25 Ways to Save Money On Health Care
, on April 24, 2008
I came home from work last night and my wife handed me the May issue of Parents magazine. She pointed out an articled called “25 Ways to Save Money on Health Care” by Teri Cettina. She thought I might like it, and she was right!
I am going to share the 25 ways here, but if you want the full detail you’ll have to check out the magazine. I’ll keep this brief, but there are a few that I will elaborate on.
Here are the 25 ways to save money on health care (paraphrased and commented in some places):
- Shop for the best health plan.
- Consider a high deductible (HD) plan — I think HD works well for some people, especially in combination with a health savings account (HSA). However, I don’t think it’s a good fit for parents-to-be, new parents, and people who need a lot of medical attention.
- Take advantage of perks offered by your health plan.
- Bring a list of covered prescription medications (“formulary”) to the doctor.
- Be willing to ask your doctor about the cost and seek less expensive alternatives.
- Stay up-to-date with routine and well-child checkups.
- Stay in-network.
- Slice your pills into two halves — Teri said that it might be possible to slice high-dose prescription pills to save money. Be sure to clear this with your doctor.
- Look for special services — this is the same thing with #3?
- Wear helmet and protective gears.
- Opt for less expensive generic drugs.
- Ask your doctor for drug samples.
- Take advantage of tax-sheltered flexible spending account (FSA).
- Split the cost between two plan years — I don’t think this works well for most situations, unless you are trying to take advantage of FSA.
- Watch your hygiene. Wash your hands often.
- If you don’t have insurance, look into discount plans.
- Don’t spend unnecessarily on supplements.
- Shop around for prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses.
- Have a backup plan in case you lose your primary insurance — i.e., should you purchase the COBRA coverage or go for a personal health insurance plan.
- Visit your dentist twice a year and take care of your teeth.
- Join the farm bureau — I’ve never heard about farm bureau before, but Teri said that you could gain access to many benefits by simply joining one of these bureaus.
- Read bills carefully — You should always compare your bills to the explanation of benefits (EOB) before paying your bills. Personally, I ran into many billing errors during the past two years.
- Go to dental school for discounted treatment — Although my friend who is a dentist said this is a bad idea, except for very basic procedures. Personally, my dental plan is so good I wouldn’t even consider this as a good option.
- Steer clear of the emergency room — I used to work in an emergency room, and I can assure you that you will get a faster, better, and cheaper service from your primary care doctor.
- If your insurance denies your claim, appeal the decision and contact your state insurance commission if needed.
In summary, I think Teri’s article is excellent and you should check out the full article if possible. However, she did forget the most important way to save money on health care — EXERCISE!
Here are a few more health-related money saving ideas:
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About the AuthorPinyo
is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance
and an entrepreneur with over 20 years of business experience. He has a strong appreciation for business management, investing, and wealth building. He has written for many online publications, including American Express and U.S. News.
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