Are you worried about healthcare getting out of reach? Almost 40% of Americans skip getting treatment for a health-related condition because they can’t afford it. But there are many ways to manage medical expenses and make healthcare more affordable. A few simple tips can help you out in this case.
If you want to receive the care you need without breaking the bank, read these tactics for managing expensive healthcare treatment.
⦁ Get routine health screenings
Here’s a fact: prevention isn’t just better than cure; it’s also cheaper. That’s why regular healthcare screenings save you a lot of money on healthcare expenses down the road. You can avoid costly medical bills simply by staying up-to-date on blood tests and body screenings and getting vaccinated on time. Detecting an underlying medical condition early on can save you from costly treatment.
A doctor will also tell you to consume nutritious meals, sleep regularly, exercise, drink plenty of water, quit smoking and drinking, and other healthy habits. Following the doctor’s advice will help you stay out of the hospital.
⦁ Gain compensation through settlement
Some chronic ailments, such as mesothelioma, develop when people are exposed to asbestos for a long time. When consumers bring a lawsuit against a manufacturer of asbestos-containing products, they’ll usually settle with a payout ranging from $1 million to $1.4 million. This compensation lets consumers pay for their treatment and rehabilitation.
Different factors come into consideration when evaluating a claim for mesothelioma compensation, such as age, lost income, the degree of injury, and marital status. Other ways to claim compensation include VA benefits (for veterans) and asbestos trust funds. You’ll need to hire a lawyer to help you out if you’re legible for a payout.
⦁ Choose the right health plan
A good health insurance plan can make medical expenses considerably more manageable. Compare different health plans and choose the best one for your family. Consider different factors, too, when trying to find the right plan. Make sure your primary caregiver is in the network. Find out if there is a premium, deductible, or co-payment for the health plan. What medical benefits are included in it, and which services does it cover?
Some health insurance plans have restrictions on preexisting conditions, so these options might not be suitable for you.
⦁ Cut down the cost of meds
Medicines can be expensive, so getting cheaper drugs will help you manage costly treatment. Instead of buying brand-name drugs, ask your doctor to recommend generic medicines to save money. Prices can also vary between different pharmacies, so shop around while looking for cost-effective options.
Unfortunately, even generic drugs can sometimes get out of your reach; they are overpriced by 20%, as per one estimate. In that case, look for discounts and coupons drug manufacturers and pharmacies offer to buy meds at a lower price. You can also leverage patient-assistance programs to find low-cost medications.
⦁ Take advantage of health benefits
Different health benefits are available to patients, and you should take advantage of them when necessary. Besides annual health screenings and wellness visits, you can benefit from many discounted services accessible to patients. Community health clinics and employer wellness programs are also on this list. Don’t forget about Medicaid too. You can get discounted drugs with the help of programs like the Prescription Assistance Program and the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.
Also, focus on prenatal care to ensure your child comes into this world healthy and without any major health concerns. These health benefits let you manage costly healthcare treatment.
⦁ Leverage telehealth options
Services like telehealth and telemedicine became mainstream during the peak of COVID-19. In 2017, telehealth visits cost patients $79 compared to $146 to see a doctor at a physical clinic. Even today, you can save anywhere from $147 and $186 per visit by booking an appointment with a physician online. It’s a safer and cost-effective way of managing your healthcare treatment.
Moreover, telehealth options are more convenient for patients living in areas with limited access to qualified physicians and quality healthcare services.
⦁ Get cheaper care at clinics
Choose cheaper caregiving facilities to save money on healthcare expenses. For instance, urgent care centers can be more affordable than hospital emergency rooms. Similarly, outpatient care is a lot more cost-effective than in-patient care. Ask your primary caregiver if you can have surgery at a clinic or an outpatient facility to avoid excessive medical bills. While clinics aren’t equipped to handle any major medical procedures, they can often offer medical services at a lower cost.
Bear in mind that the cost of caregiving depends on the nature of a medical procedure and the clinic’s location. You should compare the costs of different treatment options before deciding.
⦁ Use your HSA or FSA
You can easily manage healthcare expenses with healthcare savings and flexible spending accounts. Both HSAs and FSAs let individuals set aside pre-tax dollars for expensive treatment options. You can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of a medical process and make it more manageable.
However, both accounts have specific regulations you need to understand. One benefit of an HSA is that your funds will roll over from year to year and build up over time. Moreover, you own the account and earn interest on it. But an FSA is owned by your employer and must be used within a fixed time (usually a year). Also, the employer can offer limited-purposed FSAs, i.e., for dental or ophthalmic treatment only. So, you should talk to your employer about what kind of pre-tax account you’ll get at your job.
⦁ Try medical cost-sharing programs
Another alternative cost-reducing healthcare strategy involves cost-sharing programs. These programs aren’t run by insurance companies, but by charitable organizations and nonprofits, such as Christian healthcare ministries. Members pay monthly fees to these programs to share medical expenses among themselves. A predetermined ratio decides how its members will share medical expenses.
However, these programs don’t offer the same coverage or protection level as insurance. Also, you must belong to their specific communities to apply for their cost-sharing programs.
As health expenses continue to skyrocket, there are some ways to pull caregiving back to affordability. You can try the suggestions in this article to properly manage healthcare expenses. For instance, do not overpay for meds, try outpatient facilities, and use telehealth options. Another example would be claiming damages by suing the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products via asbestos trust funds. These simple solutions will help your family afford expensive healthcare treatment options.