Your family's medical expenses can often end up costing a small fortune. Between medications, specialists, tests, and doctors' appointments, the tab can rack up quite quickly. Fortunately there are several ways to cut back on these costs. Here are 5 ways to save money on your family's medical expenses.
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Understand your insurance plan
An easy way to spend too much is to go to a doctor or a specialist who is not covered by your policy. Most insurance plans only cover costs in specific doctor's offices. Even in an emergency it is essential to know where you will get coverage. Having a list of insurance approved hospitals and doctor's offices on hand incase an emergency occurs is necessary. This can save you thousands of dollars on unnecessary expenditures and fees. Also, be sure to find out which other medical treatments your policy covers like gyms, therapy, and visits with a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor.
Save money on medications
The pharmaceutical industry can charge astronomical fees for certain branded versions of prescription medications. Whenever possible, ask your doctor and pharmacist to prescribe the generic version of a medication. This is often infinitely cheaper and does exactly the same thing as the name brand medication because it has the same active ingredients. Sometimes there are also “over-the-counter” options that are just as effective with a much cheaper price tag. Another way to save money is by receiving a higher dosage of your medication tablets and then splitting them in half yourself. Finally, using mail order pharmacies instead of your local CVS or Walgreens can potentially save you a lot of money. All you have to do is mail in your prescription with a check for the prescription amount and they will have it shipped directly to your home.
If your insurance company refused to pay for a service or medical expense, don't just settle. Even if they outright say “no”, you still have a chance. Be consistent and appeal the decision. If you are still unsuccessful, contact a local state insurance commission. They can help you to settle the dispute, and if you win this can likely save you hundreds to thousands of dollars on medical expenses just because you took the extra time and initiative.
Look out for free samples
You doctor likely has large quantities of samples of certain medications on hand from pharmaceutical companies who are trying to promote and push their product. It is wise to ask for samples to try before you commit to purchasing the medication at the pharmacy. In addition, some doctors may even have enough of a sample to see you through an antibiotic treatment without having to buy anything. Also, some companies offer free trials and samples as well as coupons on their website, so be sure to check these out first!
For dental expenses, you may consider staying away from a typical dentists office. Look for dental schools or universities in your area with dental hygiene programs. These clinics have staff-supervised students working which can save you a tremendous amount of money. This is especially helpful for more expensive dental procedures such as an implant or a crown. You will be safe, well attended to, and you can help students learn to become great dentists or dental hygienists in the future!
At the end of the day, saving on your medical expenses is as simple as being well educated and always asking questions. If you understand your insurance policy and where you receive coverage you can avoid unnecessary medical expenditures. In addition, always be sure to ask about samples, generic or over-the-counter options, and never be shy about appealing an insurance company's coverage decision. These tips will help you receive quality care for pain management and injury relief as well as regular check ups and prescription costs for less every year!