From insurance to simply paying for prescription medication, many of today’s Americans consistently face difficulty with the rising health care costs. In fact, the cost of general healthcare is expected to rise 6.5% this year alone, which will undoubtedly leave millions of low-income families struggling more than ever to afford the health care they need.
There should never be a price for having good health, as being healthy and well is a basic human right. But unfortunately, in this day and age, having access to good health care does cost money and, if you don’t have the money, you could feel like there’s no way out. Even with insurance, the cost of health care can get super expensive, especially if you have a serious condition that requires regular medication, tests, and surgery.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Yes, healthcare is getting more expensive with each year that goes by, but there are plenty of safe and simple ways to cut crazy health care costs – you just need to know how! So, if you’re sick of struggling to pay for the care needed for you and your family, here are some tips on how to save some money.
Use online resources
Whilst you should never cut corners when it comes to a health emergency, if you only have a mild problem that’s in no way life threatening, there are plenty of effective online resources that could help you out. Better still, they’re free and accessible to virtually everyone with a computer or smartphone!
Tools like symptom checkers are great for simply inputting the symptoms you’re experiencing and receiving a potential diagnosis. Whilst this is obviously not as professional or accurate as being seen by a doctor, it could give you a better idea of what’s wrong if it’s not an immediate emergency.
And, online tools are often great for telling you if you do need to seek medical care based on the symptoms you’ve provided. If this is the case but still not an emergency, walk-in clinics or local pharmacies provide basic medical care often at a fraction of the price an emergency room would charge.
But, to be on the safe side, if an online tool interprets your symptoms as urgent and recommends you visit the emergency room, you should never risk not going simply because of the price that could be involved.
Ask your doctor questions
It’s often considered rude or bad form to ask your doctor questions about what they’re doing, simply because it may signal that you think you know best and aren’t happy with your doctor’s recommendation.
However, in terms of saving money, asking your doctor questions like ‘why are you doing this test?’ or ‘is this really necessary?’ could shave off some serious cash if it turns out you don’t really need it.
The cost of added tests and medical exams can add up very quickly so, unless it’s absolutely necessary to ease your current symptoms or provide a proper diagnosis, politely ask your doctor to leave them until they become an essential part of your treatment. This way, you won’t have to pay for tests you don’t 100% need.
Get generic medication
Most people will opt for brand-name medication simply because the brand makes us think the ingredients are better and will do more for our symptoms.
However, generic, non-branded drugs often contain the exact same active ingredients and will have an identical effect on the body as their branded counterparts. They will also cost up to a huge 80% less, making them a crucial method of saving money on health care.
But, whilst this method may seem great, it can be easy to get scammed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of illegitimate websites out there selling unsafe drugs for cheap prices, so it’s wise to do thorough research and even have a chat with your doctor to get an expert opinion.
You can also save money on prescriptions by qualifying for financial assistance or enrolling on drug assistance programs. Take time to do a little research, and you’ll be able to find the best prescription savings program in your local area as well as finding legitimate generic medication.
Everyone should have the right to good healthcare but, with today’s constantly rising prices in virtually everything health related, it can seem almost impossible to maintain decent health if you’re on a low income. But if you implement the above suggestions next time you visit your doctor or experience negative symptoms, you’ll be on your way to not only saving cash but still getting the health care and attention you deserve!
Lewis Atkinson is a manager of senior center in a small town. He also enjoys writing about the things he learns and discovers to post on a number of personal finance and family websites.