Being an adult is expensive. It can be difficult enough to cover rent, utilities, transportation and groceries. When you add in the cost of healthcare, balancing your budget may feel almost impossible. You may have a handle on health insurance premiums and co-payments, but deductibles and out-of-network expenses make it tough to predict what you actually have to pay to receive treatment. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save on healthcare. Here are some proven cost-saving tactics to try:
Get to know your health insurance plan
Not sure what your health insurance covers? It could be costing you more than you need it to. If you have a high-deductible health plan, you may expect everything to be expensive. Your plan may be more generous than you think—but you should know what to look for.
Many plans cover basic preventative care—like annual physicals or immunizations. If you stay within your plan’s network, you may spend less on everything else. The best way to avoid trouble is by understanding your plan. Are your prescriptions covered? Do you need referrals before a procedure? You may save a lot by doing some of this homework in advance before choosing a plan.
Always check your medical bills before paying them
You may feel a sense of shock when you tear open the envelope for a big medical bill. Before you start to panic, double-check to make sure it’s correct. Mistakes happen. It’s possible your doctor’s office didn’t process your insurance correctly or the billing department may have accidentally added a couple of extra line items. Either way, your bill may be much lower. Before making a payment, you owe it to your wallet to make sure everything is correct before paying the bill.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
It can be infuriating when your insurance company refuses to pay for something. But you shouldn’t immediately hand over your credit card. If you have to pay the full cost, try negotiating with the provider. They may offer a discount or a low-interest payment plan to help ease the burden.
Contribute to a health savings account (HSA)
There is no doubt about it—high-deductible health plans can be expensive. If you have one, you may avoid seeing the doctor in fear of the massive bill you may receive later. It’s a costly situation with one silver lining: health savings accounts (HSAs).
If your high-deductible plan qualifies, you can start contributing to an HSA. You can save money by depositing money into your HSA before taxes are taken out. You can invest and grow the money tax-free. When you are ready to spend the money, you can withdraw it without paying a tax penalty—as long as you are paying for qualified medical expenses.
Why healthcare savings matters
When you are struggling to balance your family’s budget, you know every dollar counts. High-deductible health plans make it even more difficult, especially with surprise medical bills. You may be desperate for ways to save on healthcare, without knowing where to begin. But if you take the time to be proactive now, it may be easier to save later. By spending less money on healthcare, you can put more toward your family’s future.
Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.