The cost of long-term care and general healthcare costs are higher than they have ever been, and the increase pretty much doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon. You aren’t totally powerless against this expensive burden, however.
There are strategies and lifestyle choices that can lessen the effect that these rising costs will have on you. Let’s look at a few ways to handle rising the high costs of medical treatment.
Compare Prices From Alternative Plans and Health Providers
First, let’s talk about healthcare insurance plan alternatives. By taking the time and doing your research, you can find the best plan for you and your family. Talk to the insurance companies, ask them about the network hospitals. If you have a network hospital near your home and workplace, maybe you should consider getting an HMO or an EPO healthcare plan because they only provide healthcare in networked hospitals, but are a lot cheaper than the PPO and POS healthcare plans.
Also, does your company offer group health insurance? The group health insurance tends to be a lot cheaper than a regular one, and not only that, but you can also save up money on your taxes by getting the group health insurance. This plan benefits both employees and employers because employees receive the benefits tax-free while the company can claim them as a tax-deductible expense.
Save Money on Medicines
For instance, you can ask your health care provider if you can switch to generic medicines. They have the same active ingredient but cost less than brand name drugs. You can also ask your provider if there is a less expensive medicine that treats the same condition. Another useful tip is to see if you can order your medicine through the mail.
There are also a couple of programs that tackle the problem of costly medicine, like for instance Ontario’s Trillium Drug Program. The experts from GroupEnroll.ca say that with this drug plan, eligible residents of Ontario can be assisted in buying prescription drugs or other necessary medical accessories if they find themselves in a situation where their annual income can’t cover the costs. Take all of your medicines as directed. All of this being said – not taking your medicine or not taking enough medicine may lead to further health problems, so if there is any way to get your medicine, do your research and be sure to take them.
Make Sure You Understand Your Health Benefits
While this seems downright obvious, in a study released last year, only 52% of employees with health insurance really understood what their plans would and wouldn’t pay for! So that being said, you’ve yet to review your plan’s policies, take some time to read up on what it will cover, and what costs you’ll are on you. More specifically, figure out which providers are considered in-network and which aren’t, because if you go outside your plan’s network, you’ll just end up paying way more.
Similarly, some health care insurance plans require referrals from a primary care physician or preauthorization from your insurance company itself. And if you fail to take those, we admit, annoying but unfortunately necessary steps, and you could wind up liable for having to pay an immense amount of money that would otherwise be covered by your insurance company. And so, if there are aspects of your insurance plan you don’t understand, be sure to call the number on the back of your insurance card and speak to someone about them, after all – that’s what those representatives are paid for.
Request And Save All Of The Copies Of Your Medical Records
You surely won’t necessarily need a record of every single office visit you attend. At the same time, it pays to request copies of your medical records whenever you undergo a yearly physical with bloodwork or undergo specific diagnostic tests. If you do this, if for instance, you end up switching providers, you’ll have key information for your new doctor that might help you avoid unnecessary medical tests which will only cost you more money. And while yes, it’s common practice for medical providers to request copies of records from one another, but at that point, you’re ultimately dependant on an office you no longer go to.
In the end, you may not have control over the cost of healthcare, but the extent to which you are going to need it can be determined, at least in some part, by your lifestyle choices. So, stay active, try and eat the most nutritious diet that you can, don’t smoke, and not only will your medical expenses be lower, but your life becomes better overall.