When it comes to health care, it is important to consider all the options available to you that could potentially save you time and money. Learning to shop for value when it comes to health care could save you thousands of dollars on your medical costs over time.
Here are 10 healthcare savings tips from our independent agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance solutions so you can start saving today.
Choose Your Health Plan Wisely
Choosing a plan with the lowest premiums or sticking with the same plan year after year may not be the best option for you. When choosing a plan, think about the health needs of you and your family. If your plan has higher premiums, more health costs will be covered, which can be a great choice if you or a family member has a chronic condition or disease like diabetes.
If you rarely need medical care, you may want to consider a healthcare plan with a higher deductible. You will pay lower monthly premiums allowing you to save on healthcare costs throughout the year.
If you have an HMO healthcare plan, it is important to stay in-network, as these plans often don’t cover out-of-network care except for emergencies. If you have a PPO, which includes coverage from out-of-network providers, it can still be quite expensive if you seek care outside of your network. You’ll likely have to pay a higher deductible, and you’ll have a higher out-of-pocket spending limit.
Make sure that the facility or doctor that you are planning to visit is in-network before you schedule a check-up or procedure.
Despite the cost of healthcare, it offers significant discounts on most health care services as well as protection from having to pay out of pocket for expensive health bills if you are in an accident or need a costly surgery.
If you have an employer-based health plan, make sure that you understand your options for retaining your health coverage.
First, you may be able to extend your current coverage for up to 18 months with COBRA, but keep in mind you will be paying the entire cost of your insurance plus a fee.
When you aren’t feeling well, you may want to find the first care facility that has an open appointment for treatment. Yet not all providers will cost the same.
Ask yourself, do you need to visit an emergency room or can you wait for an appointment with an in-network provider? These options have different copays and can save you hundreds of dollars depending on the issue that you need treatment for.
This is important; you are paying for healthcare coverage each month, so make sure you are taking advantage of your benefits!
Get routine health screenings. These tests can detect health problems early and you often don’t have to pay a copay for health screenings, annual wellness visits, or vaccinations.
If you are pregnant, get prenatal care to ensure that you and your baby are healthy.
Use free or discounted services. Many health plans offer discounts on eyewear, gym memberships, and more.
Take Advantage of Telehealth
If your insurance plan covers it, you may be able to save money if you take advantage of telehealth visits with your doctor by phone or video chat.
With telehealth, you can forgo the trip to the doctor and get the treatment you need for common ailments like upper respiratory infections, allergies, the flu, and bronchitis. You can even send photos to your doctor to get treatment for rashes and other skin issues.
Look Closely at Your Bill
It is important to take a look at your healthcare bills as you might find mistakes. Keep track of your doctor’s visits, tests, and medications, and compare them against your bills. If you find an error, request a corrected bill from your provider and notify your insurer.
Save on Medication
There are a few ways that you can cut costs on your prescription medication including:
Switching to generic medications, which use the same ingredients but cost less than brand-name drugs.
Asking your provider if there is a less expensive medication that treats the same condition
Seeing if you can receive your medication through the mail
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are becoming more popular. These kinds of accounts allow you to save a portion of your pre-tax income, which can then be used to pay for medical expenses including copays, coinsurance, prescriptions, and more.