With 2019 right around the corner, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you don’t end up spending more than you can afford on your health care.
- Check your insurance provider network to make sure you are using providers that are covered. Sometimes providers change which insurance companies they work with, so make sure the doctors you visit are still in your network. If not, find ones who are to ensure you are getting services at the most affordable price.
- Pay attention to your prescription prices. Many brand-name prescriptions have generic versions that work exactly the same but are much lighter on your wallet. If this isn’t an option, talk to your doctor about your medications and they will work with you to try and find a treatment plan that will better meet your budget. Also, look for coupons for your prescriptions. Many drug companies have coupons you can find online, print out, and bring with you to the pharmacy, allowing you to get your medications at a discounted price.
- Utilize preventative services. There are many preventative services that you and your family members may be eligible for at no cost. Preventative services can help keep you and your family healthier in the long run, which can save you health care dollars. The biggest example of this is immunizations. If all Americans received the recommended immunizations, the country as a whole could save billions of health care dollars.
- Know ahead of time which provider you should visit when you need medical attention. Know which situations require the emergency room and which could be treated at an urgent care center or with your primary doctor. Visiting the emergency room for a medical situation that could be treated at an urgent care center or by your doctor can stack up some heavy hospital bills. Learn more information for when it’s appropriate to visit the ER, urgent care, and your primary care physician here.
- Set aside money for potential emergencies. Accidents happen, and when they require you to get medical attention, you want to be ready for the cost. In these incidences, procedures, surgeries, and hospital admissions can leave you with medical bills you didn’t expect. Plan ahead to have money for the unexpected. And if nothing comes up, you end the year with some extra cash in your pocket.
The best way you can plan for health care spending in 2019 is by taking care of yourself. Take steps to stay healthy. Eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise can prevent many chronic diseases and illnesses. Both diet and exercise can prevent obesity and heart conditions, and keep your immune system strong to fight off germs that cause the flu and common cold. By staying healthy, you can save a lot of money that would be spent visiting the doctor frequently or paying for medication to manage chronic diseases.
And whatever you do, don’t let the idea of potential bills keep you from getting medical attention when you really need it. Be prepared as best as you can and remember: being your healthiest is always in your best interest.