It shouldn’t cost you a fortune to get quality healthcare. Unfortunately, it does in most cases. A recent US study suggests that family healthcare insurance costs workers and employers an average of $22,000 each year, and this figure keeps rising. Despite this, there’s still no reason not to prioritize your family’s health. There are several ways you can ensure your family receives the healthcare it needs without worrying about losing too much money. Here are ten savvy ways to save money on your family’s healthcare.
1) Adopt a healthier lifestyle
Living a healthier lifestyle is an effective way to save money on healthcare expenses. Lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking reduce your risk of developing health problems. Your family’s risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease is reduced by adopting healthier habits. Although maintaining a healthier lifestyle is easier said than done, making a conscious effort to do so may save your family’s lives and money in the long run.
2) Plan ahead for emergency care
Unfortunately, health issues can occur out of the blue. When this happens, it could mean you would have to incur expenses you were not prepared for. Therefore, it is vital to implement an emergency plan for such situations. Financially, you can plan for such situations by creating a rainy day account. This way, you would not have to worry about spending out of your budget during an emergency.
Another way to plan for emergence care is by identifying which issues are emergencies. This will assist you in deciding whether to call your doctor, visit an urgent care center, or seek emergency treatment. Consider how quickly you require medical attention while deciding where to seek treatment. It is an emergency if a person or an unborn baby could die or suffer permanent injury. Chest pain, difficulty breathing, extreme or bleeding are all examples. You require urgent care if you require treatment that cannot wait until the next day to be seen by your provider. These quick decisions are essential to ensuring you and your family are safe and prevent you from spending more money than needed.
3) Don’t take “no” for an answer
If your insurance company doesn’t pay for a service you think you deserve, don’t just give up. Appeal the decision. If you’re denied again, contact your state insurance commission to mediate a dispute between you and your insurance company. If you win, you could save yourself hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Likewise, you can benefit from finding the right health insurance agency to get the most affordable healthcare plan and avoid long protracted disputes.
4) Shop for the right plan
When choosing a health plan, don’t only go with the cheapest monthly premium or the one you’ve had in the past. Like your family’s health needs, benefits can change dramatically from year to year. The best approach to getting a good deal is to consider factors such as how often your family visits the doctor, various prescriptions, dental cleaning, and other health services your family receives each year. Then, find plans that cover these expenses and compare how much you would save if you use those plans. If it seems like a good deal, you should consider purchasing that insurance plan.
However, you should also remember the charges such as monthly payments and deductibles the insurance company requires. This would help you identify the right plan—- one which covers your family at an affordable cost.
5) Consider an HD plan
A high-deductible (HD) health plan can save you money in lower premiums. Another advantage is that most HD plans allow you to open a health savings account (HSA), which allows you to put money aside to pay for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Even better, any money left over in your HSA grows tax-free year after year. However, an HD package might not be ideal for you since you are responsible for all your medical expenditures until your deductible is met. Unfortunately, the figure might seem a lot to many people.
More so, if you or a family member has a chronic health condition, or you aren’t consistent about saving money in your HSA, or having such a large deductible makes you uncomfortable, an HD plan may not be the best option.
6) Look for available subsidies
The government may be able to pay a portion of your health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act, depending on your income level. Those who qualify can enroll in the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible for a premium tax credit or cost-sharing subsidies. If you qualify, the tax credit may be enough to pay the cost of your health insurance if you buy it through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit Healthcare.gov to see if you qualify for a subsidy.
7) Evaluate your medical bills
Examine your medical expenses thoroughly. An erroneous billing code, for example, could cause your insurance to pay less than expected or reject your claim. Ask for an explanation if you don’t understand the costs you are told to pay for. It is best to understand your Explanation of Benefits (EOB), which explains what your insurer has paid for to make sure it matches your bills. Other common problems include incorrect account numbers, incomplete claims, and claims sent to the wrong insurance company addressed by the doctor. Check your benefits booklet to ensure your plan is covering everything it should. Send a certified letter to your insurer if you find an error. Check back in a few weeks to make sure the error has been corrected.
8) Save money on prescription medication
There are a few options for lowering your medical costs. Check with your doctor to see if you can switch to generic medications since they contain the same active substance as brand-name medications. Yet, they are less expensive. Inquire with your doctor if a less expensive medication will address the same problem and see if you can get it delivered. Take all of your medications exactly as prescribed. Taking your prescription incorrectly or insufficiently can lead to more serious health problems, leading to more spending.
9) Be honest about your financial situation
Are you strapped for cash? Do you have a high deductible on your insurance? Telling your doctor isn’t something to be ashamed of. They might recommend less expensive treatments or perhaps agree to cut your cost. You may also try to negotiate the cost you pay before or when you book your appointment. If possible, offer to pay cash. Some doctors may consent to a reduced charge if you tell them about your financial situation. A survey has shown that 40% of people who ask for a discount on their medical bills receive one.
10) Make use of your benefits
Get your health checked regularly. These tests can detect health issues early on when they are more treatable. Furthermore, health tests, immunizations, and yearly checkups are frequently free of charge. If you’re expecting a child, get prenatal care. This is the most effective strategy to ensure that you and your kid are healthy. Some health plans provide case managers or health advocates who can assist you in maximizing your benefits. A case manager can assist you in managing any chronic illnesses such as asthma or diabetes. Make use of services provided for free or at a reduced cost. Many health insurance plans provide savings on gym memberships and eyewear.
It is crucial to get the best quality healthcare for your family more than ever. Unfortunately, the rising cost of treatment may prove an obstacle. Fortunately, these ten savvy ways should help you reduce costs and get the best healthcare for your family.