Healthcare is one of the costliest budgetary items that Americans struggle with the most. Even with the ACA being available, and has reduced the cost for many families, there is still a struggle to obtain prescriptions, pay co-pays, and meet deductibles. Today, we take a look at ways to combat the costs and try to make paying for prescriptions and healthcare a little bit easier on the wallet.
Shop Around For Your Meds
When it comes to our prescriptions, we sometimes tend to not think about comparison shopping. Some people automatically assume that the local Walmart is the cheapest in town. Others just always use the corner store pharmacy nearest to the home for convenience. If you don’t compare prescription prices, you could be doing you and your wallet a major disservice! Walmart may hold the reputation for being the cheapest, sometimes it’s not true. The pharmacy next to your doctor’s office could be your gold mine, or a pharmacy on the way home and not necessarily right next door. Don’t forget to also check online resources as well! Having your prescriptions shipped to you could be cheaper and save you travel time.
Just because your employer offers you health insurance, it doesn’t mean it’s the most affordable for you! It pays to shop around and check a variety of plans with different companies to find the best fit. Even though your employer offers you health insurance, it doesn’t mean you can’t check with the ACA exchanges as well. It’s true, you won’t get the same savings as others who don’t have another resource, but it can still work in your favor. Additionally, sometimes it pays to check and see if you can have your children or yourself covered by state health insurance as well. Some families find that they qualify to have their children on Medicaid and put themselves on another insurance plan that saves them a ton. While you are shopping around, also ask a lot of questions regarding what prescriptions, procedures, and appointments are covered. All too often, people are shocked to learn that a much-needed procedure is not covered by their insurance.
Find Out If It’s Necessary
Just because you have an illness, disease, or disorder, it doesn’t mean you need to jump right into an expensive procedure or load up on prescriptions right away. Talk to the doctor carefully about examining options that are more affordable and can attain positive results. If there is concern about needed blood pressure medicine or diabetic medicine, that’s a great time to talk about dietary changes and exercise regimes that can help you avoid costly expenses now or later. Of course, not all situations will allow for you to take the less expensive route so be careful in how you want to explore this option. Do plenty of research and get second opinions before making any hard decisions if you have the time.
Go To The Right Place
It is unfortunate, but many folks go to the wrong place when they become ill. Your doctor’s office is ideal since they know plenty about you, but sometimes things happen after hours and you need another option. Urgent care has been a popular option as they handle non-life-threatening emergencies and a host of other issues. However, not all of them are the same and you should investigate your local after-hours clinic to find out what sort of medical issues they do handle before you go. Such facilities tend to be an affordable option and are very clear about their costs and what insurances they accept. Emergency rooms are the last place you go for things like a sore throat or minor cuts and scrapes. They are expensive and waiting can take forever. However, if you are having a life-threatening emergency or you are having a major problem the ER is the right place to go.
As always, we must stress the importance of having a budget in place to help you manage your healthcare costs. Stay in line with your budget and adjust when you can to accommodate emergencies or potential future healthcare costs. We certainly don’t suggest anyone cut their food budget but do make concessions in other areas where you can do without for a little bit to keep you from falling behind on bills. Your health is important and your healthcare can be manageable with a little effort and plenty of desire to take care of yourself. Stress from money problems and healthcare costs is a big deal to take some time for you to relax.