Healthcare costs continue to rise on an annual basis with no end in sight. According to a study published by Health Affairs, national health care spending is projected to grow an average of 5.5 percent each year until 2026. Learning how to cut costs on healthcare spending without sacrificing well-being can minimize a person’s out-of-pocket expenses. From prescription drugs and doctor’s visits to premiums and copays, there are many ways that the average person can reduce their total spending on healthcare.
Ways To Reduce Your Total Spending On Healthcare
No one can control when they become ill or injured, but they have options for how much they pay each month towards healthcare costs. Today, there are many types of health insurance plans to choose from, such as exclusive provider organizations (EPOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and point of service (POS) plans. Compare different plans and their costs to determine the best option based on personal health needs and budget.
Here are some other ways to reduce healthcare expenses:
Use Your Benefits
It only makes sense to use the healthcare benefits that are available under an individual’s insurance plan. Not only does this prevent wasted money, but it can save money. Routine health screenings can help catch potential medical problems early on before they become more costly to treat. Health screenings, annual wellness visits and vaccines do not generally require a copay. Many health plans also offer discounts on perks like eyewear and gym memberships. For pregnant women, receiving prenatal care is an excellent way to help ensure that both baby and mom stay healthy.
Save Money On Medicine
Prescription medications can be very costly, especially for certain medications that may not be covered under an individual’s insurance policy. It may be possible to save money on prescription medicines by switching to the generic version. Brand name and generic medications typically contain the same active ingredient, but generic costs considerably less. If the generic version is still too costly, consider asking the healthcare provider for a less expensive alternative to treat the same condition.
Have A Plan For Emergency Care
Health emergencies generally arise unexpectedly, forcing an individual to visit the emergency room or urgent care clinic. However, not every unexpected health event constitutes a visit to the ER. It is important to consider whether a medical event is a true emergency before calling an ambulance or driving to the emergency room. Emergencies typically include things like trouble breathing, severe chest pain and extensive bleeding. Some medical events can be treated by a provider or urgent care, such as strep throat or a dog bite.
Utilize Your Health Care Savings Account (HSA) Or Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Both health care savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) can be useful when cutting down on healthcare costs. These savings accounts are designed to set aside pre-tax funds for future healthcare expenses. HSAs are owned by the individual and earn interest over time. FSAs are owned by an employer and do not earn interest. In addition, the money put into an FSA must be used within the calendar year.
Stay In Your Insurers Network
Some people make the mistake of visiting a healthcare provider that is outside of their insurance plan network. Most types of insurance do not cover out-of-network providers or only cover a certain percentage of these services, resulting in a higher out-of-pocket fee. If possible, choose an in-network healthcare provider with a contract with the health plan, resulting in lower rates.
Take Care Of Your Health
One of the easiest ways to reduce healthcare spending is by simply taking care of your health. Getting adequate exercise, eating nutritious meals and avoiding bad habits like smoking can significantly lower a person’s risk of developing health problems. See a doctor for regular medical check-ups and learn ways to manage stress.
Not all health problems are physical. Individuals can also avoid increased healthcare costs by caring for their emotional and mental health. This could mean spending time with friends, engaging in a hobby or doing something else that inspires joy, such as reading or gardening.
Choose a Health Plan that Is Right for You from New City Insurance
Choosing the right health care plan can help keep medical costs manageable. However, it can be challenging to find a health insurance plan that is both affordable and provides comprehensive coverage. When choosing a health plan, an individual should consider their overall health, existing prescription medications and the realistic amount they can afford for healthcare purposes. Also, consider costs like copayments and deductibles. For more ways to reduce total spending on healthcare or to speak with an insurance professional, contact New City Insurance today.