8 Quick Tips for Saving on Healthcare Costs

June 30, 2016 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

96270575_LARGE.jpgThe decisions you make about your healthcare add up to either big savings or big spending.

As healthcare costs continue to rise, empower yourself by understanding your healthcare plan’s cost-saving options.

To ensure you’re getting the most value for your healthcare dollar, use these helpful tips:

  1. Stay In-Network. In-network care is typically less expensive than out-of-network care. Out-of-network provider costs may include a higher deductible, coinsurance and/or copayment. This means ultimately you’ll pay a larger percentage of the total cost of your care.
  2. Use a Walk-In Clinic. Walk-in clinics offer convenient hours and are often less expensive than a doctor’s office visit for common and minor health concerns, such as strep throat and immunizations. Located in pharmacies and other retail locations, clinics are staffed with nurse practitioners or physician assistants for convenient access and may have shorter wait times.
  3. Urgent Care Center. Urgent or immediate care centers can save you hundreds of dollars versus using the emergency room. No appointments are needed, and they generally offer shorter wait times, extended hours and care from a doctor or nurse.
  4. Go Generic. Nearly 3.8 billion of the total 4.3 billion prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. in 2014 were filled using generic drugs. Generic prescriptions drugs, when available, are safe and effective, FDA-approved, and contain the same active ingredients as the brand-name versions. They also cost much less and work just the same as their brand name counterpart.
  5. Shop Around. Many health services – from MRIs, blood tests and knee replacements – can be comparison shopped to find the lowest cost provider. For example, a colonoscopy might cost less than $1,000 at one facility and $4,000 at a neighboring facility. To compare prices, call the billing department of each facility and tell them you want a price for not just the procedure, but for all associated costs as well. Or check out cost-comparison websites that provide a fair price range to aim for when negotiating costs for healthcare services and procedures.
  6. Double-Check Your Medical Bills. Mistakes happen often. Make sure your bill accurately represents you and your visit. Whether it’s the wrong code, typos, a denied claim, duplicate charges or incorrect dates, the best way to catch mistakes is to carefully check your billing statement, request an itemized bill if one was not provided, and compare the bill to your EOB.
  7. Get Preventive Care. Staying up-to-date on immunizations, check-ups, screenings and other preventive care measures can help detect or prevent serious problems, and are often covered at 100% when received in-network. Preventive care not only saves lives, it can save you money.
  8. Use Telemedicine. Telemedicine services, such as Teladoc® offer convenient and low-cost care for common health concerns over the telephone or online. According to a HealthMine survey, 93% of people who have used telemedicine say it has lowered their healthcare costs. Another study found the average estimated cost of a telemedicine visit saves consumers $100 or more compared to in-person care.

Entry filed under: Cost Savings, Managing your health, To Your Health, Uncategorized.

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