Healthcare costs are on the rise and many families are struggling to keep up. Healthcare coverage is a necessity, but it shouldn’t cost so much that you’re struggling to meet your other financial responsibilities. When you’re in charge of providing healthcare for an entire family, these tips could help you save more than you’d expect!
Find the Right Plan
Rather than accepting the first plan that comes your way, look in to a variety of plans. Compare private and public health plans. Typically, healthcare through an employer is the most affordable option available. look at the monthly cost of the plan, the deductible, copayments, and any extra available with the plan. People with young children may want to find a plan that includes a 24/7 nurse available over the phone, while those who are older may want a plan that offers a gym membership. Set a budget for yourself before choosing the plan to ensure you don’t spend more than you can afford.
Compare Treatment Costs
When a member of your family is sick or injured it’s your instinct to get help as fast as you can. For years that meant going straight to the emergency room, but now there are alternative options. Compare the treatment costs from an emergency room versus an urgent care center and you’ll be shocked! The copayment for treatment at an urgent is also typically much lower than for an emergency room. Urgent care centers can give flu shots, preform physicals, and handle non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. You should only face the high price of an emergency room if the situation is critical and requires emergent treatment.
Read the Bill
This sounds simple, but it’s commonly overlooked. Billing statements from hospitals and healthcare providers include mistakes over 50% of the time! If you aren’t reading the entire bill, those mistakes will end up coming out of your wallet. If you’re unsure of something your bill, call your doctor or hospital and ask for an itemized list of the charges. This requires the healthcare provider to list each item they’re charging for and more often than not, they’ll locate a mistake that actually lowers the total amount of your bill.
Utilize your healthcare coverage each time you get medical treatment by only visiting providers in your healthcare network. Call your local urgent care center, pharmacy, or primary care physician before getting treated to ensure they accept your insurance plan!