3 Ways To Save Money On Medical Care Costs
by Julie Lee
The cost of medical care has skyrocketed in recent years. While it may seem as if these ever-increasing costs and premiums will never stop their growth pattern, there are a few ways to cut down on healthcare expenses.
Here are three ways that are simple to execute and provide great savings in the long run.
1. Generic Brands Are The Way To Go
By choosing generic drugs, you can save a great deal of money in the long run. First, however, it is vital to ensure that you are covered by your insurance for your specific prescriptions. You can check for this by consulting with your insurance company.
After that, one should only go for generic brand drugs in order to save on medical costs. In fact, a study by the U.S. government over the past ten years has shown that, in total, the purchases of generic drugs over brand name drugs has saved American consumers more than $1 trillion dollars.
Indeed, by choosing generic drugs over name-brand drugs, you can save a great deal of money over the long run. These drugs are also safe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
One should not be concerned that generic drugs in the U.S. are of a lower quality or are not as effective than brand name drugs, because the FDA mandates “generic drugs to have the same quality and performance as brand name drugs,” having “met rigorous standards established by the FDA with respect to identity, strength, quality, purity, and potency.”
Additionally, by using generic drugs, you are therefore getting more “bang for your buck,” saving on health care costs in the long run.
You can have a talk with your doctor and pharmacist to learn about and choose the right generic prescriptions for you, which are good for both your health and your wallet.
2. Shop Around for Doctors and Hospitals
Another method to save on health care costs is to compare medical costs at different institutions. For instance, it could be good to call around to multiple locations and ask them what they charge for medical procedures, and compare the costs.
You may even be able to use a discrepancy in costs between two medical institutions as leverage in a negotiation, by asking one location if they could match the price of another. Even if you cannot afford a particular institution, you could always ask their staff for advice on where to look for more affordable treatment, as well.
Come up with a list, comparing different institutions, weighing the pros and cons of institutions, individually. By taking these steps, you can work to both lower your medical bills and save money in the process.
Of course, the difference in specific medical technologies and expertise present at different locations could explain the differing costs, making a negotiation impossible. It is good to do your homework when comparing institutions for health care, and weighing the benefits and expertise present at each location.
Negotiation, and acting as a savvy customer to find the lowest medical expenses, may pay off in great dividends over the long run, with some well-placed research. By asking around and heeding the advice of medical personnel, you can steer yourself to lower-cost healthcare.
3. Ask For Advice
Who better to know about the best, affordable types of treatment than the experts? You can aim to cut down your medical expenses by asking those who know the field for advice, and taking the best route you find. For instance, you can ask your doctor directly for advice on finding the most cost-effective choices for medical care.
Additionally, you can also seek out advice from others in medical offices, and from those who are familiar with these procedures. While the Internet can be a great resource, you will probably want to go more in depth than simply searching for answers online.
Setting up an appointment or meeting with a medical practitioner can lead to discussions that might help you find ways to save on medical costs.
You can also read information and materials intended for doctors, which may help you cut your own costs. For instance, you could find articles written with doctors in mind, which details the most efficient ways to give treatment, and other ways to cut down on costs at hospitals in procedures, for instance.
You can read these articles, and take the findings to inquire about your own treatment, therefore forcing your health practitioners not to be charging you for anything unnecessary. In this case, a little bit of research may save you a great deal of money in the long run. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and verify all the information yourself.
By following these three simple tips, you can work to find the best ways to save on your health care costs, without sacrificing your well-being.
(Julie Lee, a freelance writer, has been writing about topics related to medical care and savings. Most recently, Julie has written extensively on medical assistant certificate programs and other medical and health related college degree programs.)