Affordable health care is hard to find, especially now that many health insurance companies are raising deductibles and switching from fixed-dollar co-payments to coinsurance. Health care is different than any other expense in that most people don’t know how much it actually costs. If someone tried to charge you $5 for a soda you’d know that was completely unreasonable, but would you know what a fair price is when it comes to your health insurance? Here are some tips to help you find the least expensive health care:
Pick the right provider. Make sure you go with a provider within your insurer’s network. Also, be sure to ask about alternative facilities. Doctors often work at outpatient surgery centers as well as hospitals and the cost can vary significantly based on location.
Save on prescriptions. You can do this by switching to generic drugs or finding therapeutic alternatives. Doubling up and splitting your pills may also be an alternative to save some money, but be sure to ask your doctor whether it would be beneficial option.
Get no-fee preventive care. Many insurance plans now offer preventive care screenings without charging deductibles. Also, if you sign up for Medicare’s new benefits you also receive benefits without co-pays or deductibles.
Use tax breaks. Do this by contributing to a flexible spending account. This money is not taxable and can be used to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. It’s also smart to get all the tax breaks you can from your health savings account. Contributions to an HSA lower your taxable income.
For more advice on how to find reasonably priced, high-quality health care, visit Kiplinger.