Most families find that healthcare costs eat up a significant amount of the household budget. Finding ways to ensure you have the healthcare you need while cutting costs can be a challenge, but real savings can be accomplished with a bit of research and a few tips.
Read Your Insurance Policy
Although your insurance may be considered inspired reading material, it can help you to understand exactly what coverage you have and the best ways to save more on medical care. If you stay within your network of physicians and health institutions, you will pay less that if you go out of the network. You may have certain vaccinations or tests that are provided free of charge. Some insurance companies offer low-cost gym memberships to help you to stay healthy. Some or all of your medications may be covered under the policy. Taking the time to understand what’s covered and what isn’t is the best way to save money on medical care throughout the year.
Use Public Health Agencies
In many areas, state or federal agencies may provide free immunizations, testing and other services to the public. Many others offer these services on a sliding scale and you will pay based on your income. These services are paid for by the taxes you pay to the government each year to benefit the health of local communities. Sometimes you can get your child’s exam at their regular doctor paid for in full by insurance, but you’ll need to go get their annual vaccinations at the local health department to save you money.
Compare Prices on Uncovered Procedures
If a procedure is not covered under your insurance, or you don’t have insurance, make some phone calls to determine the price of the procedure from a number of doctors or institutions. Prices can vary widely, and you may be able to get a better deal from another doctor. Just make sure that you don’t sacrifice quality. Research reviews and find a doctor that offers a good price and quality care.
Consider Research Organizations
Look into the availability of services from research organizations in your area. These agencies provide care for free or low cost to patients so that they can study certain disease conditions. For example, in Utah, free wisdom teeth removal is available by one of these organizations. By using an organization that does wisdom teeth research in Salt Lake City residents can save money on this dental procedure.
Use Mail-Order Pharmacies
If you take prescriptions on a regular basis, consider using a mail order pharmacy to save money on medications. These services require a bit of advanced planning, but they save hundreds of dollars each year on medications you take to stay healthy. You can also call around. Not every pharmacy charges the same price for their generic medicines.
Attend Health Fairs
Your local hospital may offer health fairs during the year to educate the public about good health maintenance. They may offer free testing to find diseases early so that they can be cured more easily.
It can be hard to find extra funds for medical care for families with a tight budget. If you do your research and find out what is and isn’t covered, you can stretch your medical budget further by finding programs that save you money on your healthcare.