Advice to Save on Family Medical Expenses
When you are working with a tight budget, you know that medical expenses can be a major issue. However, there are things that you can do to help make your family medical expenses, including your insurance, a bit more manageable. It is a good idea to take whatever you can save and put it into a savings account. Then, if a medical bill comes that is larger than you expected, you can dip into this fund to cover it without causing your family any financial strain.
Find the Right Insurance Policy
Insurance can significantly reduce how much you need to come out of pocket, so you want to find a great insurance policy. This is going to take some time and research, especially when you are a major city since there are usually multiple companies and policies to choose from. Start by determining how much you are able to afford each month. This can narrow down the policy choices so that you are left with fewer to further investigate.
Once you have a list of insurance policies that fit into your family’s budget, it is time to read all of the fine print. Make sure that you know exactly what is covered, what the maximum out of pocket expenses are and what your deductible is. You also want to explore the copays for the different types of healthcare visits and medications. This is especially important if anyone in your family has a specific medical condition or medication because you want to ensure that it is covered.
Be Smart About Your Prescriptions
When someone in your family needs a prescription, there are often ways to cut down the costs, such as asking for a generic version, getting a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day supply and even requesting samples from your doctor. There are some instances where the drug is available over-the-counter, such as with naproxen and ibuprofen that come in both the OTC and prescription forms. It can sometimes be cheaper to just get the medication over the counter and then adjust the dosage per your doctor’s instructions.
Talk to Your Doctor About Alternatives
When it comes to things, such as procedures, treatments and diagnostic testing, there might be a less expensive alternative. You can talk to your doctor about what your options are with this. This can save you a considerable amount of money on the related expenses.
Look for Billing Errors
It is not uncommon to have errors on your medical bills and when you can spot these, you can have them removed to save yourself some money. You want to explore the following when it comes to your medical bills: unbundling, upcoding, mismatched coding, balance billing and duplicate billing. If you notice any of these, simply call your insurance company or the hospital, depending on where the bill came from. Let them know about the error and insist it is fixed before paying the bill.
Utilize a Private Practice
There are often ways to save more money when you work with a private practice as opposed to a major hospital network. This is because the doctor who owns the practice has the authority to offer discounts, such as when a patient opts to pay cash instead of using their insurance. A doctor in a major hospital cannot authorize this type of discount and finance departments often will not be helpful.
You should work to incorporate all of these ideas to make all of the family medical expenses a little easier to handle. When you are able to chop down your medical expense budget, this will free up some cash to either enhance your savings or take care of debt. This helps to ensure that your family has more financial freedom, especially over the long-term.