1. Asks questions about health care costs
Higher health care expenses don't necessarily signify better health care services. This is why it is vital to investigate every health care cost, from premiums to individual expenditures.
Comprehending where the money goes plays a significant role in focusing your cost-cutting efforts.
2. Embrace technology
Today's health care landscape is starkly different from the one we had a few years ago, as virtual health care 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 allow virtual visits with psychiatrists, general practitioners 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 health care 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 review all 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're already paying for. Actively enrolling will make you a wiser health care consumer, put you in a position to make more proactive health care choices, and lower your overall health spending.
5. Change your health insurance funding structure
Changing how you fund your health insurance plan is a more drastic cost-cutting strategy. Most people tend to 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 health insurance to their employees.
6. Take better care of yourself
Gone are the days where you would need to run to the doctor for 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 yourself checked out by a medical professional.
7. Get rid of unhealthy habits
If you are a chronic smoker, you can be sure you are already paying a high premium that might increase 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 you are open to getting a generic version of the medication. Generics are more affordable than name-brand drugs and still provide the same benefits.
You also should ask your physician for free samples, and speak up if you have inadequate prescription coverage.
9. Review your coverage before seeking treatment
It is essential to know precisely what your health insurance 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 the doctor's office know about your insurance so the physician's staff can help you find ways to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Being smart about your coverage means you will take fewer chances and save more money. Just don't postpone critical trips to the emergency room or doctor because you are afraid of the potential 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 government program that provides health care coverage for:
- People with disabilities.
- Pregnant women.
- Elderly people.
- Low-income adults, children and families.
Each state has different rules on who can potentially qualify for Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility was expanded in multiple states, so the number of people qualifying for the benefits has increased rapidly. Through Medicaid, you can get free or low-cost coverage for your health care expenses.
The bottom line
Given 2021's heightened unemployment, more families and individuals are likely to experience difficulties when it comes to paying 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 health care at an affordable rate.