3 Ways to Reduce Your Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Costs
Healthcare costs are at their peak. According to CNN Money, employees are shelling out more to pay healthcare deductibles, with over 50% of workers with single-member coverage paying more than $1,000 in deductibles; this figure is 31 points higher than what workers had to pay in 2011.
What the healthcare trend shows is that these numbers most likely won’t decrease; in fact, it is safe to say Americans will only fork over more of their hard-earned cash for their level of care.
Now, with steep deductibles, copayments, and premiums, it is more important than ever for Americans to take steps to cut their healthcare costs. They also want to avoid stress, and prevent chaos caused by unforeseen events. Read on to learn how you can do the same.
1. Do What You Can to Stay in Network
Consumer Reports reveals that those who seek care outside of their network most likely will have to pay more. Even if your insurance offers reimbursement options, expect to receive a smaller reimbursement back (compared to what you paid for).
Why You Pay Less in Network
Nerd Wallet explains why. Unlike out-of-pocket providers, in-network healthcare professionals have contracts with the insurance company.
One stipulate of the contract is to accept negotiated rates. Which is why when you receive care from an in-network provider, you will be paying less versus providers who out of network.
What You Need to Do
Please know that providers who are in network and providers that accept your insurance are entirely different. For this reason, get a list of in-network providers from your insurance.
Also, know that there are exceptions when seeking treatment outside of network is more beneficial. If you go this route, research ahead of time about what your reimbursement options are—if your insurance provides them.
And, have a healthcare emergency fund in place to help you cover the cost. (If you are an entrepreneur looking for health care tips, check out www.healthmarkets.com)
2. Shop Around
Use the US capitalistic economy to your advantage, and shop around for your level of care. You can do this online via medical provider databases or by phone or in person at the facility you are debating on getting treatment from.
Do not be afraid to ask for the cost of the visit/treatment/medicine. This is about your health; you should know how much you are paying for it.
A Word of Warning
There are exceptions where shopping around for the lowest price is not in your best interest. The reality is, not every provider and facility are the same.
Depending on your medical history, diagnosis, current health status, etc., you may need an experienced specialist or medical facility that specializes in what you have.
3. Take Your Vitamins
With easy access to modern medicine, it may be hard to imagine that vitamins were not as readily available (or understood) as they are now.
According to the official Nobel Prize site, 17 scientists received Nobel Prize awards for their discovery, isolation, or research on vitamins: A, B, B1, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, and growth stimulating vitamins.
Without these discoveries, much of the world would not receive the level of nutrients they need. Diseases like Pellagra (not enough vitamin B3), Beriberi (lack of Vitamin B1), Rickets (Vitamin D deficiency), and Scurvy (lack of Vitamin C) would not be curable and, would still be as commonplace as they were in the Old World.
Health Care costs are only going to rise. Taking proactive steps to cut down what you can will make you feel less stress and more in control of your health.
Other than these 3 tips, take preventative health measures to reduce the chances of needing a provider in the first place: get sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. What other healthcare-saving tips do you have? Leave a comment!
The above article is a guest post from Ashley Lipman. Ashley is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.