We've been seeing a rise in healthcare costs over the last few years so it's the ideal time to start employing some of these tips when it comes to your personal healthcare. You can get the medical attention you need without cutting into your low cost, off-grid life.
1. Do some research. Ask questions such as whether a test or procedure is really necessary. Get prices in advance and in writing. Ask for a signature and title along with the quoted price.
2. Pay cash – and ask about discounts. Many hospitals and clinics offer steep discounts for quick payment.
Yet when the patients called the hospital to question the tests, which cost $80 each, she was told that if she had paid in cash, the tests would have cost only about $15 each. She was better off to avoid insurance and just take care of the bill herself.
3. Don’t take – and then pay for — tests you don’t need. Be wary of agreeing to expensive scans and x-rays for uncomplicated ailments.
Visit ConsumerReports.org/choosing-wisely for more information.
4. Examine your bills. It is not uncommon for patients to be billed twice or even three times for the same hospital service.
Health care bills are filled with codes, and they can be confusing. It is well worth your time to find out what the codes stand for and to make sure you actually had that service.
5. Become a letter writer. While emails often are ignored and phone calls provide no record, letters usually are answered.
Another option is to visit the hospital’s billing department in person. Be polite and courteous.
Patient advocates are expert in spotting incorrect codes as well as incorrect or duplicate charges on your bills. Advocates either charge a flat fee, or a percentage of what they recover.
6. Buy generic. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about generic alternatives to brand name medicines.
Ask your doctor to write you a prescription for two or three months of medicine for a chronic ailment.
You also may save money by substituting certain over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for higher-priced prescription versions.
7. Stay in your network. Read your health plan carefully to find what doctors and hospitals are part of its coverage.
Question “out of network” charges that are not your choice. You should complain if, after surgery, you are billed extra charges for an out-of-network anesthesiologist that your network hospital chose for you. If you did not choose that doctor, you are not responsible for the penalty fee.
Do you use any of these tips to save money on healthcare costs? What other tips should we add to the list?
Article Source: Off The Grid News