Over the last few years, Americans have found themselves paying more than ever for their healthcare. Although Obamacare was designed to give families better access to health insurance, many found that their “affordable” healthcare plans were not only not affordable, they came with sky-high deductibles too.
If you’re tired of paying too much for your healthcare, there are other options that can help you save money on your medical expenses.
Let’s take a look.
Consider a Catastrophic PPO Health Insurance Plan
A Catastrophic PPO plan pays your health insurance benefits if you end up in the emergency room or hospital for an unplanned reason. In some cases, it may also provide additional medical services, depending on the type of policy that you choose.
These plans are usually about half the cost of what you would pay for an insurance plan through Obamacare and these savings can really add up over time.
The best part about Catastrophic PPO plans is that you can lock in your monthly premium until you turn 65. This means that your monthly premium will never increase, so the younger you are when you purchase a plan, the more money you will save in the long run.
Use GoodRx to Save Money on Your Prescriptions
Prescription prices can vary wildly from one pharmacy to the next, it almost always pays to shop around before you get a new prescription filled.
GoodRx is a website and mobile app that checks prescription drug prices for over 70,000 pharmacies. Just type in the name of the prescription that you want to fill and it will provide you with a discount to help you get the best price available for your area.
Lower Your Medical Bills by Using Self-Pay
Haggling with your hospital over the cost of your bloodwork or an x-ray may seem unnatural, but using self-pay to keep the costs of your medical procedures down can really help you save big money.
If your health insurance plan doesn’t cover your needs or you don’t have insurance that will pay for a procedure, you can often get the price lowered by simply asking.
If the price still seems a little too high, you can always shop around.
Just because your doctor has a preferred place for patients to have their lab work or tests done, doesn’t mean that you have to go there. Call around. Many places will offer a discount for those who self-pay.
Skip the Vision Insurance
You don’t have to have vision insurance to get affordable eyecare.
Instead, go to your regular optometrist for your eye exam, but don’t purchase your eyeglasses from them.
Instead, buy them from Zenni Optical.
I was able to purchase my last pair of bi-focal eyeglasses for less than $100.00 by using this website. The price also included the frame, which would have been double or even triple the price if I had purchased them elsewhere.
Take Advantage of Free Health Screenings
Throughout the year, many communities in metro-Atlanta have health fairs that offer a variety of free or low-cost screenings for some common medical issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even breast cancer.
These screenings can alert you to potential health problems that you may have but not yet know about and could allow you an opportunity to get treatment before the problem becomes more serious and expensive.
Purchase a Life Insurance Policy with Living Benefits Rider
A Living Benefits Rider provides an early or accelerated payout of life insurance benefits to the policy holder in the event that they are diagnosed with a condition that gives them only a limited amount of time left to live.
With this early payout, the policy holder can pay their bills, buy food, or provide income if a family member has to take time off from work to help provide care for the policy holder.
As an example, I have a life insurance policy with Living Benefits on my grandson. If he were to become ill and I had to take time off from work to take care of him, his health insurance would pay his medical bills and the Living Benefits Rider would allow me to be away from my job without having to worry about a loss of income.
I know it’s not something to people like to think about, but I believe that you should purchase this type of life insurance at birth. That way, if something unfortunate were to happen to your child, you aren’t scrambling trying to pay your household finances while you try to take care of your sick child.
Ask Your Doctor Whether Your Test or Procedure is Really Necessary
Your doctor may know best, but sometimes they like to err on the side of caution and often order tests or procedures that you might not actually need. If they know you have concerns about the cost, they may wait to see if your condition resolves itself before they order an expensive test.
If the test is necessary, instead of the more expensive 3D imaging for a mammogram, your doctor could order a regular mammogram or maybe an x-ray instead of a pet scan. Tell them about your financial situation and see what options you may have to choose from.
Avoid Using the Emergency Room in Place of Your Regular Doctor
Going to the emergency room for a life-threatening issue is one thing, but many people use it as a substitute for their regular doctor and it can really cost them big.
If you discover that your child isn’t feeling well and it’s Friday morning, go ahead and make an appointment to see your doctor later in the day. This will keep you from ending up in the emergency room over the weekend where the cost is significantly higher and waiting times are longer.
If you do find yourself needing to visit the doctor over the weekend, an urgent care facility may be the better choice. Prices there are usually cheaper than in the emergency room and you’ll usually pay a lot less for the same kind of service.
Check Your Medical Bills for Errors
According to Patient Care, a consumer-advocacy group located in Milwaukee up to 50 percent of doctor or hospital bills may contain errors that could end up costing big money.
Research showed that something as simple as a billing code that was input incorrectly could cause an insurance company to pay less than they should or even reject your insurance claim. Other common mistakes included, claims being sent to the wrong insurance-company address, which delayed payments, and mistakes in accounting numbers.
Always check over your medical bills as they come in the mail to ensure they are correct. If you do spot an error, contact your insurer as soon as you can and follow up in a couple of weeks to make sure that they have corrected the mistake.
Talk to an Insurance Agent About Your Healthcare Needs
There are a lot of changes going on in the insurance industry right now. In the state of Georgia, residents who participated in Obamacare for 2018 discovered that if they wanted to purchase an insurance policy through the ACA Healthcare Exchange, they only had two choices: AmBetter and Kaiser Permanente.
Unfortunately, these insurance plans can come with a hefty monthly premium that many people just can’t afford. When you choose me as your insurance agent, I can help you sort through your available insurance options and help you find the plan that is right for you and your family.
Contact me today and let’s talk about these options. I’m always here to help you and your family make the right choice.