The average cost of health care for Americans is over $10,000 per year. Surprising, isn’t it? Here are some ways to effectively manage your healthcare expenses and avoid surprises.
Prevention is key
Using the right precautions and maintaining a healthy lifestyle help both your health and your wallet. Making sure to eat an abundance of healthy foods and exercising 3 times per week are great ways to prevent illness and injury.
Take advantage of your current preventative care benefits. Most health care plans offer preventative care services for free or for a small copay. Participating in routine screenings keeps you healthier overall and can alert to any conditions early.
Save in the drug store
If you are on medication, always ask if you can have the generic version. Generics often cost just a fraction of the name brand and work just as well.
Ask your provider if you can use a mail service to receive your medications. This simple switch saves you from drugstore markups, and you save money by skipping the commute.
Get a heath care plan
Clinics can treat some urgent situations and save you a trip to the emergency room. Be aware of the nearest clinics to receive urgent care for when situations arise. You will save time and money when you use a clinic rather than the emergency room. Here’s the difference between emergencies and urgent conditions.
Some health insurance plans provide case managers and health care advocates. These professionals can help you create a well-rounded health care approach that can effectively manage complex conditions, such as diabetes and asthma. If you happen to have a chronic condition, make sure to always follow your health care provider’s instruction concerning medications and lifestyle modifications.
If you need a procedure, ask your health care provider if you can have it done at an outpatient clinic rather than a hospital, where costs are usually higher.
Depending on your insurance provider, you may have access to in-network and out-of-network facilities and providers. In-network providers already have agreed with your insurance company what they (and you) will pay for their services. Using in-network providers removes some of the uncertainty that can come with visiting a health provider.
Take advantage of your company’s HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible Savings Account) plan. These plans allow you to set aside pre-tax earnings into an account to be used specifically for health care expenses.
Utilizing these tips can help you create a well-rounded plan that mitigates the burden of health care costs on your personal finances, and allows both you and your wallet to THRIVE.