Healthcare bills are among the most expensive monthly bills in the United States. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8.5% of Americans did not obtain necessary medical care due to cost in 2019. In this article, we will discuss five ways to lower medical bills and avoid accumulating life-long debt in order to receive the healthcare you need.
#1 Compare Providers and Insurers
If you need to lower your medical bills and are looking for effective solutions to make healthcare more affordable, it is time to compare costs between healthcare providers and insurers. Healthcare providers and insurers offer a wide range of benefits, premiums, and deductibles to meet individual needs. It is important to compare plans if you want to save money in the long run. However, this approach to cost-effective healthcare is time-consuming and does require hours of research.
Pros and Cons of Comparing Providers and Insurers:
- Comparing providers and insurers can help you get a better deal and save money in the long run.
- Comparing providers and insurers is time-consuming and requires meticulous research and phone calls.
#2 Negotiate Medical Bills
Did you know you can negotiate medical bills to lower them? If you have fallen on hard times and cannot pay your medical bills, you may not have to pay the full amount. To get started, you’ll need to contact your healthcare provider or medical billing resource to inform them of your situation and set up a payment plan that aligns with your budget. Further, select healthcare providers provide significant discounts for uninsured or low-income individuals.
Pros and Cons of Negotiating Medical Bills:
- Negotiating medical bills can help you reduce the overall cost of your bill.
- Negotiating medical bills can become complicated as you file the proper paperwork and evidence of your financial situation.
#3 Get Discounts on Prescriptions and Medical Equipment
There are many discounts and off-label prescriptions and medical equipment that can effectively cut costs on essential supplies you rely on daily. Several websites and programs offer discounts on prescriptions and medical equipment like GoodRx.com or programs offered at your local pharmacy. Pharmacists are eager to help as much as possible and can offer pamphlets and names of programs that work for a variety of low-income patients who need help covering healthcare costs.
Pros and cons of Getting Discounts on Prescriptions and Medical Equipment:
- Discounted prescriptions and medical equipment can save significant amounts of money over time.
- Some discounts offered through insurance companies and other providers may require you to switch to their product, which may not always be the best option for your medical needs.
#4 Use Telemedicine
The pandemic ushered in the age of Telemedicine and it is here to stay. Telemedicine is a modern healthcare practice allowing patients to receive consultations and medical appointments through secured video calls or over the phone. This approach to receiving healthcare can help you save money on transport costs, waiting time, and consultation fees. Further, Telemedicine is especially useful for seniors or those with chronic conditions who require frequent checkups but not physical exams.
Pros and Cons of Using Telemedicine:
- Telemedicine saves a significant amount of time and money while providing top-notch healthcare.
- Telemedicine is not suitable for all medical cases, especially appointments that require a physical exam or in cases of emergency.
#5 Consider Medical Tourism
Medical tourism requires patients to travel abroad to receive medical treatment at an affordable cost. Some countries provide excellent medical treatment at a fraction of the cost of the United States. In some cases, you can save up to 90% on medical expenses by traveling abroad to receive care. However, this approach is not advisable for most medical cases as you must consider the risks involved. This approach also requires significant time researching and planning and large sums of money spent on travel and lodging. Beware of medical tourism scams as well. Be sure to do your research.
Pros and Cons of Medical Tourism:
- Medical tourism can help save you a significant amount of money on healthcare.
- Medical tourism is risky and requires traveling to a foreign country where you may not speak the local language.
In summary, if you are suffocating under looming medical bills and can’t see a way out, there are options to reduce healthcare costs. The medical billing process does require a large amount of knowledge, research, and effective communication. However, you can save money, reduce medical bills, and keep yourself financially fit by applying the options we discussed in this article. To free yourself from the burden of costly medical procedures, it’s best to be proactive, take care of yourself, and explore options before you fall ill or have an accident. You’ll thank yourself in years to come for reducing these costs and enjoying a healthier lifestyle.