Many people struggle with medical costs, and these expenses are expected to continually rise by 5.5% every year through 2027. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to cut costs while still maintaining your level of health and wellbeing. Here are nine health tips to reduce medical costs this spring.
Consider Urgent Care Over The ERThe average cost to go to the emergency room is around $2,259. An urgent care center will typically cost you only $176 on average. That’s quite a significant savings. In addition, about 21% of people report choosing urgent care because they believe the wait times are shorter and the location is more convenient. You should only consider a trip to the ER if your condition is life-threatening.
As you’re browsing for information on various pediatric urgent care clinics or any other clinics online, check out their Facebook and Google reviews. These reviews are from previous patients who leave comments and a rating regarding their experience. They can give you a good idea of what you can expect while receiving care.
Get Dental InsuranceIt’s recommended that you get regular checkups at least twice a year to keep your teeth healthy. You can save money on dental checkups and routine cleaning by getting dental insurance to cut costs. Approximately 90% of those with dental coverage have their benefits provided from an employer or a similar group plan. Check with your employer to see what plans may be available.
If getting dental insurance through work isn’t an option, you can see if there is a local dental school in your area. You can receive care from supervised students for up to half the cost of going to a professional. You can also search online for dental discount cards that can give you a 60% discount on services for a low monthly fee.
Maintain Proper HygieneAmericans typically get around one billion colds every year. You can develop a cold within three days of being in contact with someone who has the virus. These colds can be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene habits. Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer, especially after going to the bathroom. Disinfect all commonly touched surfaces in your home on a regular basis.
Ask Your Doctor For Financial HelpLet your doctor’s office know about your financial situation. Your doctor may be able to recommend cheaper treatment options. You may be eligible for a sliding fee scale to reduce your costs. See if you can negotiate with your doctor to get a discount if you’re struggling. According to a Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive poll, three out of five people were able to receive discounts after negotiating with their doctors.
Be prepared that you may have to pay a large portion of your bill upfront in order to receive a discount. If they balk at wanting to give a lower price, consider asking if they would consider a payment plan. It will help you avoid your bill going to collections, which can severely impact your credit score and raise your costs for other expenses.
Eat A Healthy DietThe average American diet consists of more than 50% junk food with little nutritional value, according to experts. The food we eat is also typically high in calories, fat, and sugar. Plus, many Americans are also sedentary. This dangerous mix can lead to obesity and other chronic medical conditions.
Approximately $190 billion is spent on healthcare services related to obesity alone. You can cut expensive medical costs now and in the future by eating a healthy diet of protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Not only will you feel healthier and save money, but you also have more energy and live longer. This can help save you money well into retirement.
Exercise On A Regular BasisDaily exercise can reduce your risks of developing a number of serious medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These diseases can be incredibly expensive to treat. A regular exercise routine can also help you decrease your body fat, lower your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation from arthritis. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Eliminate Alcohol And Cigarette UseIf you quit smoking, you can save money and get healthier at the same time. The healthcare costs for smokers are typically 25% higher than for non-smokers. Smokers also pay almost double for life insurance than their non-smoking counterparts because of their higher risk of disease development and higher mortality rates. Drinking alcohol can also create serious health problems such as cirrhosis and seizures. Plus, excessive drinkers are more prone to be involved in car crashes.
Consider Telehealth ServicesThere are many providers that offer telehealth services for their patients which can save them a significant amount of time and money. Many insurance plans cover these services as well. You can call a doctor or nurse by phone about a non-emergency complaint and get medical advice or prescriptions. These services typically range anywhere from $10 to $40 out of pocket.
Practice Preventative CareOne of the best ways to reduce medical costs is to practice preventative care by getting routine checkups. Many serious health conditions can be completely prevented by visiting a doctor on a regular basis to catch any potential issues before they snowball out of control. If a $100 doctor’s visit can prevent a $5,000 surgery from happening, it’s completely worth it. Your doctor can schedule screenings and tests based on your family history, age, and gender to look for medical conditions that could directly impact you personally.
Paying for healthcare costs out of pocket can be a struggle when your household budget is tight. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid seeking care because you can’t afford it. As you can see, there are many ways you can cut costs and still maintain your health. Choose the tips that work best for you and make your health a top priority this spring.