For many folks medical costs represent a major part of their annual expenses. Of course, you get what you pay for in this world and although there are few truly cheap ways to get medical care, there are ways to save substantially. Here are some effective tips on how to save money on medical costs without sacrificing good health.
Using generic prescriptions has become one way thrifty and wise shoppers reduce the cost of medicine. It works, and at no sacrifice of quality or safety. Shopping for drugs in countries outside the U.S, such as Canada or Mexico is both a legal and quality gray area. With that in mind, it is prudent to proceed with caution.
One of the largest potential savings can be had by taking a careful look at any insurance, HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), or other medical payment plan. Costs have been increasing steadily, but there are still ways to offset a significant portion of the total.
For instance, consider whether the premiums you pay for eye care and dental care really pay for themselves. In the case of many plans and people, simply dropping that coverage will not result in any increase in actual cost. While it is true that you will have to pay out of pocket when you use those services, if you compare what you might pay for an annual dental visit vs. your total yearly premium, you may surprise yourself. Although the thought of getting your teeth cleaned ‘for free’ seems like a good deal, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.
The same applies to eye care. With the availability of trustworthy prescription eyewear online, it is simple to save a couple of hundred dollars ordering over the Internet. You just need to have one check up within the past two years or so in order to get current measurements to fill in the web form. Naturally, the more recent the check up the better.
Shopping around for medical plans is another way to save big, especially for those who do not have most of the cost offset by an employer. Those without coverage at work such as independent businessmen, freelancers, those employed part-time, and more, can still often find affordable insurance.
Several online companies offer plans for as low as about $145 per month often with a $100 per month rate for the first six months. The coverage is sometimes not as extensive as a full-blown HMO paid for by a large corporate employer. Nonetheless, it can work well for those looking for an annual doctor visit, emergency coverage, or a safety net in case of a serious medical condition.
The only way to measure just how much it costs and how much you can save is to research the specific firms and plans online. However, that modest investment of time can and does result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars of annual savings. The easiest way to chop down the premium is to accept a higher deductible. That potential out-of-pocket expense can be offset if you calculate the difference in the monthly premium over time. Saving only $42 per month on the premium, for instance, pays for an extra $500 in deductible.
The basic idea is to be flexible and do some homework. By doing so, you can save money on medical costs every year without putting yourself at increased risk.