Household budgets continue to get tighter and incomes need to be stretched further with each paycheck. Many people are concerned that healthcare costs take up too much of the total budget and are looking for ways to get those expenses in line. Here are some practical things you can do to manage some of those costs.
Make Sure You Understand Your Insurance Policy
It is extremely important to review all of the terms of your insurance policy so you know exactly what it covers, what you need to pay for and which doctors you can see. Simply understanding your plan can be a great first step in reducing your healthcare costs.
Only Go to the ER When Necessary
Unless you have a life-threatening medical issue, it is best to avoid the ER. Try to see your regular doctor if possible, and for after-hours injuries or illnesses use an urgent care center. ER costs can be extremely high, while urgent care facilities will likely have much lower copays and overall charges.
Use Generic Drugs
Brand-name medications can cost a fortune! Often there are generic medications available that work exactly the same as the name brand versions. And generic drugs typically cost only a fraction of the price of a name brand, which can save you a considerable amount in copays. Always ask your doctor if there is a suitable generic available for any medications you are taking.
Take Charge of Your Medical Bills
There are several ways to cut healthcare costs by staying in control of your bills.
- Always review your medical bills carefully, as mistakes can happen. For example, you could get charged hundreds more than you should just from a simple coding error.
- If a claim is denied (leaving you on the hook for the entire charge) don’t hesitate to appeal the denial.
- If you find you need a service that you don’t have proper coverage for, many doctors are willing to negotiate a lower price if you ask.
- Always keep copies of your medical records to avoid duplicate tests if you change providers
Make Sure You Have the Right Health Plan
The cheapest policy is not always the best way to save money. Lower premiums can mean more exclusions, which could mean you would pay more for certain tests, procedures or office visits. That’s not always a problem for some people, though. For some, going with the lower premium would actually be the best choice for their circumstances. This is why it is so important to work with an insurance advisor who will really listen to your needs and who can evaluate which options would be most beneficial to your specific situation.
At Webb Financial Group, we have access to a wide variety of personal insurance plans and will identify and explain everything that is available to you, so you will have peace of mind knowing you have the best plan for your family. Contact us at 847-235-6001 or ChrisWebb@webbfg.com to learn more.
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