Everyone needs healthcare access, but seeing your doctor or accessing medication is often behind a paywall too costly for some people. Consumer out-of-pocket spending reached $1,650 per person in 2021, which is painful for the 58% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck each month.
Take power back over your health by using these tips to save money on your out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Anyone can use these strategies to maintain their well-being without compromising their budget.
1. Review Your Insurance Plan
Insurance plans have extensive packets detailing everything you receive for your monthly premium payments. If you skipped over the fine print, it’s time to go back and read through each paragraph.
You can compare your plan with alternatives when you fully understand what it does and doesn’t cover. It may be beneficial to switch health insurance providers if your current policy doesn’t come from your employer.
2. Try Cost-Savings Apps
The average medical care costs for U.S. patients have increased 100.86% since 2000 and show no signs of slowing down. Prescriptions are a recurring out-of-pocket healthcare cost you can reduce without assistance from your insurance.
Consider downloading prescription cost-saving apps that provide coupons and discounts depending on which businesses fill your prescriptions. You could get exclusive discounts on leading medications without swapping your insurance or increasing your premium.
3. Negotiate Your Bills
Many people don’t realize patients can negotiate their medical bills with a hospital’s billing department. Of all the people who attempt this money-saving tip, 93% successfully reduce their debt by requesting an itemized bill.
Itemized bills force accountants to put a price on every procedure, supply and tool used in your treatment or surgery. They’re more likely to catch errors and reduce your total cost. After negotiating the itemized list, you can also work with them to establish a payment plan for the finalized bill.
4. Request Alternate Treatments Or Procedures
It can feel uncomfortable to tell your doctor you can’t afford your healthcare needs, but it’s an essential tip to save money on out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Health care practitioners want to help their patients, which includes finding solutions for pricing concerns.
Let your physician know you need lower-cost options and they’ll find ways around the standard prices for whatever you need. A quick conversation is all you need to reduce your bill, even if only by a small amount.
5. Try Virtual Healthcare Appointments
Some insurance plans include free access to virtual healthcare appointments, but they may also save you money without insurance. A study found telehealth doctor’s visits could cost as low as $50, compared to the average of $176 people pay to see their doctors in person.
If you don’t need services like blood testing or scans, your doctor may allow virtual visits to reduce your yearly healthcare costs. It’s optimal for annual check-in appointments, general consultations and prescription refills.
6. Seek Free Resources
Many communities have programs providing free medical services to those in need. Research your town or county to find them where you live. You might find free or discounted insulin, annual checkups or vaccines.
These resources can reduce the costs your insurance doesn’t cover or make services available that would otherwise break your budget.
7. Prioritize Preventative Care
Preventative care is a powerful tool that many people forget. Better choices like drinking less alcohol or eating nutritious foods will help your body stay healthy. You can research nourishing meal and exercise plans online, discovering what works best for you along the way.
Something as simple as walking more often could improve your liver’s biochemistry, reduce your odds of obesity and increase your metabolic burn rate to prevent costly medical appointments from becoming a necessary part of your daily life.
Start Saving On Your Healthcare
Anyone can use these tips to save money on their out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Manage your funds and enjoy life more with strategies like scheduling virtual consults and using discounting apps. You could notice improvements in your budget without missing out on essential medical services.