Nobody wants to think about getting sick, but unfortunately, this is a part of life. And if you do not have adequate medical coverage, being ill can create a huge financial burden. But even if you have medical coverage for yourself and your family, your out-of-pocket expenses can take a chunk of your pay. From deductibles to prescription medications, managing the various expenses can be overwhelming. But don’t panic. Regardless of your medical history, there are plenty of ways to save money on medical care.
1. Self-treat at home. Understand that every situation does not warrant a trip to the doctor. Some conditions justify immediate medical attention, such as severe pain that comes on suddenly or other emergency situations. But if you’re dealing with a cold, the flu, a simple stomach ache or a normal headache, you can save money by self-treating at home first. Going to the doctor for simple things will only result in paying a co-pay and paying for unnecessary tests. Attempt to treat yourself at home, and then see a doctor if your condition worsens.
2. Make the most out of your doctor visits. With many doctors charging between $15 and $25 for an office visit co-pay, some families can’t afford multiple trips to the doctor. If you have an upcoming appointment, use this as your opportunity to ask about other problems.
3. Avoid duplicate testing. If you’re visiting a new physician, he may suggest a test to get an overview of your health. But if another doctor conducted a similar test within a reasonable time period, the second test is likely unnecessary. Contact your former physician and obtain copies of your medical history to avoid duplicate testing and higher medical costs.
4. Buy generic. Some medications are expensive, and your insurance may not cover the cost. Rather than pay a bundle out-of-pocket, ask your pharmacist about generic alternatives. These medications are just as effective, but cost far less.
5. Get compensated. Maybe a doctor’s negligence triggered higher medical costs for your family. For example, negligence may cause a birth defect that results in long-term medical care for your child. You don’t have to shoulder this burden alone. Contact a lawyer who’s experienced in medical malpractice law to see if you’re eligible for compensation. You can put this money toward future medical costs.
6. Review your coverage. If you have a high annual deductible, high co-pays, and poor dental or prescription coverage, modifying your insurance can provide adequate coverage to meet your needs. Yes, this increases your monthly premium, but you pay less out-of-pocket for medical care. You can also look into supplementary insurances for dental or prescription to increase your savings.
Don’t get caught off guard by high medical expenses. It only takes one surprise trip to the emergency room to break the bank. But if you prepare for the possibility of an emergency and acquire adequate coverage, you can keep expenses to a minimum.