Whether you’re stung with a sudden, major medical bill or you’re coping with the costs of dealing with a longer-term condition, healthcare can be seriously expensive. It’s fast growing as a cause of debt and can cause a lot of anxiety about not just falling ill, but even seeking treatment. Here, we’re going to look at some strategies to manage your healthcare costs, so you don’t feel ill at the thought of them.
Cut the expensive habits
It’s easier said than done, but some of our unhealthiest habits can hit your expenses twice. Cigarettes, alcohol, too much coffee, and unhealthy foods are all more expensive than the healthier option of cutting them from your life. With a planned meal list, even buying healthy ingredients is cheaper than relying on easy, fast junk food. They also cost us in the treatment of the chronic conditions they are likely to lead to, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Ask about other care services
You may not have to switch your doctor in order to make your care more affordable. Instead, you may want to ask about whether they work in any outpatient facilities. Some outpatient services, such as chemotherapy, are less expensive than inpatient treatment on average, but it’s worth researching the difference before you make any assumptions. It’s not always necessarily true, but it often is. Similarly, planning ahead for urgent and emergency care is essential, too. By avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency room, you can avoid the costs that come with them, as well, when a simple appointment might be more appropriate.
Make those pills less bitter
Basic coverage, such as Medicare, may be enough to help with the costs of everyday medical care. However, when dealing with longer-term conditions and your own specific circumstances, you might not get everything you need out of it. Make sure you’re covered with Medicare prescriptions to lower the costs of your medication. Another option is to opt for generic drugs instead of branded varieties. Always ask your doctor about the potential impact of going generic. Though some generic medications have no differences at all to branded ones, this isn’t the case for all of them.
Use the right savings
Having an emergency fund in place to cover sudden medical expenses is always wise, but you could benefit even more from putting those savings in the right place, such as a health savings account or a flexible savings account. An HSA, in particular, reduces your taxable income on savings that are set aside specifically for your healthcare. It can ensure that you keep more of the savings that you need to cover the costs of treatment and prevents you from dipping into your emergency funds accidentally.
Lastly, make sure you check all your medical bills for potential mistakes. Errors, like charging twice for the same procedure or getting your insurance details wrong so you have to foot the bill, are not as uncommon as you might like, so it’s worth keeping an eye on them.