“I like paying more than I have to,” said no one ever!
Yet many people pay a lot more than necessary for some medical services and prescription drugs. Be a smarter shopper and think about health care like everything else you buy. Here are some tips that can seriously slash the amount you pay out of your pocket.
Avoid an out-of-network trap
If you have insurance, you probably know that network providers typically mean lower costs. If your care involves more than one provider, or services outside your network, you can get blindsided with unexpected high costs. Your network doctor or hospital might use other services as part of your treatment that are not in your insurance network.
For instance, a network dermatologist visit could lead to an unexpectedly large bill if the lab your doctor uses is out-of-network. Always ask to be sure that all your providers are in-network.
Shop around for prescription savings
Did you know prescription prices can vary – up to hundreds of dollars – even between pharmacies on the same street? By comparison shopping, you can often score big-buck savings on medications. For example, RxSaver lets you compare prescription prices and get coupons to save up to 80%.
Won’t my insurance offer the best deal?
Not always! Be sure to compare your insurance co-pay for a prescription against available discounts to ensure you pay the lowest price.
Know where to go for urgent care
A trip to the hospital emergency room or neighborhood emergency center can easily cost a few hundred collars (even with insurance), not to mention a ton of time! Consider an urgent care center can be a great option for things like sprains, minor stitches, sore throats, etc. In other words, stuff that might need quick attention, but not require emergency room services.
Urgent care centers typically cost far less than ER, plus you’ll often be in and out more quickly. (Remember, though, that those neighborhood “emergency centers” function – and might cost – the same as a hospital ER.)
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