Healthcare expenses can be devastating to your financial stability. Even illnesses or injuries that seem minor can result in long-term expenses that leave you trying to regain control over your budget. Healthcare is expensive, and you are often faced with making decisions at a time when you aren’t at your best. Understanding some of the ways to cut costs can help ease your peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on your health.
Understand Your Coverage
Take the time to read your policy so you understand what is and isn’t covered. Healthcare billing often contains errors. If you don’t know what to expect, you may end up paying more than required. Familiarize yourself with providers who are in or out of the network before you schedule an appointment. Look to see if a procedure you need requires a referral from a primary care provider. Just because the specialist doesn’t require a referral doesn’t mean your insurance company doesn’t.
Set Aside Funds for Healthcare Costs
Set aside some money each month to cover potential health costs. Having a dedicated fund to draw from makes it easier to schedule doctor or dental appointments before it becomes urgent. Routine preventative care can help catch problems early, which not only leads to better outcomes but saves money on treatment.
If your finances are tight, it can be hard to come up with the money to save for these expenses. Having little discretionary income makes it more important to save for these unexpected costs. Look for ways to cut your monthly expenses, and redirect those savings into an account earmarked for healthcare. By taking advantage of student loan refinancing, it can save you money each month and the process is quick and easy. By refinancing your student loans with a private lender, you can change the terms of your loan, freeing up money for other expenses.
Be Smart About Medication
Medication can be expensive, whether it is a one-time treatment or an ongoing prescription for a chronic condition. There are a few ways you can make medication more affordable. The first starts right in your doctor’s office. When you receive a prescription, ask your doctor if they have any medication samples. Pharmaceutical companies provide medication samples to doctors regularly, and your physician may have some samples on hand to get you started.
Take the time to explore medication assistance programs. If the cost of medication is making it challenging to stay on budget, there may be a program, through the pharmaceutical company, a non-profit organization, or your state, that can help with the cost. There are typically income eligibility requirements that go along with medication assistance programs, but for pricey medications, you may be surprised at how generous those requirements are.
Finally, consider ordering any medications you take regularly in bulk. There are often significant savings when you choose a 90-day refill as opposed to a 30-day supply. These savings are available at both your local pharmacy as well those online. Talk to your doctor about providing you with a prescription for quarterly refills rather than monthly. Most will be happy to provide this for medications you take regularly.