There’s no denying the fact that healthcare costs, especially in America, are exorbitant. I cannot imagine what the uninsured must go through in times of serious emergency and need. Even for those of us who do have health insurance, it can be difficult to make co-payments on items like prescription drugs, doctor’s appointments, and more. Still, there are steps you can take to make sure that you are maximizing the health insurance you do have. Here are a few steps.
1. Be aware of free preventative services that your health insurance coverage may now provide.
As of August 1, 2012, health insurance providers are required by federal law to offer certain preventative services absolutely free, meaning no co-pays. These include most oral contraceptives, screening for sexually-transmitted diseases, mammograms, breast-feeding equipment and support, colonoscopies, and more. If you’ve been putting off preventative health, check to see what’s available to you for free.
2. Always ask your doctor for the generic version of the prescription you’re being prescribed.
Many doctors won’t automatically give you the cheapest form of the drug they are about to prescribe you. However, if you ask for the generic version, your doctor will comply. Generics have the potential to be much cheaper than their brand name counterparts. Of course, some people don’t respond as well to generics, so be sure to try them out and see how you feel.
3. Check with your doctor if all services being recommended are absolutely necessary.
Often, during specific or general check-ups, doctors will provide needed services and then suggest recommended services. While it may be a good idea to do what the doctor recommends, often, it’s not absolutely necessary. Just be sure to ask your doctor first if it’s okay that you skip out on what’s not needed, and usually, your doctor will give you a straight answer.
4. Be sure that you stick with in-network providers.
The most frustrating part of switching health insurance providers is that what was once covered as an in-network provider is no longer covered under a different health insurance company. As disheartening as it can be to have to align your doctors with what’s in your health insurance provider’s network, it can stand to save you considerable amounts of money.
Healthcare is certainly no cake walk, and the rising costs can ruin you financially, especially in the event of a medical emergency. The most important thing to remember is to try your best to stay insured, and to take a preventative approach to health so you can avoid more serious diseases and illness later in life. Good luck!
Susan is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and writes about automobile, property and health insurance, helping consumers find the best insurance quotes and protection available. Susan welcomes comments.