Annual healthcare expenses have doubled in the past decade. If you are struggling to pay medical bills for your family, you should take solace in knowing that you are not alone. For consumers, dealing with out-of-pocket costs is the most stressful part of overseeing healthcare.
Whether you are looking for ways to save money or have just been hit by a surprise medical bill, here are some steps that you should take to reduce your out-of-pocket costs:
Resolve Issues Quickly
You should start asking for itemized bills after a major procedure or hospital stay. If you do not understand something, you should not shy away from asking questions. If there are errors in your medical bill, you should:
- Be persistent but polite
- Call your insurer and hospital
- Follow up until the issue is resolved, no matter how long it takes.
- Document your calls and write down the name of the person that you spoke to.
Although this can be frustrating, you need to keep your composure to avoid making things worse. An insurance determination is not always final and you can appeal a denial.
Research Specific Procedure and Health Insurance Plan Prices
Even with affordable care act subsidies that make health coverage more affordable, many people who buy insurance through an exchange will end up spending more than 10percent of their earnings on deductibles, premiums, as well as out-of-pocket costs. The reason why many Americans spend too much on healthcare is the lack of price transparency.
You can easily overspend if you do not know the cost of something. Over the years, insurance companies have improved their tools for comparing prices, making it possible for consumers to compare prices accurately. You should ask for a brief overview of the insurance costs before purchasing a cover.
When undergoing surgery or imaging procedures, you need to know how much money you will owe beforehand. However, you should never sacrifice on the quality of the medical care that you receive to save a few dollars. If you are receiving care from a qualified doctor, the extra costs will be worth it.
Just by saying what is on your mind, you can reduce your out-of-pocket costs significantly. It is possible to negotiate lower prices for medical care, especially if there is more than one provider in your area. If you think that you cannot afford the cost of treatment, you should ask your doctor how much he or she charges and whether you can negotiate the price.
Doctors are usually willing to negotiate on the price but only if you ask. The reason why doctors do not bring up treatment costs is that they do not want to seem as if they are putting money on your wellbeing. If you choose to pay in lump sum or cash, your doctor might even give you a discount.
Go to the ER Only When Necessary
You should only head to the ER if you have a life-threatening injury. However, if you have the flu or a broken arm, an urgent care center is the best choice because it will cost less. Even with health insurance, the co-pays for ER visits go above several hundred dollars.
Make sure that you find out the nearest urgent care centers within your insurer’s network. If it is a real emergency, you should ask yourself whether an ambulance is necessary before dialing 911.
Above everything else, you need to ensure that your family is getting the best medical care possible. Each day we face the development of the medical field and see new positions open every day as well. Nursing jobs, physician jobs, practitioner jobs are being open every day as the clinics open more and more and are each day are more technologically up-to-date so that's reassuring as well.