Reduce Your Out-Of-Pocket Healthcare Costs
What the new year will bring is still anybody’s guess. But now is the time to get to work on ways you can lower your costs and retain your health.
Before the major healthcare changes of the Obama administration, there was one thing almost everyone agreed on. All Americans should have access to quality healthcare. That morphed into, “everyone must have health insurance”. The changes that were explained to us indicated that everyone would be insured and they would be able to see their doctors without fear of not being able to pay more than they could afford. Those of us who already had good insurance through our jobs were told we would be able to keep our plans. But the reality was much different than the promises. For most middle-class Americans our insurance costs doubled and sometimes tripled. Our out of pocket expense was so high that many people would near the end of the year before this high-costs insurance policy paid the first dime. Patients with chronic illnesses could no longer afford to use the insurance that the government insisted they had to have or they would be fined.
Trump Administration Promises Change – Immediate Problems
2018 will be a year for change. Experts expect healthcare costs to continue to rise. The increases will vary by state, but some are expected to rise as much as 57% (in Georgia). As the government, insurance companies, and the healthcare fight over the changes, American’s can expect more blows to their wallet and quality of life. Below we will give you some tips for reducing healthcare costs. If you are receiving Medicare, you have already received notice that the coverage has increased in price for 2018. We urge you to do your own research. Seek out ways to reduce the expense to a manageable amount and protect yourself.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a Federal Government insurance policy that is provided to all Americans that at 65 or older and people with disabilities and some specific illnesses. It has 4 parts. Part-A pays for hospital expenses if admitted. Part-B pays for certain doctors and medical supplies that are needed. Part-C is also called Medicare Advantage. This is a policy from an independent company that you can purchase with the dollars you pay for Medicare. Sometimes there are additional costs depending on the company and policy you choose. Part-D covers some (but not all) of your prescription drugs.
Don’t get sick. This is the time to get your body in good health. Have your annual check-ups. Exercise and eat properly. Rest when you need to and take medications as prescribed. Staying well reduces the need for doctors visits. Ask for and insist on generic drugs. Your doctor gets a cash bonus from the pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their name-brand drugs. This gives them a pretty good reason to choose particular name-brand drugs over a generic drug, or even a different medication that will treat your problem. Educate yourself about your policy. Take inventory of your circumstances. Consider your age, health problems, income, and care provider. Then shop insurance companies. Let an insurance agent walk you through some different policies to determine the right one for you. Ask about programs where you can follow-up over the phone or computer for minor issues. It will save you hundreds of dollars. Beware of over billing. Be diligent in checking every item on your medical bill whether from your doctor or hospital. Were you charged for a service you did not receive? Adding an extra tests or procedure to an already congested invoice is an easy way for medical professionals to get the maximum payment they can get from your insurance company. However, that hits you right in the wallet. Every service they pay for, you pay for. What the new year will bring is still anybody’s guess. But now is the time to get to work on ways you can lower your costs and retain your health.