You don’t need me to tell you this – medical expenses can burn a hole in your pocket the size of Australia. While doctors are concerned about your health, they aren’t bothered about how it affects your wallet. So, before you go ahead and fork over that exorbitant amount, take a look at these tips that can help you cut back on medical expenses without affecting the quality of your life.
1. Opt for Lifestyle Changes over New Medication
Is your doctor issuing you a new prescription? Find out if there are any changes you can make to your lifestyle that can have the same kind of effect on your health. For instance, instead of a new sleeping pill you may consider relaxation therapy or you could treat that migraine with aromatherapy.
2. Rethink Your Consumption of Vitamins
In case you have a healthy and diverse diet that includes a mix of veggies, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats, you don’t really need to take a multivitamin capsule daily. You can also skip those extra supplements, such as vitamin D, vitamin C and calcium unless they’ve been recommended by the doctor for a specific purpose.
3. Do You Really Need That Test?
According to a study done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2006, more than 40% of patients had to undergo unnecessary tests as part of routine checkups. Find out from the doctor why certain tests have been ordered and whether it’s going to cost you extra money. If the doctor says they are for routine screening, these tests may not be required.
4. Look for Avenues to Buy Cheaper Meds
If you are on a regular prescription, the continuous drain on your financial resources can fairly give you a heart attack. Look around for cheaper options, such as online vendors that are legit and safe or pharmacies that offer low-price plans. Other many-saving techniques you can try are opting for the generic version of your medicine, buying it in bulk, or splitting pills that have a higher dose.
5. Bargain if and when You Can
If you thought your bargaining skills should be reserved for only retail outlets, think again. Medical costs aren’t always fixed and if you are shelling out money from your own pocket, it might be worth your while to negotiate medical bills. Offer to make on-the-spot cash payment – this could get you up to 20% discount. Ifyou’ve been prescribed a new medicine, find out from your doctor if he can give you free samples to try first. Alternatively, you could also look up the website for downloadable coupons you can redeem at the pharmacy
6. Think about Medical Tourism
If you’re not fully insured or you are considering a procedure not covered by your existing insurance, you may want to consider a trip to India, Thailand, Costa Rica or Mexico, combining both business as well as pleasure. Medical tourism can knock off 40-85% from the healthcare costs. However, make sure you thoroughly research the doctor and his facility beforehand to avoid getting tangled in malpractice issues.
7. Listen to Grandma’s Advice
Remember what your grandmother used to say drink less, don’t smoke, exercise more, floss your teeth, don’t walk out without a suntan, eat your greens? Well, now would be a good time to put all these pearls of wisdom into practice. Not only will they keep you healthier; they will also keep you out of hospital and doctor’s office, thereby helping you save money. Think about it.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with us on how you save money and control expenses?
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