Barring a few countries with successful government funded healthcare services, medical expenses tend to bite into a major chunk of a family’s income. With the ever increasing cost of administration combined with the continuous elevation in cost of healthcare services, medical insurance and pharmaceutical products, it is only natural to be concerned about your finances.
On the other hand, there are always ways in which you can keep a check on your medical bills. Here are some simple tips on how –
1. Selecting the Right Insurance Provider – Statistics show that almost 85% of the population in developed countries invests in insurance. The key to finding a right cover is spending sufficient in the market pursuing a comparison of various products available and making a relevant buying decision to suit the medical demands of your family.
a. It is always recommended that you select an ‘in-network’ insurance provider so that you can save on costs of consultation and hospitalization by availing services from within their network.
b. Spend some time online researching service costs; this will allow you to find a policy that offers affordable coverage.
c. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor what the approximate cost of the service or procedure that they conduct. This will help you understand your outgoings in a co-pay arrangement with your insurer.
d. Always ask for options. Check if the recommended tests and procedures are necessary; especially if you have a higher out of pocket deductible.
e. Check if you can ask for a discount.
f. Pay in Cash
g. Go through all the inclusions and exclusions. Some insurers may cover pregnancy, chiropractor services and dental care, while others may not.
2. Economizing on your Prescription Drugs – Another way to save on your medical expenses is by finding economic ways to source prescription drugs.
a. Statistics show that generic drugs (unbranded medicines) are as effective and safe as their branded counterparts with the added benefit of costing much less.
b. You can also get good deals on medications for your chronic conditions when you order them by mail order from big box retailers or wholesalers. You can ask your physician for recommendations of mail order pharmacy service providers through whom you can order larger prescription packages.
c. You can also check with your doctor or pharmacist if there exists in the market an equally effective and cheaper over the counter alternative that you can rely on.
3. Checking for Billing Errors – Statistics show that about 9 in 10 hospital bills consist of errors or overcharges. It is extremely important that you are meticulous when it comes to checking your medical bills to make sure you aren’t paying for more than what you bargained for. Ask for an itemized bill which you can review. You can also get the insurance company and the healthcare institute’s billing office to audit your medical bills before you make any payments. Bring out your insurance coverage manual and review your benefits before you clear any payments.
In addition to this, a number of governments and taxation departments offer tax deductions and exemptions on specific medical expenses. Understand your local regulations to identify how best you can save money on your medical expenses.