People are living longer than ever before and the quality of those extra years can depend a lot on the state of a person’s health. But, remaining healthy through later life doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. It also takes proper medical care.
No matter how hard we’ve tried to take good care of our health over the course of a lifetime… the older we get, the more medical attention we will probably need. As the years add up, so do our doctor visits, medications, tests, and procedures, etc.
Unfortunately, the financial impact of addressing all the medical needs that may come with getting older can be staggering. The cost of health care has skyrocketed to an extreme level, which has made proper medical care unaffordable for many older people. Nobody should ever be forced to do without necessary medical care because of high costs… but, sadly, it happens every single day.
Here are a few money saving steps that can help keep some of the costs of medical care down. We hope you find them valuable.
Shop around for medical procedures. Different hospitals charge different amounts for medical procedures… including various surgeries. When your doctor wants you to have a procedure, it may be worth your time to check with local hospitals about their charges. Many doctors and surgeons are affiliated with a few local hospitals. Ask your doctor for a list of the hospital he/she is affiliated with so you won’t have to change physicians if you decide to use a different hospital.
Shop around for medical tests. Most doctors tend to use a certain lab or facility for blood tests or imaging tests like x-rays and MRIs. However, that doesn’t mean you have to use that particular facility. Different facilities often charge differently for their services. Call around to find out how prices vary and then ask your doctor to order your test at the most affordable site. Of course, quality is extremely important when it comes to medical testing so make sure your doctor has faith in the reliability of the facility.
Check your pharmacy’s actual price for prescription medications. Believe it or not, it may cost less to pay for prescriptions without the help of insurance. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s sometimes true. It can be cheaper to pay out of your own pocket for a prescription rather than through insurance, because insurance co-pays may be higher than the pharmacy actually charges for certain medications. Always ask how the pharmacy price compares to your co-pay amount for each prescription.
Negotiate substantial medical bills. If you have to undergo an especially expensive procedure that is difficult to afford, speak with someone in the hospital’s billing department about your situation. Plenty of people have trouble paying large medical bills. Most hospitals are willing to set up a monthly payment plan you can manage over time. You may even be eligible for a financial aid program offered by the hospital.
Shop around for medications. Surprisingly, the price of medications varies from pharmacy to pharmacy. Even drugstores down the street from each other may be charging different amounts for the same drug. You may save significantly by calling around and comparing prices. Make sure to try pharmacies at retail stores like Walmart and Target as well as warehouse stores like BJs and Costco. Many supermarkets also have pharmacies.