Rising healthcare costs are a common concern for all of us modern-day millennials. While advancement in medical science is adding to our longevity, it is also creating the requirement of having bulkier wallets. That can be a practical impossibility for middle class men like you and me having a big family to run.
However, you don’t need to be disheartened over the issue of growing healthcare bill. Today we are going to share some insights on the best ways in which you can optimise the healthcare costs without spending your entire bank balance on the same. So, read on to know more about making smart choices for a better and healthier tomorrow:
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
As the old saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. If you start making healthy choices today, then you can definitely save up on the medical expenses of tomorrow. Studies have revealed that the U.S. population can bring down their healthcare spending by 8% if they can reduce their average BMI or body mass index by 5%.
35-year-old Robert had a family history of diabetes and blood pressure. Being the sole earning member of a family of four, he already had big responsibilities to shoulder. Adding healthcare expenses to it was something he simply couldn’t afford anymore especially when he had his aged parents and pregnant wife residing with him.
That is why he started eating healthy and filled up his plate with loads of fresh greens and other protein-rich food. Meditation has endless benefits for our body and mind, as well as going on daily jogging sessions also helped in bringing down his waistline by burning away the excess calories. He also went for routine check-ups at government hospitals to be sure of his health curve. These small steps came together to help Robert ring in heavy savings in the medical frontier.
Make use of preventive health screenings
Medical screenings are very helpful in both detecting and preventing specific diseases. This kind of preventive medicine is often advocated by different health care professionals especially for seniors as an easy pathway to proceed towards healthy ageing.
While these are mostly offered at discounted prices, the overall cost is substantially lower than having to deal with any form of chronic ailment once its attacks your body. Early detection can also help in controlling its spread and curing the disease in most cases.
The insurance plans of United States are legally bound to cover a variety of common preventive services like immunizations, mammograms and many more which you can take advantage of for keeping your healthcare expenses low. The free community health screening sessions are also helpful in measuring the blood pressure and blood sugar count without having to incur any additional cost.
These area-specific screening programs are usually organised by different healthcare providers or insurers in the form of a promotional event. Nevertheless, you should always keep your eyes and ears open to attend these screenings and benefit from the same. If you are unsure about the upcoming medical camps, then you can enquire with your local health department or the state health department. Hospitals and welfare clubs also organise such benevolent events every now and then. You can enquire around for these free preventive screenings.
Seek out the right kind of treatment
Andrew, a retired school teacher had a habit of running to the doctor’s chamber even on having the simplest of ailments. His friends and family even started joking about his growing obsession over being ‘penny wise pound foolish.’ Andrew always argued that he was playing it safe to prevent higher healthcare costs in days to come. But he failed to comprehend that these frequent doctor visits were adding to his expense meter nonetheless.
You should thus make it a point not to visit the hospital emergency room for non-emergency purposes. If you really require immediate medical care, then you should definitely pay a visit to the hospital. But if the degree of intensity is not that high, then you can make do with lower-cost alternatives like phone call, email or video consultations which can be availed either for free or at reduced rates.
The walk-in and express clinics are the perfect choice for treating minor injuries, common cold and the flu. You should also enquire around a bit in search for the most affordable service. But whenever you decide to get advanced check-ups done, it is always advisable to keep your primary care physician in the loop.
Co-ordination of medical data
The cost of healthcare has been impacted severely by the growing degree of specialization and fragmentation. This is why it becomes necessary to have everything coordinated in one place as otherwise you might end up doing the same tests and undergoing the same treatments on a repeat mode.
Lack of sufficient knowledge can simply add up to your overall costs. You should thus participate actively in facilitating coordination and communication amongst all the healthcare providers to improve the care and bring down redundant costs simultaneously.
Mr. Radcliffe, a veteran accountant had always been very systematic in his work field. He had gained accolades for his organized way of doing work and maintaining files. The same systematization could also be seen in the way he maintained all his personal medical files.
He made it a point to carry all the properly organised test and medical records whenever he went to visit his physician’s chamber. This made it easy for the doctor to diagnose him properly and also kept Mr. Radcliffe buffered from undergoing the same tests time and again.
Seek out the best price
When was the last time you went to shop and bought a pair of boots without looking at other options? If you are feeling clueless about answering this question, then its time to apply the same policy in choosing healthcare options. Healthcare services ranging from getting an insurance to being admitted in a hospital should be treated in a manner similar to buying a car or a house.
You are the consumer here and its your right to seek out the best quality service at a competitive price. However, it is imperative to note here that healthcare doesn’t have a straightforward price tag. You will have to do your homework properly for collating all the information needed to make the best value choices.
The cost of medical procedures usually varies from one provider to another. This is why you need to do a bit of research before settling with a particular clinic and hospital. Similarly, you also need to compare between the prices offered on medical supplies by pharmacies before placing your purchase.
Price of the same medicine can also vary widely between shops and doing a little research can help you crack the best deal. You can also ask around for used medical equipment to deliver affordable care to patients under treatment.
Negotiate the hospital bill
We are all born with negotiation skills and the medical fraternity is a place where you can actually put it into action. Afterall, when you are paying such exorbitant fees, it is your right to seek out a justification of the cost from the service providers. You can also use your personal connections to make the hospital authorities understand your position and try to reduce the charges if possible.
Clear all your doubts
Healthcare experts have immense knowledge in the particular subject matter and that’s why laymen like me and you seek out their advice. However, you should never stop trusting your own decisions and abide by the recommendations of the hospitals without any counter questions. At the end of the day, it is your health in question and the money is also going from your pocket. Thus, you have the complete right to enquire about the processes in depth to take a well-informed call which shall be in sync with your best interests.
The best means of bringing down healthcare expenses is to be proactive with the whole process. Before starting treatment prescribed by a doctor, you should always enquire about the variation in cost to avail the best deal. Various tools are available which offer an easy comparison between the price and quality of healthcare services offered by each facility.
If there is any particular hospital preference, then you can put your negotiation skills into action. While calling the clinics and hospitals, you need to have your medical file and health insurance information handy to keep the entire process error-free and seamless.
Certain hospitals provide patients with an option of an interest-free payment plan to mitigate steep healthcare bills. These plans allow making monthly or bi-monthly payment towards the expenses or have them deducted automatically from your bank account.
While the above-mentioned tips can help in lowering down the healthcare expenses significantly, you should also discuss its viability with your doctor and weigh out the other options you can try out in the form of alternative treatments.
It is also advisable to do adequate research on your end and talk to friends and family who have experienced medical emergencies in the past, so that you can be prepared to tackle every scenario that might arise.