Even if you have health insurance, covering the cost of medical care can still be expensive. For that reason, it’s essential you shop around to better ensure you find medical care you can afford and is of high quality. Just like you look for ways to save on auto coverage with the help of your local insurance provider, the same should be true when it comes to health insurance.
Shop Around for the Right Insurance Plan
It’s always a good idea to occasionally shop around to make sure you’re getting the best health insurance coverage at the best cost, even if you like your current plan and can easily afford it. You never know when a better plan might crop up, or how much money you can save by switching.
Look over your current plan to make sure it meets your most immediate needs. Consider the current medications you’re taking and any existing conditions for which you need to account. Finally, make sure the current information on your policy is accurate.
Think About Switching to a High-Deductible Plan
If you only need to visit the doctor for an occasional checkup and don’t have immediate or serious healthcare issues, you could benefit from switching to a plan with a higher deductible. That higher deductible is likely to result in lower monthly premiums, which can result in serious savings. Just bear in mind that you want to make sure you always have that deductible amount stored away in a savings account, preferably an interest-bearing one so the money’s not just sitting there not doing anything for you.
Shop Around for a Solid Price on Your Medicine
There are plenty of apps you can use to better ensure you’re getting the best price on any medication you might need. Ask about coupons when you receive your prescription, both from your physician as well as your pharmacist. While you’re at it, ask your doctor if a generic medication would work just as well for your healthcare needs.
Look Into a Health Savings Account
You might have the option of signing up for a Health Savings Account (HSA) with your insurance provider. Much like a regular savings account, you can put money in your HSA to cover medical expenses not covered by your current policy. One of the biggest benefits of an HSA is that you don’t have to worry about losing your contributions at the end of the year. What’s more is your contributions are tax-deductible and grow tax-free, and qualifying withdrawals are tax-free as well.
Open a Medical Emergency Fund
While HSAs are great to have, not everyone qualifies for them. Those who don’t should look into starting a medical emergency fund. Just storing away $2,000 in this fund can go a long way in protecting your finances in the event of a medical emergency, or if your insurance isn’t enough to cover expenses. Just like your deductible, it’s a good idea to open your emergency fund in an account that accrues interest over time so that amount grows while you aren’t using it.
Ask What’s Necessary and What Isn’t
Should you learn you need medication, a test or a medical procedure, ask if it’s truly necessary. Even if you do need treatment or medication, you may qualify for a less expensive but equally effective alternative. Know that just because a medication or procedure is more advanced doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than an older option. Doctors won’t always inform patients of less expensive options if patients don’t ask, so let your medical care provider know you’re trying to get the best care without going broke.
The right questions and information can make all the difference in the world when it comes to saving on medical costs. You don’t have to feel trapped or as if you have no choice but to go into debt to take proper care of your health.