Nearly one out of every five Americans doesn't have any kind of health insurance or coverage -- and most say that the high costs of premiums, care, and copays are to blame.
Even if you currently have health insurance, you're likely often hit with surprise medical bills, denials for coverage, and sky-high copays.
It's no secret that healthcare is one of the most talked-about social and political issues of the moment. However, especially with an election coming up, the future of the American healthcare system remains in limbo.
Now, it's important to focus on ways to reduce healthcare costs on an individual level.
In this post, we'll tell you what you can do to be able to afford the medications you need, get more out of your current insurance, and much more.
Read on to learn how you can get the care and treatment you deserve without having to spend the money in your savings account.
1. Controlling Healthcare Costs for Medications
If you're among the 1 in 7 Americans that avoid filling prescriptions from your doctor because you know you can't afford the medication, you need to know that many solutions are out there.
In fact, you can significantly reduce healthcare costs by focusing most of your efforts on how to save money on your prescription drugs. It starts by having an open, honest conversation with your doctor.
If you tell them you simply can't afford the medication, they may be able to give you a coupon to lower the price, as well as free samples of the medication that will save you at least a bit of cash.
Also, ask your doctor if it's safe for you to switch to a generic version of the medication you're taking. You can even look for certified online pharmacies that make it easy to find the lowest possible price for your meds.
Finally, ask if you can buy your medications in bulk, or at a higher dose and split the medication in half.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate
Some parts of the healthcare industry are attempting to find ways to cut the costs of care (check out this informational post for more details.)
However, most patients still feel the burn from their health insurance companies. Instead of helping people to lower healthcare costs, insurance companies often end up denying people coverage or offering them far less coverage than they actually need.
Here's the truth: you can and should appeal denied insurance claims and negotiate with an insurance company whenever possible. Often, these companies are just hoping that you'll accept their first offer and move on.
However, asking companies to explain in detail why you were denied coverage, providing them with medical records, and even making it clear that you plan to appeal the decision can help.
Also, make sure you tell them that you're paying for your costs out of pocket.
If the company doesn't want to offer you more coverage, then ask them to lower the interest rate so that you're able to successfully finance your treatment.
3. Always Examine Medical Bills
One of the smartest and simplest ways to decrease health care costs is to take a very close look at your medical bills before you pay them.
Make sure you know the most common billing mistakes to look out for. They include the provider's failure to verify a patient's insurance, coding errors, and incomplete/incorrect patient information.
Duplicate billing and upcoding (where practices claim you received a higher level of care than you actually did so than can get a better reimbursement rate) are also common.
Never accept any of these errors. Remember, if they're doing it to you, they're likely also doing it to many other innocent patients.
4. Use the Benefits You Do Have
Unfortunately, many people are so concerned about being able to afford copays and treatment costs that they end up avoiding taking advantages of the benefits that their current health insurance plan does offer.
This is a mistake for both your wallet and your overall health.
Remember that most routine health screenings usually don't require a copay, and neither do annual physician visits and many vaccinations.
Plus, if an issue with your health is uncovered in these routine screenings, you'll be able to catch it before it gets worse.
You'll also be able to catch it before treatment becomes more expensive.
If you're unsure about the benefits you have, the best thing you can do is to contact your insurance company directly and ask. You may not realize that many insurance companies actually have health advocates.
These are people who can help you to learn how to use your benefits to reduce healthcare costs and maximize the care that the plan offers.
Follow These Tips to Reduce Healthcare Costs
We know that you're tired of facing down high medical bills that feel impossible to pay.
While the country waits to see what the future of American healthcare will look like, we suggest that you use these tips to reduce healthcare costs as often as you can.
Do you need more advice on how to get the most out of your insurance plan? Want to learn more about the most expensive medical procedures? Need to know what medications your doctor has prescribed you are designed to help with?
Maybe you've just finished getting a medical degree, and are ready to connect with the right job opportunity.
No matter the case, keep checking in with both our job board and blog to learn about upcoming opportunities, ways to save, and more.