Although the US health care system is touted as one of the best on the planet, there is no doubt that such performance comes with high costs. That means that American citizens pay quite a hefty sum of money yearly on medicine, general health care, and surgical interventions. To cut down costs, you should consider the following strategies.
Choose generic drugs over brands
There is an essential factor that plays a role in how much money you pay on medicine, and that’s the difference in cost between brand name drugs and their generic counterparts. While both contain the same active ingredient, the brand name products can be quite expensive. Keep in mind to ask your health care provider for a switch to generic medicine, as that could save you quite a bit of money.
Get checked regularly
One way to ensure that you won’t end up requiring costly health care is to go to the regular screenings and monitor your health whenever possible. This way, you will provide yourself with two essential benefits. You will be able to identify diseases in their incipient phases and thus ensure a healthy life, free of illness, and you will cut down costs, too.
Don’t forget to exercise for good health
Although you might not have thought about exercising in a while, it is always a good idea to include a bit of exercising in your daily routine. That will help with keeping your heart healthy and preventing cardiovascular conditions. Also, you will benefit from overall better health, which, in turn, will help you be more productive and lead an active life.
Whether you’re in the mood to pick a pair of ringside boxing gloves and start training, or you take long walks in the park, physical activity will help you stay in shape. That’s an excellent strategy for a happy and long life, and it will also help you reduce the costs involved with health care in general.
Go for in-network health care providers
Your health plan may cover certain expenses, but there’s another aspect that you must remember. That’s the inclusion in your health plan of specific providers. These are named in-network providers, and since they have a contract with your insurer, their services are less expensive compared to out-of-network providers.
Know well what’s covered by your health plan
Many people find themselves in unpleasant circumstances when they fall ill or suffer an injury and then discover that the health plan they have been paying for dutifully doesn’t cover the care they require. That can cause a lot of extra suffering, as the person in question will find himself or herself in the situation of having to pay extra.
What are HSA and FSA?
Another strategy that more and more Americans use is to put money aside for health insurance but in an intelligent way. HSA stands for Health Care Savings Account, while FSA stands for Flexible Spending Account. Numerous employers offer these, and they provide essential benefits.
In a nutshell, these are accounts where you can save money for health care services before tax. The amount you can save in this manner can get to several hundreds of dollars yearly, so such accounts can be a good option for people who want to plan in case there’s an emergency.
The main differences between HSA and FSA are as follows. You own the HSA you open, you earn interest on it, and you can move it to another employer if you so choose. FSA, on the other hand, is owned by your employer, you can’t earn interest on it, and you should spend the amount gathered within the calendar year.