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The ever-increasing cost of healthcare in the US today demands that individuals and families find every possible way to reduce their annual healthcare bill to a minimum. Of course, that means doing it in a way that is not only possible but also safe and practical.
A good start can be had by talking to a professional health insurance agent since getting the right health plan is a big part of saving on healthcare. We'll look at that and several other keys to trimming down your annual healthcare bill.
1. Set specific goals for your health insurance.
Know what you expect out of a health plan before you adopt one. To do this, you will need to assess your likely healthcare expenses for the year ahead that would be covered by a health insurance policy.
You then need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of high, low, and no deductible plans. And don't forget to take into account other out of pocket costs like copays and coinsurance.
No health insurance will cover 100% of all health-related expenses, but you need to be aware of what will be covered and to what extent ahead of time to enable better planning and budgeting.
2. Reduce prescription drug costs.
Many times, prescription drugs are one of the easiest areas where you can save. First of all, be sure your plan covers prescription drugs if you use them much at all during a typical year.
Second, choose generic equivalents to increase coverage and reduce total cost. Generics usually are just as good as branded drugs - as many doctors attest. Third, use a local, in-network pharmacy with competitive prices. Lastly, consider ordering a 90 day supply of frequently used drugs so you can get bulk purchase discounts.
3. Lead a healthy lifestyle.
Many illnesses and chronic conditions are caused by poor lifestyle habits. Smoking cigarettes, drinking excessively, eating too much junk food and not enough healthy foods, and failing to get sufficient quality sleep each night are cases in point.
By avoiding these things and by exercising regularly, you can greatly reduce your risks of ill health and save money at the same time. Using your insurance to get flu shots, blood pressure, and cholesterol tests, PAP smears for women, and other preventative measures will also help.
Finally, if you already have a serious chronic condition, like heart disease or diabetes, following all doctor's instructions on properly managing your condition will prevent added risks and expenses.
4. Truly put safety first.
After lifestyle habits and chronic health conditions, accidental injuries are among the chief causes of health care needs. Of course, accidents happen and hindsight is 20//20 - but many accidents could have been prevented by better adherence to proper safety precautions.
Taking steps to make your home a safer place through upgrades and maintenance, keeping your car in tip-top shape, and always erring on the side of caution will help reduce the chances of an accident.
5. Use urgent care clinics.
Many times, there is no way to make a doctor's appointment and get in fast enough - and yet, an ER visit would be unnecessary. That's why urgent care clinics have become more popular in recent years - they fill an important gap. They also cost less than an ER visit.
If the urgent care clinic is closed, then you have no choice but to go to the ER, and some emergencies require the ER. Be discerning about where to go when.
For more helpful information on how to reduce your annual healthcare costs, talk to a health insurance agent at Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!