How to Save Money on Health CareHeather Sokol
It’s been a crazy month around here — starting with a few minor colds and ending with a sprained ankle and scarlet fever. (Yeah, that’s apparently still a thing!) We’ve been to the doctor, the walk-in clinic, and urgent care already this month.
It could have been a very expensive October, but thanks to a little advanced planning and a few tricks, it’s not really so bad. As we head into the winter hibernation months, medical expenses can pile up. The girls will get sick, for sure, but we’re ready for it.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to save on health care:
Stock the medicine cabinet. 1 of 6Keeping a few over-the-counter meds on hand really helped us through the month. I didn't have to rush out and pay full price for cough drops, sinus relief or headache medicine. Everything was already purchased on sale before we needed it.
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Try a walk-in clinic. 2 of 6A doctor's visit is $90 with my girls' pediatrician. The walk-in clinic charges $59 for the nurse practitioner who is able to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses.
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Skip the ER. 3 of 6In cases of serious injury, the ER is often the first thought, but our doctor's office can run x-rays and handle most stitches. There are also free-standing urgent care centers for immediate treatment that cost far less than the ER.
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Negotiate cash payments. 4 of 6If you do not have insurance, ask about a discount for cash payments. Many offices are willing to work with you since they get to avoid the administrative costs involved with insurance filing.
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Take advantage of pharmacy deals. 5 of 6When you need a prescription filled, check the discount generics list at your local pharmacy. I have one grocery store pharmacy that offers free antibiotics and several more with $4 lists. I also keep a close eye on special coupons that offer a gift card with a new or transferred prescription.
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Ask for samples. 6 of 6If the cost of your medication is too high or it is not covered by your insurance, don't be afraid to ask your doctor about samples. They may have enough on hand to get you through.
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