No one is immune to disease or disaster, so having the right medical insurance is essential. Unfortunately, the reality is that we are all vulnerable to tragedy. Be it due to employer negligence to medical malpractice anyone can find themselves in dire straits due to unforeseen circumstances.
The problem is that insurance companies don’t always do their part to help us pay off the exorbitant medical bills from these situations. As a result, many people struggle to get through the red tape of dealing with insurance companies following a tragic event.
There are, however, some things you can do to help reduce the amount and save on your medical bills.
1. Look for Discounts
Many hospitals and doctor offices offer discounts to uninsured or under-insured. Some also offer reduced rates to senior citizens, veterans, and active military personnel. Also, ask your doctor if he accepts a discounted rate. Many doctors take patients as a courtesy and charge meager fees for the service. They often agree to lower this fee if they know the person cannot pay otherwise.
2. Claim Medical Negligence
It is one of the most effective ways to lower medical bills. If you feel like you were given poor care or that it was medically negligent, then you should try to get a refund from the hospital and your doctor. For instance, the Birth Injury Justice Center provides free legal advice to victims of childbirth injuries who live in the USA. So look for legal advice and file your medical malpractice claims according to your case.
3. Ask for a Payment Plan
Most hospitals and medical offices will encourage patients to pay upfront. Although this is an easy way for them to earn a profit, it could lead to financial loss for you. Instead, ask for a payment plan that you can afford. If you cannot make regular payments, see if you qualify for a payment plan or apply for a credit card specifically designed for medical services. Most banks and credit unions will allow you to borrow money against your savings account. However, you should only do this after consulting a reputable lawyer.
4. Keep Track of Your Expenses
Medical bills can pile up quickly, especially if you are not prepared. Make sure that you keep track of every single expense. Not only will this save you time, but it will prevent you from being surprised at the end of the year when you receive your tax bill. Keeping a diary will help you remember the dates and times of every visit and any medication you took. It will come in handy when it is time to file your taxes.
5. Use Outpatient Services
Outpatient services are generally cheaper than inpatient services. If you have an upcoming surgery or procedure, make sure you consider getting it done on an outpatient basis. You should also avoid elective procedures unless necessary. This will help you to save money on your medical bills and ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your health.
6. Check Your Insurance Coverage
Before you head to the doctor, double-check your insurance coverage. You may have certain benefits that you aren’t aware of. For example, some insurance policies will cover a percentage of the cost of prescription drugs. Others cover eye exams and dental work. By understanding your insurance policy, you can start making smarter decisions about how to spend your money.
7. Research the Cost of Treatment
If you have a certain treatment in mind, research the average price of that service. Then, compare it to what your insurance covers. Finally, talk to your doctor and weigh your options carefully before deciding. For instance, if you need a knee replacement, but your insurance does not cover it, you should think twice about your decision. It may be better to wait until you can afford it instead of risking further injury.
8. Consider Getting a Second Opinion
Getting a second opinion can help you to save a lot of money. Some doctors are willing to offer discounts if you agree to get a second opinion from someone else. However, you should be careful here. Make sure that the other doctor is reputable and experienced. Otherwise, you could wind up wasting even more money.
9. Join a Medical Savings Account
In addition to your insurance policy, you may also want to join a medical savings account. These accounts are designed to give you an alternative to traditional insurance. However, they often require a high minimum balance to participate. You can put a portion of your salary into these accounts each month. It will help you to save money over time. Plus, you can withdraw money without penalty for emergencies.
10. Take Advantage of Prescription Discount Cards
Prescription discount cards are becoming more popular among consumers. There are now hundreds of different programs available. Many of them offer instant discounts on medications. Others allow you to earn points that you can redeem for free prescriptions. Either way, these programs can help you to save a significant amount of money on your prescriptions. They are perfect for those who cannot afford their medication.
There are many ways to save money on healthcare costs. However, it takes a little bit of planning and effort. Spend smartly and start by taking inventory of your medical expenses. Then, you can start finding ways to reduce the cost of your bills.