In an age where people are committed to finding ways to save money, no corner can be left unturned. So along with using coupons for groceries and removing unnecessary stations from cable bills—or eliminating cable altogether—more and more people are starting to cut back on their expenses by minimizing healthcare costs.
Although the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was meant to streamline the cost of healthcare, many people have actually seen a rise in insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses. And unless Obamacare is going to get another makeover in the near future, it seems as if cutting down the cost of healthcare expenses is now solely up to you. Luckily, even if you are stuck with a hefty premium, there are plenty of other ways you can decrease the cost of healthcare.
1. Opt to buy generic.
It doesn't if you are purchasing prescription drugs or some general medical items, such as bandages, you can save a significant amount of money by buying generic instead of name brand. If you are purchasing prescriptions, be sure to talk with your doctor, the pharmacist or pharmacy tech about generic options that are more affordable. These individuals will be able to save you a significant amount of money simply by changing brands. And don’t worry, most generic medications are the same as name brand, so you won’t be forgoing quality.
If you are in need of any medical supplies, opt for the generic brand over the name brand. If you are purchasing these items from your local pharmacy, choose the pharmacy’s brand instead of the name brand. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by doing so.
2. Join rewards clubs.
Joining rewards clubs can be a great way to save money on healthcare. Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens have their own rewards clubs that allow members to save money on purchases. Plus, some of these rewards clubs even provide you with perks, such as money back, after making so many purchases or filling so many prescriptions. Find out which rewards clubs are the best choice for you, and sign up as soon as possible to start saving money and reaping the rewards.
3. Make more purchases online.
The Internet is at your fingertips, and it can be a valuable asset to help you save money on healthcare costs. Instead of only visiting your local pharmacies, do your healthcare shopping online. You may find that an online medical supply company can save you a lot more money than any local pharmacy. Spend some time researching different companies and finding the websites that provide exactly what you need at the best price.
4. Buy in bulk.
Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are notorious for selling anything in bulk, and healthcare supplies are included. Sometimes buying a bulk amount of pain medication, bandages, or any other type of medical need you have can be a great way to save money. Plus, having so much on hand means that you don’t have to run out and buy it all the time, which is a great convenience as well.
5. Talk with your doctor.
If you have a healthcare cost budget, be sure to talk with your doctor about it. Not only will your doctor be able to prescribe you generics to help you save money, but he or she will also be able to provide you with samples of medication they have on hand, which is a great money saver. Plus, your doctor may also be able to prescribe your medication in bulk orders that you can get through the mail or online for an additional savings.
6. Opt to use free health clinics.
If you want to save money on doctor visits, you can always opt to go to the free health clinic for your medical needs instead of a private doctor. Although the weight times are usually long and the staff is usually overworked, free health clinics can be a great way to eliminate the high doctor bills. Look online to find the closest free clinic in your area and try it out one time for your medical needs to see if it’s a solid choice to help you save money.
7. Use available technology.
With all the technology available at your fingertips, you should start using it to save some money on your healthcare costs. Many pharmacies provide online coupons you can use to reduce the costs of your needs. Plus, these pharmacies also have online rewards clubs that allow you to receive alerts for member-only savings.
You should also look into smartphone apps, such as LowestMed, that can tell you which pharmacy or store in your area has the lowest price for certain medications you have a prescription for. Knowing that a certain store will charge you $10 less for the same prescription can help keep money in your pocket.
8. Shop around for the best price.
When it comes to your healthcare coverage, you could save some money by shopping around. If you are paying for your own insurance, find an insurance broker to help you find the best possible coverage for the best possible price. Even saving $20 a month on your insurance premium will add up to a $240 savings every year.
If you receive your insurance through work, ask your employers or human resources department if there are different healthcare coverage options to choose from. Most companies will provide employees the option of an HMO or a PPO, so be sure to review all of your coverage options and choose the one that has the lower premium. Keep in mind, though, that lowering your premium may typically result in less coverage, so be sure to review your options thoroughly.
When reviewing policies, it’s also a good idea to remove any unnecessary items. For example, some insurance companies allow you to add vision insurance or long-term disability insurance, but with companies like America’s Best and Aflac, these benefits may not be worth their cost, especially if you won’t use it often enough.
Jonathan Anderson, © Cristia Medical Supply, Inc.