Healthcare Needn’t Hurt Your Finances

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Healthcare can be costly, but it shouldn’t be enough to put you in unhealthy debt. If you’re looking to lower costs on your medical bills, here are some of the steps you can take.

 

Shop around for treatment

Most people don’t think to shop around for treatment, but it can make a big difference to the cost. You can often find cheap medicines by avoiding the big brands and shopping for generic alternative either in the stores or online. Similarly treatment costs can vary from clinic to clinic. Some clinics may specialise in affordable care as this site details: http://oururgentcare.com/locations/washington/. Don’t just settle for your local clinic and take the time to look at others in your area – you could save money just by travelling a few miles extra.   

 

Use membership discounts

Some gyms will offer various discounts for being a member including healthcare discounts. These can be worth taking advantage of. Becoming a member of a Farm Bureau can also open you up to various medical perks, as this site shows: http://www.fbhealthplans.com/. Be aware that you will be paying a membership fee, so ensure that there are other perks to joining up other than a medical discount.

Take out an FSA

A Flexible Savings Account can be used to save up money for healthcare costs. Your employer pays a small sum of your regular income into the account each time you are paid. Earnings that are paid into this account are tax free. These savings can then be spent on all medical costs including household first aid items and even some eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses. You can use an FSA to pay for all your family’s medical costs. More information on FSAs can be read here: https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/

 

Be careful of loans and credit schemes

Various loans and credit card schemes may allow to pay for large medical expenses in smaller instalments. However, you will be paying interest on top of these payments. Many people with low credit ratings will opt for emergency loans, however these can often have the highest interest of any loan. Your best option here is to consider a scheme such as CareCredit. Unlike a regular credit card, there’s no interest on a CareCredit card. However, you must spend a minimum amount on these cards each year. CareCredit can be used on veterinary costs and various other health-related costs, more of which you can read up here: https://www.carecredit.com/

 

Negotiate the costs

In almost all cases, you can negotiate medical costs. Many clinics may offer discounts for paying in advance. You may also be able to pay in small installments by asking your doctor or clinic’s billing staff. In extreme cases, you could even consider hiring an advocate. Healthcare advocates specialise in securing care for people that cannot otherwise obtain it, including helping to negotiate the cost of expensive medical procedures.

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