High medical expenses could cripple your finances. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank revealed that health care costs pushed approximately 100 million people across the globe into extreme poverty.
Although some folks are fortunate enough to have subsidized insurance (or a company that shoulders part of their medical expenses), others don’t have this luxury. If you’re one of the people struggling to manage your health care costs, don’t fret.
Here are a few suggestions to help minimize your medical expenses without undermining the quality health care you should be getting from your provider:
Understand Your Health Care Benefits
Knowing the ins and outs of your medical benefits could spell the difference between overpaying for health care procedures and keeping your medical expenses at a manageable level.
If you haven’t looked at your health care provider’s policies, make time to read it from cover to cover. Doing so will allow you to determine:
• The hospitals and other medical facilities that are outside and within your plan’s network
• The health care procedures and services that require pre-authorization from your insurance provider or referral from a primary care physician (PCP)
• The exclusions listed by your medical insurance provider
If you’re having trouble understanding some statements mentioned on your health care insurance policy, check the back of your health plan card and get in touch with an insurance support representative.
Be Wise When Buying Prescription Medication
Whether you’re living by yourself or have a family to support, the prescription meds you purchase adds up over a month or year. You, however, could save money on prescriptions by taking note of these helpful suggestions:
• Ask for generics when you buy meds. These generic medications function just like the brand-name counterparts. The only difference is that the former is more affordable. If you’re unsure whether a generic drug is right for you, discuss this matter with your physician.
• Purchase a three-month supply of your prescription drug. Some pharmacies offer a discount when you buy a particular medication in bulk. If you’re required to take maintenance meds, for instance, you’ll want to order a 90-day supply instead of purchasing meds every week or month.
• See if over-the-counter drugs could substitute for prescription medication. Sometimes, you don’t need prescription meds to manage or address a health concern or problem. If the medicine prescribed to you is too expensive, ask your doctor for less costly alternatives.
Seek Preventative Care
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. You’ll need to manage or treat health concerns on the onset before they turn into a full-blown major disease. If your health care provider offers free health screenings or medical examinations, say yes and undergo the procedure. On top of being good for your health, preventative care minimizes expensive medical problems down the road.
Medical bills could eat up a considerable chunk of your budget. By taking note of these suggestions, you could prevent health care expenses from crippling your finances and driving you into debt.