Learn How To Save Your First $1,000 On Healthcare Expenses
Your health and your families health are a priority. So, when it comes to paying medical costs to maintain your physical and mental health, it’s easy to feel the only option is to hope for the best, listen to doctor’s orders and then pay bills that arise without question.
Thankfully, that’s not the case. You are empowered to control the costs you pay for medical care and you may be missing out on opportunities for savings. Since our mission at Disputebills.com is to uncover these savings, we have a few ways you may be able to reduce healthcare costs:
Take Preventative Measures
Being proactive about your health can help you catch illnesses or unhealthy habits early before they turn into major (and costly) health concerns.
Perform your own self-exams to become familiar with your body. And visit the doctor for an annual physical to make sure you’re in good overall health. Remember, whenever you make an appointment, don’t forget to make sure the doctor you visit is in-network to avoid a high out-of-network bill.
Compare Drug Costs or Go Generic
The cost of prescriptions vary from drugstore to drugstore, so don’t fill or refill a prescription until you’ve done some comparison shopping first. DestinationRx.com is a convenient online resource to use for comparison.
If you take a prescription drug on a regular basis, reach out to your health insurance company to see if a cheaper mail order prescription deal is available. Often, you can find significant savings on the 90-day mail order drug supply compared to the 90-day supply from a pharmacy.
Finally, always check to see if there’s a generic version of the drug your doctor prescribes because it’s almost always less expensive. And if there isn’t a generic available, go to the name-brand drug maker’s website to look for coupons, discounts, or rebates.
Shop for Affordable Healthcare Procedures and Tests
Just like drugs, the cost of procedures and tests aren’t the same across the board or even set in stone. This month, ahead of each test and procedure ask how much it’s going to cost you.
Then shop around to find out where you can get the most affordable price. You can even try negotiating down costs. While you’re at it, double check with your doctor or get a second opinion on their findings. You don’t want a test or procedure to be invasive to your body or wallet if it’s unnecessary.
Partner With a Medical Advocate
Doctor’s offices and labs are not exempt from mistakes during the billing process. In fact, 80% of medical bills on average contain so sort of error. These mistakes can easily go unnoticed if you don’t know what to look for when reviewing your bills. If you’re sitting on a high medical bill, partnering with an advocate may be able to cut costs by 60 percent.
Rethink Your Health Plan
If you exercise, eat well and only visit the doctor once or twice a year for routine check ups, you may want to consider a high-deductible health plan. Unlike a traditional health plan, the monthly premiums are lower. Keep in mind, the trade off is your deductible is also higher.
In an emergency, you’ll pay more out-of-pocket before your health plan kicks in to help with the bills. Still, if you’re confident care won’t be necessary other than standard check ups, a high-deductible plan can save you some extra money each month.
Use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
An FSA account allows you to put pre-tax dollars toward medical expenses throughout the year. It’s kind of like a 401(k) account except instead of preparing you for retirement, it’s preparing you for medical bills.
The benefit of an FSA account is it lowers your taxable income. And if your employer offers a grace period until March 15 to use up the previous year’s FSA money, there’s a sweet spot in the first few months of each year when you can double upon available funds.
Check If You Qualify for a Healthcare Subsidy
Low- to moderate-income households may find savings through tax credits that offset the cost of health care insurance premiums. Generally, you can qualify for this tax credit if you make between 100 percent to 400 percent above the poverty level.
For an income example, for 2016 enrollment a family of four can’t make over $97,000 annually. There are some additional factors that impact eligibility besides income like your tax filing status, resident status and whether your employer offers an affordable plan. Check to see if you’re eligible for savings using the Obama Care Subsidy Calculator.
Need Extra Help Disputing Your Bills?
Navigating the ins and outs of our healthcare system can be intimidating and stressful. You don’t have to weather the storm alone. If you need help cutting the costs of your existing bills, let us do a free review of your medical debt.