Cut Your Medical Costs

Health-care costs are continually on the rise in the United States. There are many ways to try and lower your medical costs on your own.

Practice Prevention

This is a simple way to lower your health care costs, especially over the years. The very best way to do this is to simply maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many ways that you can do this. For example:

-Participate in wellness programs

-Maintain a healthy weight for your body type

-Participate in regular exercise

-Stop unhealthy habits, like smoking or drug use

-Schedule regular checkups with your family doctor

Shop around for Health Insurance

Many people have health insurance that has been provided to them through their employer. For those that don't, health insurance must be obtained on their own. Good coverage can be found at an affordable price, it just takes some shopping around to see the options that are available to you. First off, get quotes from several different companies. Premiums can differ greatly, so you will want to see what differences there are in each company you check into.

Closely evaluate each health plan's coverage and features. Pay attention to exclusions, limitations, and the ability to choose your own doctors. You will also want to make sure you know ahead of time any out-of-pocket costs. This includes co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles. Frequent trips to the doctor or hospital can add up quickly, so you will want to make sure you are not paying too many expenses out of pocket.

Cut the Cost of Prescription Drugs

When you have the need to take prescription medication on a regular basis, the cost can really become a burden. It can be easy to find ways to save money on the prescriptions you need, however. One way is to try ordering your prescriptions through the mail. You can use a traditional or online pharmacy to accomplish this. For those that belong to a prescription drug plan through their health insurance company, it may be beneficial. You might be able to get a three-month supply of the drug you use through the mail at the same price you pay for a one-month supply locally. Also, ask your doctor or pharmacist if they can prescribe a generic, and less expensive, version of your medication.

Check Your Medical Bills

Many people take for granted that their medical bills are correct, however, this is not always the case. Some errors can occur, such as the wrong computer code, and you may have been charged for a procedure that you never received. Always make sure to go over your medical bills carefully. Make sure that the procedures you have had done are right, and that any applicable insurance you do have has been applied to the cost. If you think you have found a mistake on your bill, contact the right billing office right away to discuss it. If you're insurance company explains the bill to you, and you still believe that there is an error, do not hesitate to ask the company to review your claim. Finding mistakes in health care bills can save you money if taken care of fast.

Join Your Spouse's Health Care Plan

Many married couples do not switch over to receive coverage together; they simply keep separate health insurance for their individual selves. This may become quite expensive. Check each others insurance plans to determine if it would be more cost-effective to join together on one plan. Most plans allow a spouse to be added to a plan after so many days of being married, so check with the company to see what their individual policy is. Some require you to wait until the plans' annual enrollment period to add on a spouse.

Pay Attention to Your Medical Expenses

There are many medical expenses that may be deducted when tax time rolls around. Your total medical expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, and you must itemize all expenses throughout the year. There are many medical services that are allowed to be deducted, and also many medical aids, such as hearing aids and eyeglasses. Keeping track of what you are buying can save you money in the long run when deducted on your income tax return.

Negotiate Discounts with your Health-Care Provider

It is a little-known fact that you can often negotiate to lower your medical bills. Ask your doctor, pharmacy or hospital if they will come down in the price of their service. The best way to negotiate is to do some research first, to determine what other providers are charging for the same service. You can also see if your health-care provider will charge you less if you pay cash up front.

Contribute to a Flexible spending Account

If you have health insurance through an employer, they may offer a flexible spending plan. This will allow you to put pretax dollars into an account. Then, you are reimbursed for any out-of-pocket medical expenses using the money in this account. These expenses would include prescription medication, dental care, and co-payments. Flexible spending contributions would be taken out of your paycheck before state and federal taxes are calculated, thus allowing you to use pretax dollars to cover your medical bills.

Utilize Free Health Care Screenings

Many people, who do not have health care or even inadequate health care, check into free screenings to cover areas of need. Check with local hospitals, clinics, and health-care providers to see what kind of free health care they offer. Many hold blood pressure, cholesterol, and mammogram screenings for free. You can also check with local dentistry schools to get discounts on dental procedures by having work done by students.

Understand Your Health Insurance Coverage

Many people are not aware just how much their insurance does cover. They may offer preventive measures as well as typical medical necessities. You may be eligible to get discounts on vitamins, alternative medicines, health club memberships, or even bicycle helmets. The range of health care that is provided to you may also be bigger than you realize. You may be able to get dental care for your children, chiropractic care, or even acupuncture. Make sure to read your health care plan through thoroughly so that you may utilize all the services that are available to you, especially before you pay for them on your own. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call the company and ask.