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Originally Posted On: https://hazelnews.com/how-to-save-money-on-medical-expenses/
Did you know that around 55% of Americans have medical debt? Over 25% of Americans owe over $10,000. Medical bills can result in lawsuits, calls from debt collectors, and stress.
Even though health insurance can reduce your medical costs, you still may owe money. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to avoid billing errors, expensive prescriptions, and surprise medical bills.
Are you wondering how you can reduce your medical expenses? Keep reading to learn how you can save money on medical bills.
Choose In-Network Providers
One of the easiest ways to save money on medical expenses is to choose in-network providers. If you have a preferred provider option (PPO) insurance plan, your insurance will cover a large percentage of the cost when you use certain providers.
When you go to doctors outside of the network, you will get a bigger bill. Before visiting the doctor, call to ask if they are in-network. You also can find out which medical providers are in the network before signing up for health insurance plans.
Ask About the Cost
Did you know that you can ask your doctor about the cost of a procedure before you do it? This can save you money and unexpected medical bills.
Ask your doctor how much appointments, lab work, and treatments cost. After asking, you can compare costs online and with other medical providers. If you are on a budget, ask your doctor if the procedures are necessary.
Choose Generic Medications
Another easy way to reduce medical expenses is to ask for generic medications at the pharmacy. Most pharmacists will do this automatically, but it is always a good idea to ask.
Generic prescriptions are just as safe and effective as the name-brand. The main differences may be the appearance and flavoring of the medication.
Ask For Itemized Bills
Anytime you visit the doctor or emergency room, ask for an itemized bill to explain the cost. The itemized bill will break down everything you were charged for, including food, procedures, and medication.
Around 80% of medical bills have errors, and having an itemized bill will help you catch them. Watch out for duplicate charges, charges for procedures you did not receive, and incorrect medications.
Negotiate a Payment Plan
Once you review your itemized bill from the doctor, you should negotiate a payment plan. Start by asking your healthcare provider for a discount. Many patients don’t realize that the amount they owe is negotiable.
Once you lower the total cost, ask if you can sign up for a payment plan. Most hospitals don’t charge interest. As long as you are paying your bill, you won’t have to deal with debt collection agencies.
How Will You Reduce Medical Expenses?
Medical debt can be a financial burden, affect your mental health, and result in lawsuits. To reduce your medical expenses, choose in-network providers, ask about the cost before going to the doctor, and choose generic prescriptions.
Are you looking for more tips on receiving medical care? If so, check out our blog to learn more.