Out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing, with Americans paying higher premiums, deductibles, and copayments.
The truth is, without health insurance, a regular trip to your primary care physician would cost nearly $395.
Those without insurance for an entire calendar year pay for nearly half of their care out-of-pocket. However, know that prices vary by state.
Combine this with the fact that a trip to the emergency room can cost you as much as rent, let alone four times that, and having healthcare insurance is almost a given. Still, what can you do to cut costs and save more? Read on to find out!
Check With Your Doctor to See if You Need the Test
With preventive medicine being a trend (that doesn’t seem to be going away) in the health industry, chances are, there are some tests you may not need at the moment.
If you are strapped for cash, according to WebMD, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to put the test on hold. If so, schedule the test at a later date. That way, you have time to set funds aside.
Consider Asking About a Payment Plan
Of course, know that your health provider may advise you to undergo the test, in which case, it is best to listen to your provider’s instructions.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may be able to work out a payment plan with your provider or the medical facility the test is performed at. You won’t need any pills to make you feel more relaxed – you’d be settled with any health emergencies and that leads to healthier life.
You are then able to afford the test while still taking care of your health: a win-win. Don’t be afraid to ask; your health is worth it.
Set Up an Emergency Fund
Let’s face it, emergencies happen. The question is not whether they will happen but when, and do you have the funds saved to be prepared for them.
For this reason, set aside a percentage of your income for emergencies: this could be a trip to the emergency room or funds for prescription medicine.
Start small, and then go from there. You could set aside as little as $100 per month, with a goal of reaching $500.
Then increase your goal to $1,000, and then $3,000. That way, you have funds in place that will cover the average cost of an emergency room visit.
What Does Your Insurance Cover?
Know what your health insurance covers and what it does not. For instance, some insurance plans include dental while, with others, you may have to purchase dental insurance separately.
If you aren’t sure what care applies to your insurance, don’t be afraid to call them up. Remember, you’re the one paying the monthly premium; you have a right to know exactly what you are paying for. Since you can choose among private, public or state options for health care insurance, it’s extremely important to go through pros and cons of each one. This decision is individual so what fits your neighbor doesn’t have to fit best to you, too. In the last decade the growth of “Option C” – private health insurance is constant. People are having the opportunity to choose among options, meaning to choose how much to pay, and to choose for exactly what they are paying for. This trend attempts to lower health costs in general.
Factor This Information Into Your Emergency Saving Fund
After getting off the phone with your insurance provider, you will have a better idea of how much money you need to set aside to pay for the care your insurance does not cover.
Final Thoughts on Healthcare Costs
Out-of-pocket healthcare costs are only going to increase over the years. This means it is more important than ever to take proactive steps at reducing your cost of care.
Besides these healthcare-saving tips, buy generic versus brand medication and take preventative health measures such as exercising on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy diet.
What other ways can you cut down on health costs and save more? Do you feel the high deductibles, copayments, and premiums? Leave a comment below.