Anyone who has been to the doctor or made a trip to the emergency room knows that health care costs have gotten out of control. Factor in the outrageous cost of medication and you can see why many people were adamant about the need for health reform. If you want to keep the cost of your medical care within a manageable range, then you are going to have to be proactive about reducing the amount you pay for medical services. Whether you have insurance or not, here are a few savvy things you can do to save money on health care costs.
Price Shopping – Health care facilities are just like any other business. Each hospital, doctor’s office, and medical clinic will have their own schedule of fees for medical services and the price difference between them all can be significant. The hospital down the street from you may charge $1700 for stitches while the one that is 30 miles away only charges $1200. That is enough of a savings that it would be worth it to go out of your way. There are several places where you can compare the health care costs of different facilities. Some states have a website you can log into. Another option is to contact your health insurance provider for information about fee schedules.
Take Advantage of Hidden Benefits – It pays to take a close look at your health plan and other memberships that you may have. Sometimes you will find hidden benefits that can save you hundreds of dollars on your health care costs. For example, some medical plans provide access to a nurse hotline that you can call any time of the day every day. With their medical experience, a nurse can be a source of advice for various health related issues and can save you a trip to the doctor. Other membership programs may provide discount on medical services such as vision and dental care.
Change Up Your Health Insurance – Your health insurance premiums count towards your health care costs. You may be overpaying for your medical plan and not even know it. Insurance providers are for-profit entities and price their health plans to compete effectively in the marketplace. It is a good idea to do some price comparison shopping. An online insurance quote website can make the process a lot easier by providing you with real time rate quotes from multiple providers. That way you can see how your plan stacks and even make a more frugal switch if need be.