In the US, we pay for our healthcare. In fact, we pay through the nose for even the smallest complaint. Unfortunately, this means keeping your family healthy and happy can be quite a strain on your budget. In fact, many Americans end up going into debt, precisely because of this situation. The good news is that some tactics can help you keep the cost of your family’s health care as low as possible. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Look after your health now.
The first and most obvious tactic for keeping family care costs low is investing in your health now. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a financial investment, either. The reason being that there are many things you can do at little cost that can help you maintain a healthy weight and exercise.
For example, many people find that switching to a plant-based diet is cheaper than eating meat every day. While at the same time, it has been linked to reducing the likelihood of conditions such as heart disease.
Additionally, several bodyweight exercises can be done in your own home that will keep your body fit. Not to mention, release those all-important endorphins to help keep you mentally well too. All without the need to invest in expensive equipment or gym memberships.
Act well in emergencies
Of course, sometimes, no matter how fit and healthy you encourage your family to be, accidents happen or illnesses strike. However, by developing a good understanding of what to do in an emergency, you can help keep your medical costs to a minimum.
In fact, three strategies can be of help here. The first is to understand that no matter what you do, you or a family member will probably require medical treatment at some point. To that end, it’s best to set aside some money to help pay for this now.
Fortunately, the government is in agreement with this fact and has two options for you to choose from. The first is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This is an account owned by your employer where you can save money tax-free for use within the same tax year. The second option is the Health Care Savings Account (HSA), this differs from the FSA because it’s owned by the individual, and you can earn interest on the money you save there. Something that can help you accrue a decent amount to offset medical costs that come your way.
The second strategy to consider here is understanding that there is a marked difference between urgent and emergency medical care, both in gravity and cost. In fact, emergency care is help that is immediately needed because there is a risk of death or significant long term harm. For example, significant bleeding, severe pain, not being able to breathe correctly, or having chest pain.
However, if you have an issue such as a sore throat, or a bladder infection, seeing a medical expert can usually wait until the next day. This is what is meant by urgent care, with this type of help being less immediate and less expensive. Also, remember that if you require surgery, an outpatient clinic is usually a much cheaper option. While the care and provision remain the same as if you had it as an inpatient in hospital.
Finally, the third strategy is that even if you are involved in a situation that requires energy care, you may not have to foot the entire bill yourself. This is because the illness or accident you are suffering from may have been caused by someone else. Something that means the onus in law is on them to provide compensation for your discomfort and medical bills.
Of course, to see whether your situation qualifies for compensation, you must find a trustworthy and reliable personal injury lawyer that can examine your case. After that, if your case is viable, they can take the responsible party to court and help you reclaim the money you paid for medical care. Something that can help you avoid getting into debt.
Reduce the cost of your medicines
When it comes to saving on your health care costs, do not forget that you can help significantly lower what you pay for medicines, both in a one-off situation and regularly.
One way to do this is to ask your medical professional whether another medicine is suitable for your condition but at a reduced cost. Indeed, often asking for generic brand medicines can significantly reduce your bills.
Pick the right healthcare plan (& use it well)
Finally, if you are looking to cut the cost of health care for your family, remember you must pick the best healthcare plan, and use it to your full advantage.
Of course, this usually means paying out for the best healthcare coverage you can afford. Something you can think of as an investment rather than just a cost. After all, the more comprehensive your healthcare coverage, the less you will need to pay if anyone in the family does become ill.
Be sure to compare available cover, including excess payments, drug costs, and what is included. Where possible, read the fine print, as this can literally save you thousands of dollars down the line. In some cases, your health care plan will also come with an advisor or case manager. These are people that can help you maximize your benefits and get the most from the coverage you have.
Also, be sure to get vaccinations and screenings when they are offered in your health care plan. This is because time is of the essence when treating most conditions, and you can save a lot of money by preventing them or dealing with them when they are less severe.
If you are looking to cut the cost of your family’s health care, encouraging a healthy diet and lifestyle is only the first step. You will also need to consider what provision you have for emergencies and be smart about the health care plan you pick.
Additionally, be sure to educate yourself on the healthcare system. You can then advocate for yourself and your family when it comes to finding medications at a reduced cost.