At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard something along the lines of your health being your wealth.
But when your monthly healthcare premiums are skyrocketing faster than you can say “I need a doctor,” and you become increasingly aware of the possible changes your healthcare plan may undergo at the governmental level, you know that something has got to give.
At PCS Debt Relief, we believe you shouldn’t have to go into debt in order to take care of what matters most – you. Here are some practical tips for lowering your overall healthcare costs without compromising your well-being.
Find the Right Health Insurance Plan
It sounds easier said than done, right? While it’s true that you shouldn’t gloss over finding an insurance plan that’s best for you and your family, the process doesn’t have to be terribly complicated.
Most people’s knee-jerk reaction would be to get a health insurance plan with the lowest premiums. However, lower premiums aren’t always the most cost-effective option in the long run. Consider your needs – if you are fairly healthy, don’t need to visit the doctor often, and don’t participate in any activities that could pose health risks (i.e. a job involving a lot of manual labor), a plan with a high deductible and lower monthly premium could save you money.
On the other hand, if you have a health condition or predict that you’ll be making frequent medical appointments, getting an insurance plan with a higher premium and lower deductible might be a better choice. You can use this calculator to get a guesstimate of what health insurance premiums you can expect based on you and/or your family’s information (for those purchasing plans provided through the Affordable Care Act).
Benefit From Your Benefits
Already have a plan? You could be missing out on cost-cutting incentives if you aren’t taking advantage of what you have. Use your in-network healthcare providers to get routine check-ups and screenings, shots, vision tests, and anything else you might’ve put on the backburner back when you might not have had health insurance. Using in-network services will prove to be more affordable than utilizing out-of-network resources because you’ll be charged lower rates for the services/medications you receive.
If you’re fortunate enough to be part of a company’s health and wellness plan, getting access to important health screenings and information sessions is even easier. Some major companies, including UnitedHealthcare, even offer employees financial incentives if they use fitness trackers to manage their exercise.
Plan for Emergencies
Instinctively calling 911 for every medical incident will cost you a pretty penny. Even just one ambulance ride can cost you thousands of dollars. Although it may be tough to determine how serious your condition is while it’s happening, you can think ahead now about how you will approach future situations. Only call for an ambulance if you or someone else is in life-threatening danger or facing a situation that could result in permanent damage. Go to your closest urgent care clinic for situations that are not life-threatening but cannot wait to be addressed.
Always check your bills for any errors. We’re all human and everyone makes mistakes, including the medical billing department. Make sure that you aren’t being charged for services and medications you never received and that all the information about your copays and deductibles are written accurately.
And, believe it or not, your healthcare professionals may empathize with your situation and reduce your medical costs. By negotiating and explaining your tight financial situation, you just might be granted a discount or directed to a specialist who charges lower fees.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the easiest yet most effective ways you can generate less expenses on healthcare is to take care of the skin you’re in. That means eating healthy the majority of the time, exercising regularly, nixing your smoking habit, cutting back on alcohol and taking care of your mental health as well. As you may already be aware, we at PCS Debt Relief are big proponents of balancing your financial health, physical health, and mindfulness.
Do you need help putting together a budget and making a long-term financial plan? PCS Debt Relief can help with our debt relief services that are tailored to your needs. We understand the burdens and stress that debt creates, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Call (636) 209-4481 for a free consultation to achieve financial stability.