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Cut your Medical Bills and your Health Insurance Costs

By Compuquotes Team on June 16th, 2008

Health Insurance

Health care costs are almost always on the increase-who ever heard of a healthcare provider lowering their fees? If you're always on the lookout for ways to decrease your healthcare spending, read on.

  • 1. Prevention is Better…

…than the cure. That's true in more ways than one. In terms of cost, it's certainly true. One of the best ways of keeping your medical expenses in check is to live a healthier lifestyle. Get regular exercise, watch what you eat, give up smoking-three easy (or not-so-easy, depending on your perspective) ways to improve your health, extend your lifespan, and reduce your insurance costs.

  • 2. Choose the Right Healthcare Plan

If you have a large family with young children, a healthcare plan that focuses on preventative checkups is definitely not the thing for your. Choosing the right plan requires that you do some research on all your options-there's half a dozen or more healthcare plans you can choose from, and they're all fairly different in terms of premiums, deductibles, co-payments and other features. The wrong plan could cost you plenty of extra money, while the right one could save you a bundle.

  • 3. Understand how your Plan Works

Knowing how your plan works is crucial to getting the most out of it. Make sure you know whether you need a primary care doctor, whether you can self-refer out of network, and other important details. Get to know your healthcare plan inside out, and take advantage of every discount possible. If you don't have a separate prescription plan, for example, your healthcare plan might still provide discounts on items such as vitamins or alternative medicines.

  • 4. Go Generic when it comes to Prescriptions

All insurance companies charge higher co-payments for name brand drugs. Most categorize prescription drugs into three or four different tiers, which each tier being assigned a certain co-pay. If you choose generic drugs whenever possible, you'll definitely save.

  • 5. Check and File your Bills

Don't file your bills as soon as you receive them. Always check them first, and make sure there are no errors. They can and do happen, and that means you might have paid more money than you needed to. Remember to file those bills after you check them: if you ever have a dispute with your insurance company, they'll be essential.

Another good reason to keep track of your medical expenses is the fact that some of those might be eligible for deductions at tax time. Allowable expenses include glasses and hearing aids, but bear in mind your total medical expenses must exceed a certain percentage of your gross income.

  • 6. Join your Partner's Plan

If both you and your partner have healthcare plans, it might be worthwhile finding out whether one of them is less expensive or otherwise more advantageous. If you discover that to be the case, you can be added to your spouse's plan, or vice versa.

  • 7. Look for Freebies

Many hospitals and clinics provide free screenings, such as for cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood sugar. Keep an eye on what your local medical clinics offer, if your health insurance is inadequate in certain areas (such as preventative healthcare).

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