Emergency medical expenses can pop out of nowhere, at any time, and it’s important for us to be prepared to handle them to some extent. The truth is you may not have been planning for that rainy day or did not anticipate the costs to be so exorbitant. The good news is that there are ways to take care of your medical expenses while not having to empty out your bank account and worry about the rest of your outstanding debts.
Most Americans have some form of health insurance coverage to take care of some of the costs of their medical needs. However, there are ways to use that insurance plan to help you save when even dealing with comprehensive medical management services. By keeping your care team within your health plan’s network, your insurer will take on much of the cost minus the co-pay you drop for a doctor’s visit. A preferred provider option of health insurance can cover 70 to 80 percent of medical expenses on average.
Be sure to ask your medical team about costs and options that are at your disposal. This could help you find a treatment that is just as effective for a preexisting condition at the lowest price possible. Don’t hesitate to do your research into your current plan, or what else is available through your insurance company to help you curb costs. This can allow you to get a better gauge on your out-of-pocket costs, and save you on health care in the long run.
One of the easiest ways to save on your medical costs is to look into affordable prices for prescription drugs. You may have found yourself at the pharmacy counter having to drop a lot of money for a particular medicine, but there are prescription discounts available that can save you with each new tablet or with each refill. Capitalizing on these coupons can cut into the cost of your meds, but you could also look beyond your pharmacy for the prescription. Some big-box retailers, like CVS Pharmacy, offer certain medications at a lower cost than the average pharmacist.
You can even ask your primary care physician or pharmacist about the generic medications that could be available for you as a consumer. Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterpart and go through rigorous FDA standards to make sure they provide the same dosage and benefits. On average, generics run at a cost point 80-85% less than that of a name-brand drug. You can also save yourself in the long run by getting a larger supply of the prescription drug you need, opting for a 90-day rather than a 30-day depending on the frequency of use.
Managing Medical Bills
Some of the greatest outstanding expenses stem from treatment costs, with millions of Americans struggling to pay those medical bills. In some cases, health care providers may make errors in billing that end up putting a cost on the invoice that is unrelated to your treatment. It’s important to take a close look at your bills and consult with your doctor’s office. You can also ask for an audit of your bills through your health insurance coverage to make sure you’re getting the most of your policy.
Your doctor’s office or hospital may be able to provide a payment plan that can help you get the best deal for your treatment. By paying off over time, you can bring care management into your own hands, and not have to empty out your bank account to suddenly cover the cost of a necessary procedure. You may also want to look into a health savings account long-term to give you the safety net for your health care going forward.