Many people don’t realize they have options when it comes to their health care costs and never take advantage of potential savings.
Here are three ways to save your health care dollars:
Use tools such as the Healthcare Bluebook to compare price and quality of health care services for each facility.
- Look for the best price – negotiate if necessary
Be proactive about price. Ask your doctor the estimated cost before you have a routine procedure and if there is any difference in price based on facility.Sometimes, there is a variation in price between hospitals for the same procedure. Use tools such as the Healthcare Bluebook to compare price and quality of health care services for each facility.If you have a preferred hospital, work with your primary care physician and the hospital billing office to see if they are willing to negotiate or match the lower price.
When calling, it is always helpful to have your health insurance information and medical procedure code readily accessible – they are going to ask for it.
- Ask if an interest-free payment plan is available
When facing steep health care bills, it is acceptable to ask if a payment plan is an option. You can set up a payment plan with your health care provider during a financial counseling session. You can pay monthly or twice a month by having a predetermined amount automatically deducted from your checking account during a specified period of time, such as six, 12 or 18 months.
- Find out if tests can be done off-site
If your doctor prescribes a test, find out if there is flexibility in location. Some tests do require a specialist, but others are routine and can be done for much less outside a specialist’s office.
These are just three ways to lower your medical expenses. It’s always important to talk with your physician about medical alternatives and do your own research to see where you can find savings.