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Reducing Health Care Costs While Taking Care of Your Health

Posted Apr 06 2009 11:15pm
In this economic downturn, consumers are aggressively looking for ways to cut back on expenses – including health care expenses.  Three and half million people have lost their jobs and their health insurance.  People that have health insurance are paying more for premiums, co-pays and deductibles and employers are passing on more health care costs to their employees.  Health spending is rising faster than wages and many are forgoing medical services in an effort to cut back on health expenses.   People are cancelling gym memberships, eating more unhealthy (comfort) food in these tough economic times, skipping medications to save money, experiencing more stress than ever before, going without health insurance and delaying preventative care.

An article in the Los Angeles Times Health Section, Cut health costs, not your care,  provides some valuable tips and techniques to help you reduce your health care costs  - while you continue to take care of your health. Here are some of the highlights:

Saving Money on Prescription Medications

  • Compare drug prices before making a purchase by using tools like destinationrx.com and drugstore.com
  • Save up to 80% by selecting generic rather than brand-name drugs
  • Consider purchasing your medications in bulk to save money
  • Do your research to find drug companies offering discounts on brand-name drugs
  • Consider purchasing medications online (be sure to visit the U.S. FDA site for consumer information)
  • Look for discounts on brand-name drugs by searching for coupons at www.internetdrugcoupons.com

Save Money on Doctor Visits

  • Stay proactive about your health.  A doctor visit is a lot less expensive than an emergency room visit.
  • Use network providers whenever you can.  Ask network providers for referrals from your network if you need to see a specialist.
  • Consider bartering to help pay doctor fees. 
  • Utilize retail clinics for non-emergency medical services
  • Utilize urgent care centers rather than emergency rooms for conditions that are not life threatening
  • Visit community health centers to locate medical help at low cost.
  • Use resources like public libraries to find affordable medical services in your area.
  • Contact disease/condition foundations for additional resources and options on affordable screenings.
  • Negotiate a price for services if you are paying cash to save 50% or more off the list price.
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