1. Look into health costs
Higher healthcare expenses don't necessarily signify better healthcare services. This is why it is vital to investigate every health care cost ranging from overall premium costs to individual expenditures.
Comprehending where the money goes plays a significant role in focusing your cost-cutting efforts.
2. Embracing technology
Today's healthcare landscape is starkly different from the one we had a few years ago as virtual healthcare and telemedicine continue to take root. There are multiple ways for individuals to take charge of their health without worrying about in-person consultation and its added costs.
The availability of tech that monitors glucose levels, for instance, is beneficial to diabetic individuals without test trips. Countless platforms avail virtual visits for psychiatrists, doctors, and other medical professionals. Additionally, there are a myriad of wellness apps that help individuals make more proactive health decisions.
3. Take alternative plan options into consideration
Not every health insurance plan will fit your needs. The best plan should, however, offer a high deductible with saving options.
These plans allow greater health consumerism and put the decision-making power into your hands. It is critical to choose a plan that helps shift costs without compromising healthcare and service quality.
4. Take part in active enrollment
Passively enrolling in health benefits might seem like a great time-saver, but it hinders health literacy. On the other hand, active enrollment forces you to a chance to review all their benefits options before selecting a plan that suits you.
This not only makes you consider important life events but also affords you the chance to reevaluate the benefits you are paying for and not benefiting from. Actively enrolling will make you a wiser healthcare consumer, put you in a position to make more proactive healthcare choices, and lower your overall health expenditure.
5. Change your healthcare insurance funding structure
Changing how you fund your health insurance plan is a more drastic cost-cutting strategy. Most people often prefer a fully insured plan where you pay a set premium to an insurance provider, but that isn't the best option.
Level-funding, self-funding, and reference-based pricing models are options that might seem like attractive solutions for some employers who offer healthcare insurance to their employees.
6. Take better care of yourself
Gone are the days where you would need to run to the doctor due to a slight sniffle or sneeze. These days, it is easier to consider trying out home remedies or purchasing them from a local health food store. Natural homeopathic remedies are an excellent way to: calm coughs, clear sinuses, and counteract spring allergies.
There are a variety of other natural ways to heal and provide yourself relief, but if the cold persists and is accompanied by a high fever or other issues that don't clear up promptly, you should get checked out.
7. Get rid of unhealthy habits
If you are a chronic smoker, you can be sure that you are already paying a high premium that is steadily increasing by 25% each year. Join a self-help group, get a patch, do whatever you can to quit the habit, and have a healthier lifestyle.
You don't have to make drastic changes all at once, but it is vital to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and practice more physical activities on a daily basis. Supplementing your vitamins for a solid exercise plan and diet is an excellent place to start and will significantly reduce your medical expenses.
8. Use generics
When you need a prescription, let the doctor know that you are open to getting its generic. Generics are more affordable than name-brand drugs and still provide the same benefits.
You should also ask your physician for free samples and do not hesitate to share if you have inadequate prescription coverage.
9. Review your coverage before seeking treatment
It is essential to know precisely what your policy covers before you receive treatment. In some cases, there might be a couple of pocket-friendly alternatives available for you. When you go in for treatment, let your doctor know what your insurance caters for so that he/she can help you find a way to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Being smart about your coverage means you will take fewer chances and save more money. Regardless, it would be best to postpone critical trips to the emergency room or doctor because you are afraid of how much it might cost.
10. Try to qualify for Medicaid
Depending on your income level and your family's size, it is possible to qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a program that provides healthcare coverage for people who fall under the following categories:
- People with disabilities
- Pregnant women
- Elderly people
- Low-income; children, individuals, and families
Each state has different rules on who can potentially qualify for Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility was able to expand in multiple states, and the number of people qualified for these benefits has also increased rapidly. Being eligible allows you to get free or low-cost coverage for your health care expenses.
The bottom line
With the increased unemployment rates in 2021, more families and individuals are likely to experience difficulties when it comes to paying off their medical bills. You might want to consider filling out health coverage applications online to see whether you qualify for; CHIP, premium tax credits, Medicaid, and Cost-Sharing Reductions. This way, you will be able to experience high-quality healthcare at an affordable rate.