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Ways to Lower your Medical Expenses
It is hard to imagine a more popular topic for discussions than health and health insurance nowadays. Healthcare costs tend to rise tremendously, and it is everyone's concern. In order to protect your budget, you can try and lower your medical expenses using the following recommendations.
1. The first and the most important advice you are encouraged to follow is practice a healthy lifestyle and try to prevent health problems. Staying healthy is a natural way to keep your medical expenses low. It would be great if Health Insurance could really insure you against getting injured or sick. However, for the most part, we are responsible for our state of health and quitting smoking, exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a proper weight, and having regular checkups make necessary items of a wise health maintenance plan.
2. Find the most suitable coverage and the best rates for your situation. Premiums vary from company to company, and it is advisable to get quotes from a number of insurance companies. This way you are likely to choose from several cheaper health insurance plans. However, make sure you have an insight into the insurance plan you have selected, and it serves your needs, not concealing any drawbacks, such as high deductibles, exclusions, limitations or inadequate coverage.
3. Read your health insurance plan carefully to be aware of what particular services and products are available under your plan. It is not a rare occasion when some people appear to be ignorant of their health insurance contents and tend to pay for the items that are provided free according to their Health Insurance plan. Such benefits as health club memberships, discounts on vitamins, alternative medicines, acupuncture or dental care for your kids may be included in your policy to provide you with proper health care.
4. Check your medical bills to monitor what exactly you pay for and whether your bills accurately reflect the medical insurance coverage you carry. In case you think there is a mistake in your bills, contact the billing office and have your bill corrected. You can ask your insurance company to review your insurance claim if you are not satisfied with their explanation of benefits. Sometimes you can find yourself charged for procedures you did not receive because of such errors as wrong computer codes. Therefore, a thorough check of your bills can indeed lower your medical expenses.
5. You can also save on prescription drug costs by ordering your prescriptions through traditional or online mail. Since prescription costs are rather high, especially for those who have to take prescription drugs on a regular basis, it is reasonable to ask your doctor to recommend some less expensive generic drugs. Those who belong to a Prescription Drug Plan may get a three-month supply of their prescription drug through the mail, which will be three times cheaper than a similar supply from their pharmacy.
6. If you keep track of your medical expenses and the itemized total of your medical expenses exceeds 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, you may be able to deduct some expenses on your income-tax return.
7. You can try to get a discount from your healthcare provider. It pays to try and negotiate with your doctor, hospital, or pharmacy the question of lowering your medical bills. If you get to know the prices of other healthcare providers in your area, you may have grounds for getting the costs reduced. Some healthcare providers tend to lower their price if a person pays in cash in advance.
8. If you are married, it makes sense to join your spouse's health insurance plan. Maintaining separate health insurance coverage is usually more costly. Many plans allow adding a spouse within quite a short period after getting married. Another option is to wait for the plan's annual open enrollment period to join.
9. If you don't carry adequate health insurance coverage, you can make use of free health screenings. Local clinics, hospitals and health fairs normally provide a number of free screenings, for example, blood pressure, cholesterol, and mammograms. It is always better and cheaper to prevent health problems than to have to receive complex expensive treatment.