Keeping Health Care Costs Down
Managing your health care costs is key to controlling your budget. In today’s economy, who doesn’t want to save money? Keep your health care costs in check and save money with these quick and easy tips.
- Pick the right plan — Do the research ahead of time and select the plan that works best for you and your family.
- Take care of yourself — It sounds simple, but exercising and eating right can save you money on health care costs.
- Get an annual physical — Prevention is key. Stay on top of your health and you can avoid more serious health care costs and issues down the line.
- Review your EOBs — Next time you receive a statement, or "Explanation of Benefits," from your insurance company, review it carefully. Make sure you are not being charged for tests or procedures that never took place.
- Budget — Include health care costs in your budget as much as possible. For example, if you’re planning to have a baby next year, consider opening a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to help with some of the extra costs.
- Check to see if your plan offers discounts — Some health insurance plans offer discounts for health clubs, exercise equipment, vitamins and more.
- Prescriptions — Make sure you know all the details of your prescription drug plan (if you have prescription drug coverage). In some cases you can save on health care costs by going to certain pharmacies or by using mail order pharmacy services. Also, check to see if there's a generic version of your medicine.
- Incentives — Some health insurance plans offer incentives (usually cash or points to use toward prizes) for members who take part in health activities like getting a physical, quitting smoking, exercising and even reading health-related articles.
- Plan ahead — Emergency room visits can really add up. If you're not feeling well, plan ahead and try to see your doctor during regular business hours. Avoid using the emergency room for primary care or non-emergency care.
- Consider a plan with a higher deductible — If you're relatively healthy and you don't find yourself in need of a doctor's care that often, you may want to consider choosing an insurance plan with a higher deductible. Plans with higher deductibles are usually less expensive up-front, however, be aware that you will have to pay more out-of-pocket health care costs if you do end up needing more care.