probably paying a bigger share of your health-care costs than you used to. Your out-of-pocket costs could rise significantly unless you learn some key strategies to become a better health care shopper.
If you have others questions related to how to save on your health care costs, give us a call and let’s talk.