Money is tight now as everyone knows. And, with rising health care costs, it is difficult to find ways to cut back especially on necessities. But, here are seven tips for saving money on health care costs.
1. Go Generic: Ask your doctor if your prescriptions are absolutely necessary. Are there any other alternatives to try before prescriptions? If it is necessary, ask if there is a generic version of the drug available and if there are any reasons why the generic version would be inappropriate. Often drugs off patent can cost nearly 90% less.
2. Try Coupons: If you can’t buy generic, search for drug coupons. The AARP suggests searching for on line coupons for prescriptions, especially for non-generic drugs. Two websites for coupons include www.optimizerx.com and www.internetdrugcoupons.com.
3. Pick your Pharmacies: Not all pharmacies are created equal. Currently, places like Target and Kroger are offering $4 prescriptions on over 300 generic drugs and includes some of the most popular prescriptions. A list of the participating pharmacies and eligible generic drugs are available at www.kroger.com/generic or by calling 1-877-4RX-LIST (1-877-479-5478).
4. Prevention Practices: Experts suggest simple steps such as eating a balanced diet and exercise can mean major savings in health care costs. Consider maintaining a healthy weight and visiting the doctor regularly for checkups.
5. Negotiate: According to Charles Inlander in his article “Negotiating with Health care Providers” he explains how easy it can be to negotiate healthcare costs. “Generally, doctors and other healthcare providers are willing to lower their standard fees for patients with limited incomes or special economic circumstance,” he says. “This holds true especially for people without health insurance, or for services not covered by health insurance. But it is up to you to start the discussion.”
6. Try it out: If the doctor recommends a new prescription, ask if there are samples available. Not only will you save money, but it can be an appropriate way to try out the drug to discover any uncomfortable side effects.
7. Check your bills: Always review your bills and insurance coverage before and after a visit to the doctor. Look for anything incorrect or suspicious. If you find a mistake, call your health care provider immediately for corrections.
This is a weekly featured post on Own The Dollar from Sara Peak, a Certified Financial Planner and a veteran of the finance industry. In addition to her monthly “Money Matters” column in Kentucky Living magazine, she also writes about money and personal finance topics on her blog.
Be sure to look for more great featured articles every week from Sara. If you have a question or topic that you would like for her to discuss, please contact us.