The cost of healthcare is on a continuous rise. Whether you’re in good shape or have a medical condition, healthcare costs can be a huge burden as expenses add up quicker than you ever imagined. No wonder it is a growing issue among average Americans who struggle to pay premium payments to get insured. Meanwhile, others who can’t pay for insurance are also struggling to access essential healthcare services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people spent $4968 in healthcare in 2018. This is a significant increase from the average spending from 2016 to 2017. But whether you own health insurance, your healthcare costs may still vary, especially if you’re suffering from a serious medical condition. Even healthy patients turn to paid clinical trials to receive free medical care and frequent health check-up as part of their treatment to avoid paying for expensive doctor’s appointments.
From prescription drugs, health insurance, to doctor’s visits, the money spent on healthcare each year is endless. But a little research and comparison shopping can put more value on your healthcare dollar. Finding ways to save on healthcare costs can significantly help those with long-term treatment requirements and chronic conditions. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to save on healthcare costs while still getting the treatment you deserve.
Treat large-scale hospitals as your last-resort
This approach doesn’t mean you need to forego a doctor’s visit when you’re not feeling well. It only means there are other low-cost healthcare facilities you can turn to when the need arises. In fact, a large percentage of healthcare spending in the U.S. goes to hospitals. Another part goes to clinics, physicians, and non-physician staff, such as nurses, therapists, optometrists, and chiropractors. When we consider hospital-owned clinics and physicians, it will appear that hospitals take control of more than half of the entire healthcare spending.
In most cases, hospitals aren’t always the ideal place to receive care. Conduct research or tour around the community and you will find low-cost day surgery or imaging centers that offer affordable services than costly hospital operating services. The reason for their inherently cheap services is they have a lower overhead to maintain than the similar services offered in large-scale hospital environments.
While hospitals offer complete medical services, they shouldn’t be your primary source of healthcare needs. You may ask your family or friends if they know any healthcare facility that offers the same attention that the hospital offers but for a budget-friendly price. Therefore, it is not surprising why many industries are changing their business models because of price-conscious customers.
Exhaust your options for convenient and nearby healthcare access
Most of us spend more time in waiting rooms than the actual doctor’s appointment. The waiting time sometimes costs us a couple of hours, while a straightforward checkup will only take less than 15 minutes. This is more difficult for employees with full-time jobs who take more than half of their work hours just to appear in front of their physician. If your appointment is at 2 p.m., you already lost almost half a day out of the office.
A doctor’s appointment takes a considerable time from leaving work, traveling to the clinic, waiting to be called, seeing the physician, checking out, picking up the prescription, and returning to the office. But as consumer preferences change and technologies continue to develop, healthcare providers are looking for ways to make care options accessible.
Telehealth services are now available to those who seek medical help but can’t travel or their health condition doesn’t permit them. This is why many hospitals are at a competitive risk against their competitors who have an active digital platform. These also include worksite and walk-in clinics that are more accessible for those with full-time jobs and can’t afford to miss a day at work.
Observe smart spending
Some of us may have experienced visiting an emergency room only to receive minimal care and ending up paying hundreds of dollars. There are also tales about expensive medicines offered by hospitals when you can get them for a cheaper price at the local pharmacy. Hospitals and other health providers are known for jacking up expenses on private patients because medical reimbursements don’t cover the care they provided.
Aside from the treatment, the costs of a single hospital visit include the medical staff, top-notch equipment, and other hidden costs. To avoid becoming a victim of exorbitant routine care, patients should make an effort to compare prices and check how they are being charged for their treatments, tests, and procedures.
The methods we shared are some cost-efficient ways to get extra savings from your daily healthcare costs. But when the need arises, it is important to give priority to your health than to save more money. Solutions to minimize healthcare spending are endless, but your best defense is to maintain a healthy body by eating healthy and observing a proper lifestyle.