Do cash woes have you stressed? Have you been reducing your visits to the doctor or giving up on your medications to bring down costs? Are you out of health insurance?
It’s understandable to want to reduce costs with things being the way they are. More people are being laid off everyday and when there’s less money to go around, people want to spend cash only on the essentials. Unfortunately self-care is one area that’s taken a severe hit, with many people cutting down on their health care expenses drastically. They do this by not going up for follow up visits, not checking in with their doctor even if they suffer from chronic conditions, skimping on medicines or simply delaying their visits. All these measures however can put them in an emergency room later on facing very grave medical problems.
Often people rationalize this by believing that it’s okay to make a trip to the ER if something severe does happen. However waiting till things get so critical can have disastrous consequences. The elderly and the young not only need special care when they are sick but also need to visit a doctor in person for their condition to be accurately diagnosed. Cutting down on health care costs is definitely not an option in these cases. There are ways to reduce health care costs — Let’s take a look at five things you can do immediately to bring down expenses in a totally safe manner.
1)Be up front about your cash situation
Doctors are well aware of how tight budgets are at the moment so be completely honest with your doctor. If he/she recommends a procedure which you can’t afford, ask as to whether
a) You really need it?
b) If there are any less expensive alternatives that you can go for first?
2)Phone or Email Consultations?
Ask your doctor if you really need to drop in for an office visit? It might be possible to have a phone consultation instead depending upon your condition. If you are just following up on preventive health care even email exchanges might work.
3)Consider going for one-time fixes
Some patients are choosing to have one time fixes instead of treating a complaint long-term. For instance dentists are getting more requests to remove an abscessed tooth instead of going in for more expensive oral procedures like bridgework or root canal treatment. While this isn’t an ideal situation it is a workable option that reduces on-going costs.
4)Stretch out preventative tests
If you’ve been in good health you can delay a couple of preventative tests without any ill effects in the short-term. For instance, if you have excellent vision you could consider delaying your eye exam. People in their thirties only need one once or twice in a decade while those in their forties may need one once every two to three years. You shouldn’t miss any test, but if you have had no problems in that area earlier on in several previous tests, you could delay your current test for a while until your finances get better.
5)Seek financial aid
There are many foundations and associations that will offer financial aid to those suffering from certain types of illnesses. If you are suffering from a major disease, check to see if you can obtain aid from a foundation that’s affiliated with that disease. You can substantially cut costs while still getting quality care.