7 Secret Off-Grid Ways To Save On Health Care by: Tricia Drevets for Off The Grid News
Did you know that the United States, per capita, spends more than twice the average of other developed countries on health care?
Research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reveals that this higher spending likely is driven by a greater use of technology and higher health care prices, rather than more frequent hospital admissions or doctor visits.
This higher spending has had a big impact on the average American wallet. Today, many Americans are paying a larger percentage of their medical costs than ever before. Although the Affordable Care Act may have given more people access to health insurance, those insurance plans often come with high deductibles.
In order to save money on health care, American consumers should look at health care just as they look at other services they purchase. They need to shop around and follow the shopper’s maxim of “let the buyer beware.”
Here are several ways to save on health care costs they you may not have considered.
1. Do some research. You wouldn’t buy a car without doing some research, would you? You can apply that same comparison shopping mindset to buying a surgical operation or other planned medical procedure.
Ask questions such as whether a test or procedure is really necessary. Get prices – including all costs associated with a test or procedure – in advance and in writing. Ask for a signature and title along with the quoted price.
2. Pay cash – and ask about discounts. Many hospitals and clinics offer steep discounts for quick payment. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reported that Torrance Memorial Medical Center billed a patient’s insurer, Blue Shield of California, $408 for routine blood tests. The patient was responsible for $269.42.
Yet when the patients called the hospital to question the tests, which cost $80 each, she was told that if she had paid in cash, the tests would have cost only about $15 each. In other words, she was better off to avoid insurance and just take care of the bill herself.
Get in the habit of asking if there is a cash discount or some other discount for which you might be eligible.