We are living in a high-tech, fast paced world, which has made us vulnerable to a host of medical conditions. Sure enough, we need health insurance to look after the spiraling costs of healthcare, but along with that we also need to find ways and means to cut down on our healthcare expenditure. And, here is a small guide on how you can achieve that:
1. Prevention of a disease is better than its cure: If you keep good health then you will reduce the chances of getting affected by a medical condition. Not just that, if you are in good health then the premiums on your health insurance policy will get drastically reduced. So, go ahead and eat healthy food, exercise regularly, don't smoke, drink in moderation, maintain your weight, and you will end up saving money on healthcare costs and health insurance premiums.
2. Compare health insurance plans: Never ever jump into buying a health insurance plan just because it sounds and looks good on paper. Always make it a point to compare health insurance plans and check for the following: (1) coverage (ii) exclusions (iii) choice of healthcare professionals and centers (iv) co-payment (v) coinsurance and (vi) deductible. It doesn't make any sense to buy a fancy health insurance plan that will end up gnawing at your wallet when you need it the most – so, compare and choose wisely.
3. Bringing down the cost of prescription drugs: You can ask your doctor or pharmacist to prescribe cheaper generic drugs and you can order them from an online shop, thereby cutting down on your prescription drug costs.
4. Go for a joint health insurance plan: If you and your spouse are maintaining separate health insurance plans, it makes sense to combine them (or go for a new joint plan), as the premiums on a joint health plan will be lower than the premium payable on an individual health insurance plan.
5. Monitor your medical expenses: Medical expenses are tax deductible, so you must always keep your medical bills safely. Keeping the medical bills handy is one thing, going through them is another – make it a point to read every medical expense documented in the bill and make sure that the item charged pertains to the procedure/treatment you have undergone. Sometimes, health insurance companies will deny your claim if there's an error in your bill.
6. Haggle with your healthcare provider: You may find this infra-dig, but many people do save on their healthcare costs by negotiating with their healthcare providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacy). Before you negotiate with them, check what their competitor's are charging in that area and then approach them with the results.
7. Grab medical freebies: Many clinics and hospitals sometimes organize health checkup camps where blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., are checked for free. If your health insurance plan does not cover free health precautionary checkups, then you must take advantage of any such offer.
8. Get a grip on your health insurance plan: There are many clauses and a heck lot of fine print in a health insurance plan. If you sit down for an hour or so and go through your health insurance plan, you will be surprised to find that it covers much more then you bargained for – for example, it may cover acupuncture, massage therapy, dental care, etc. So, moral of the story is to read the plan carefully and take advantage of all the freebies you didn't know existed!
There, those were the ways you can go about reducing your healthcare costs. In the end, no matter how hard you try to bring down your medical expenditure, do not ever cut down on health insurance as you may need it in bad times – because you never know when an emergency will rear its ugly head. Good luck.