Save on Medical Bills Without Skimping on Your Health
There are many things you can postpone in order to save money, such as waiting to upgrade your phone or putting off a trip until next year, when you've had more time to save up for it.
But postponing services having to do with your health — even preventative appointments such as dental cleanings and checkups — can have real consequences down the line.
Instead of skimping on health care in order to make your budget work, use these strategies to save on medical bills.
Negotiate Your Medical Bills
Did you know that you can negotiate your medical bills? A little haggling can save you considerable cash. Here are a few ways for you to do this.
- Pay cash upfront for a discount: If you'll be paying the medical bill without the assistance of insurance, ask your service provider if you can get a discount by paying cash upfront. Medical offices spend a lot of money trying to collect on bills, so knowing that they'll actually be paid may motivate them to give you a discount.
- Negotiate after the fact: Use resources like Guroo.com to gather information about the average cost of a procedure you've had, then call your medical provider and ask them to reduce the price they charged you based on your findings.
- Use a medical bill negotiation company: Does the idea of negotiating with your doctor's office make your knees wobbly? Have a company, such as Medical Cost Advocate, do it on your behalf (for a fee plus a percentage of what they save you). Companies will typically charge you nothing or give you a refund if they do not win on your behalf at least the equivalent cost of their services.
Get Your Prescription Drugs through the Mail
Do you take a maintenance prescription medication? Stretch your dollars by using a mail order service. Not only might you pay less per pill, but you can also receive a longer-lasting supply at a time, making this a more convenient option as well.
While you're at it, make sure you ask your doctor for the generic version of your medication, which will cost less.
Comparison shopping is no longer just for services like auto insurance and haircuts. The same medical procedure can cost vastly different amounts of money depending on the healthcare provider.
Plug your procedure name, your ZIP code and your insurance information into a website like New Choice Health to find a listing of medical providers' prices in your area. Based on this information, the site will also give you a snapshot of pricing levels, from least to most expensive. You'll be surprised by the difference in prices for the same service.
Health care is one thing you should never skip. Using these strategies, you'll be able to save on medicals bills. And don't forget, there are plenty of other ways to save on health care out there, too.