Saving money with your health plan
Written by Katie Carpenter
Dec 11, 2013 2:25 PM
Understanding what your insurance plan covers is the first step to making the most of your health benefits in order to stay healthy. But, these tips from WellSpan Health can also help you save money in the long run.
- Manage your health risks and take medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
- Avoid unnecessary care. Seek out the appropriate level of care with a primary care or urgent care doctor (if it's covered in your plan) before seeking care at an emergency room. ER costs will be 3-4 times more expensive.
- Seek out generic drugs over brand name drugs when possible.
- Get a 90-day refill on prescriptions instead of filling them every 30 days.
- Seek care from in-network providers to save on healthcare costs. Out-of network providers will cost you more.
- Take advantage of the free preventive care to save on healthcare costs down the road.
- Read through your benefits and see if there are any freebies that you can take advantage of, like a flu shot, a pair of eye glasses, or discounted gym memberships.
- Using a patient portal can help you engage with your care team and stay on top of your healthcare use and costs.
- Take a close look at your medical bills to see if there have been any mistakes.
Som additional cost-saving tips:
- Compare what hospitals charge for procedures in order to save on costs: Get an idea of how much hospitals charge with this tool
- Use apps on your smartphone to help you manage your health.
- Talk to your doctor about less-costly treatment options, and don’t be afraid to negotiate lower costs. In fact, a Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive poll found that three out of five people who negotiated with their doctors received discounts.
- Believe it or not, many high-dose prescription pills, from allergy meds to antidepressants, require exactly the same co-pay as their lower-dose counterparts. Ask your doctor whether you can safely split a higher-dosage pill in half, and cut your costs too. (You can't do this with controlled-release medications.) -Parents Magazine
- Call you insurance company with any questions that you may have.