Medical costs keep rising and many people are struggling financially because of them. But it doesn’t actually have to be this way. While healthcare is sometimes necessary, there are actually many ways you can save on your bills. Check out these unique and helpful ideas.
Invest In Your Body
Investing in your body with healthy food and a good lifestyle is perhaps the best way to save money on medical costs in the long-term. Yes – it means preparing more food from scratch and avoiding most convenience options – but it can really pay off. People who look after their bodies with diet and exercise can expect to live more than a decade longer than their peers and have less disease.
Investing in your body also involves finding ways to reduce stress in your life. Small things, such as lighting a scented candle can have an impact, as can big things, such as changing your career. Remember, stress isn’t just something that happens in your mind. It also affects your biology at a basic level, activating the sympathetic nervous system, putting you in a state of alertness. Being in this state for a short time is okay, but staying there for months or years on end is not a good idea. It puts you at a higher risk of costly chronic conditions.
Research Service Costs
Before you hand over any money to a clinic, be sure to research service costs first. You want to find out how much practitioners generally charge for the healthcare that you need. As you do this, you’ll often find that some clinics are much costlier than others – and there isn’t always a clear explanation for why. For example, getting a tooth extraction with one dentist might cost double another.
Research provides you with a ballpark figure you should aim for. And it protects you from being overcharged. If there is a cheaper option and it is safe, you should take it.
Don’t Travel To The Clinic
While direct medical costs are a concern, so too are travel costs, particularly if you need to see the doctor every couple of weeks or so. Each trip eats up your money in the form of gas and depreciation on your vehicle.
Fortunately, you don’t have to actually travel for most appointments anymore. Instead, you can use an online doctor who can provide advice, examinations and prescriptions over the internet.
What’s more, because of competition, online rates tend to be cheaper. So if your insurance doesn’t cover your care, it tends to offer better value.
Ask About The Cost Upfront
Healthcare providers don’t like to talk about the cost of treatment until the moment they ask you to pop your credit card in the machine. And that’s a little unusual. Practically every other service provider quotes prices upfront.
In clinics’ defense, it is often hard to predict precisely what type of healthcare each patient will need. But it would at least be helpful to see a menu of prices, including all contingent care costs, should complications arise.
If the clinic refuses to tell you how much care is likely to cost, simply go to another provider and try again. Eventually, somebody will provide you with pricing information up front.
Paying in cash is actually something that many doctors appreciate. When you use your insurance, doctors incur costs filing the claims. These can sometimes be expensive, and they don’t see any of that money once it’s gone.
When you pay cash, though, it helps the doctor and, criticall, you. Because of insurance fees (and other incentives) doctors will often reduce the cash price of their services, making them a better deal. They win, and so do you.
Ask If There Are Other Options
Doctors will usually go through the motions, suggesting that you use the latest treatments. Unfortunately, these also tend to be the most expensive. However, there are often many other treatments for your conditions that are cheaper and work just as well. In fact, for some patients, traditional therapies may work better.
Doctors will then tell you whether these treatments are likely to work in your case. If they are, then you can try them out and see if they work.
Ask For A Loyalty Discount
If you’ve been using the same doctor for many years, you might want to try asking for a loyalty discount. You can also see if they are willing to provide a discount on bulk services – say, ten consultations. Most will agree if you are willing to make a payment upfront.