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Health care spending per person is forecasted to hit $14,944 in 2023 in the US. This increase is attributed to several reasons, including lack of transparency, the rise of chronic conditions, expensive tests and treatment, and increased pharmacy costs.
For many average Americans, increased costs of personal health care can be quite burdening. Fortunately, there are various resources and tools consumers can use today to reduce the cost of their health care.
In this post, we’re going to share some ways you can use to lower your cost. Read on to learn more.
1. Strive to Stay Healthy and Safe
This is the effortless way you can use to cut your overall medical costs. You can start by making smart lifestyle changes. This including quitting smoking and drinking alcohol. Also, avoid any activities that may impact your health negatively.
Make some diet changes to cut your calorie intake. Many chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, are rooted from poor lifestyle choices. These conditions are associated with long hospital stays, which can be as high as $3,000 per day.
You can start by staying physically active, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding behaviors that will diminish your health. Other tips for personal health care include regular checkups and vaccination.
2. Pick the Right Insurance Plan
Today, health insurance has become increasingly important, and it’s not something you’re just going to pick blindly. With over 10,000 insurance plans out there from over 180 different companies, it’s a heck of a decision to make.
You want a plan that includes your doctors and medications and provides care for chronic conditions. Review different coverage options to determine what they cover. You need to find out about copayment, emergency room visits, pre approvals, and coinsurance for medical procedures.
Keep in mind that there are other services, such as vision and dental, that are optional. So, ensure to talk to insurance companies to learn more about their plans. You also need to learn about the deductible and premiums for a particular policy.
If you’re likely to have high medical bills for personal health care, it’s advisable to pay a lower deductible and higher monthly premiums. For those who want a high-deductible plan, be sure to check if you’re qualified for a health savings account (HSA). This account is usually tax-free, so you can even save more.
3. Avoid Reactive Health Care
You don’t need to wait for symptoms or even a condition to visit a doctor. In most cases, you can easily know if you have a potential sickness without having any symptoms. Ideally, it all matters on how familiar you’re with your body to notice and prevent problems before they become major health issues.
For example, women can perform monthly breast self-exams to monitor the look and feel of their breasts. However, be informed that these exams are not a screening tool for breast cancer. It’s only after a medical diagnosis that you’ll be able to know your condition.
Nevertheless, self-examinations are encouraged by doctors and have proven to be very useful in detecting conditions in patients. Typically, the earlier you identify a health problem, the better since your medical bills will likely to be significantly lower. This will save you the exorbitant costs of reactive care.
4. Shop and Compare Prescriptions
The prescription cost in the US has always been on the rise, and this can be quite costly if you pay for drugs out-of-pocket. With online drug comparison tools, it’s possible to get reasonable prices for your prescriptions. Plus, you can take advantage of RX coupons to save even more on personal health care costs.
For example, Drug Pricer seasonique prices range from $1.13 to $2.67 per pill, and you can read verified reviews before committing to buy drugs online. You can shop medicines from different pharmacies for convenient shopping.
Most importantly, it helps to go for generic medications than brand name drugs. This is because generics are way cheaper than their counterparts. Also, during treatment, you can ask your doctor if you can substitute your brand name prescriptions with generic alternatives.
5. Read Your Bills and Insurance Statements
According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, up to 80 percent of patient medical bills usually have errors. Most of these errors are generally due to simple human mistakes, and this has cost many patients thousands of dollars for services they didn’t receive.
As such, it will significantly benefit you to take some time and go through your medical bills before paying them. If you notice any unclear entry, don’t hesitate to call your hospital’s billing department to clarify the charge.
Some patients with insurance plans also usually get bills for procedures that their policy covers. Always keep records of all the services you received and the health care professionals you talked to and when.
6. Use Emergency Rooms and Hospitals When Necessary
Just because you’re showing specific symptoms doesn’t mean you need to rush to an emergency room. Cases, such as cold, can be managed using essential oils, soup, over-the-counter medications, and rest. Headaches due to stress or busy work life can also be managed with lifestyle changes.
For minor injuries and illnesses, same- or next-day appointments and walk-in clinics can just work fine. You can visit these health centers for a wide range of conditions, such as pink eye, strep throat, poison ivy and other infections.
Visiting emergency rooms for just about any condition will attract higher costs than a visit to a local pharmacy or clinic. Urgent care is also available for late medical visits if you have an emergency, but it can be costly than a regular appointment.
Reduce Your Personal Health Care Costs!
Health care costs account for a considerable percentage of our budget. However, that doesn’t mean you should allow them to dominate your finances. Using these tips and strategies can help you save your personal health care costs and spent the savings on other things or save them.
Most importantly, it’s advisable to follow your doctor’s advice and guideline, especially when taking prescriptions. You won’t need regular refills when you use your medications correctly.
Do you have any thoughts on health care costs? Feel free to join the conversation and share your ideas in the comments.