People on both sides of the current healthcare debate can largely agree when it comes to one thing: medical costs are extremely expensive these days, and they are only expected to balloon further in the years ahead. For the average American, the prospect of a medical procedure – or even of paying routine medication and healthcare expenses – is an incredibly daunting one. One illness or ailment could deplete a lifetime of savings. One moderate health problem for someone without insurance, could quickly translate into thousands and thousands of dollars in expenses.
While we can’t foresee the future and ensure that no medical issues will arrive, we can certainly control the controllables and work to ensure that our healthcare costs are as low as possible. Here are a few tips to accomplish just that:
Get Drug Discounts
While the average person does not require surgeries or emergency room visits on a regular basis, most Americans do take medication of some sort. Even with insurance, getting and refilling a prescription can be costly – especially in the long-run. Reducing those costs can help you realize considerable savings. You can do this by purchasing generic medications, using discount prescription drug cards, purchasing online or through the mail, and by shopping for bulk supplies at “big-box” stores such as Wal-Mart and Costco.
Do Your Research
At many steps in the medical process, taking a moment to do some additional research can translate into less money taken out of your pocket. If you think you’re getting sick, read about your symptoms online or call your doctor’s office for advice before making an appointment. If you’re due for a mammogram, colonoscopy, or other type of screening, consider checking the cost of the procedure and shopping around a bit if the price seems too high. And if you need surgery, you can benefit monetarily by first researching outpatient surgery centers and non-profit hospitals in your area. Also avoid emergency room visits if at all possible because they are far more expensive than regular doctors appointments.
Even with the above cost-reducing measures, your medical bill is sure to skyrocket as soon as you find yourself saddled with an ailment. This is where preventative approaches come into play. By exercising regularly, eating healthily and nutritiously, getting enough sleep, and living a low-risk life you can dramatically reduce your risk factors for many common diseases down the road. In turn, your future medical spending will decrease likewise.
These are just a few of the ways to reduce the costs associated with your medical expenses. These days healthcare insurance costs are scary but necessary considerations, but that does not mean that we can’t take measures within our control to reduce the medical burden as much as possible.
Nora Charles is a freelance writer that has worked with many bloggers for several years now.