In this day and time, most of us are looking for ways to cut medical expenses. Medical expenses can include doctor bills, prescription costs and even over the counter medical aids you may need. These expenses can certainly add up. Thankfully, there are ways to cut medical expenses to make it easier on your finances.
1. Check into Mail Order Pharmacy
Using a mail order pharmacy can definitely save you some big bucks, at least in most cases. Prices are drastically lower. For our family, a lot of medications have no charge through the mail order pharmacy or are reduced by at least 60%. It is worth at least taking the time to check into. This can add up to big savings and is one of the best ways to cut medical expenses.
2. Stretch Your Appointments out
When my allergist says she wants to see me back in four to six months, I always tell the receptionist I want to take the six month option. I would never recommend that you go beyond what your physician recommends but take the longer time period if you can. Additionally, if you feel your physician wants to see you more often than necessary, talk with them about stretching your appointments out. This saves you money on copays not to mention the gas it takes to get to those appointments. Those small amounts add up.
3. Call the Doctor for Simple Things
Not everything requires a doctor visit. For example, my children’s pediatrician will call in medication for pink eye without seeing them. They are also good about calling in medication for strep throat if they have seen a sibling with it in the last few days. Additionally, sometimes you can call your doctor to tell them you are doing fine and really don’t feel the need for a follow up. Maybe calling to ask for medication refills will work instead of you having to go in every three months.
4. Clip Coupons for OTC Meds and Products
Over the counter products that you need for yourself and your family can really add up to a big expense. Look for coupons to use on those products. My son and I both wear contacts so coupons for contact solution are especially helpful. I also try to keep an eye out for coupons on other over the counter pain relievers and cold and cough aids. The Sunday paper usually has some good ones in it.
5. Pay Medical Bills on Time
As difficult as it is, you can actually cost yourself more money when you do not pay your medical bills on time. Many doctor’s offices add interest to your bill after a certain amount of time. If you cannot pay the bill in full, don’t ignore it. Call the office and set up a payment plan that allows you to make monthly payments. Almost all doctor offices will accept this because they realize a small payment is better than no payment.
6. Know Your Insurance Policy
Knowing your insurance policy is a helpful tip to help you save on medical expenses. It is good to know what your deductible is, both as an individual and for your family. Taking time to read your insurance policy can save you money in the long run. This way you know when you are being charged incorrectly and you know how to fight it. Most insurance companies even offer a one page summary of your coverage; if nothing else, be sure and read that.
7. Buy Generic OTC Medical Products
A lot of times, I buy generic medical products and medications that are available over the counter. There are some things that I do buy as brand name products because I feel the quality is truly better but on a lot of them, I skimp. Products I try to buy generic on include pain relievers, vitamins and band aids. I will pay full price for cough syrups and doctor recommended products. But the things that I do choose to buy generic in add up to big savings for me.
Medical expenses can be staggering but these little tricks can help. Now it is my turn to learn from you. What do you do to save money on medical costs?