Among the 12 wealthiest countries in the world, the average health consumption expenditure per capita is $5,280 (as of 2017). To stay healthy and get the necessary treatment for a variety of conditions, many individuals are required to make financial sacrifices to accommodate these expenses. If you’ve found your personal health care costs starting to escalate, there are several effective ways to lower the amount you owe each year. Between making your visits to practitioners affordable, to getting the best deals on prescriptions, explore three strategies for keeping your healthcare costs as low as possible.
Get as good of a health insurance plan as you can afford
A 2017 World Health Organization report revealed that 100 million people had been pushed into extreme poverty (living off of $1.90 or less per day) due to their personal health expenses. Often times, financial hardship that occurs as a result of one’s health expenses is because the individual does not have proper health insurance coverage. If you are currently uninsured or underinsured, it is crucial to look into getting the right insurance plan for your situation. Rather than incurring one massive bill due to a health emergency, you can switch health funds into manageable monthly payments. For example, you can avoid a medical bill of $10,000 in some cases for $50/mo. Additionally, most health insurance plans include preventative care visits at no cost. If you do currently have health insurance, contact your plan provider or HR department to see if you are eligible for any discounts, or a better plan for less.
Lead a healthy lifestyle to receive big discounts
In addition to avoiding preventable health problems, leading an overall healthy lifestyle can save you hundreds (and in some cases thousands) each year in discounts. From health insurance discounts for non-smokers to special perks for those who regularly participate in healthy living activities, it literally pays to lead a healthy lifestyle. In addition to these behaviors, healthy eating, limiting alcohol consumption, and getting routine prevention screenings can all qualify you for major savings. Where should you start to see how much you can save? Reach out to all insurance providers (e.g., health, life), gyms, and your employer to see what you can receive.
Participate in a prescription savings program
The AARP reported that “the average annual retail price of drugs was over $11,000 in 2013 for a patient who has prescriptions for a chronic illness.” While updated numbers are needed from the organization, many prescription costs have increased since that time. If your health insurance plan doesn’t make your prescription medications more affordable, there are pharmacies that offer their own prescription savings program. For a relatively low, yearly fee, participants in these programs can save a significant amount off of the retail cost. In many cases, these plans make prescriptions more affordable than what is offered by insurance plans.
Despite the high costs of healthcare in dozens of countries, there are effective ways to overcome the most common expenses. Following the above strategies alone has the potential to put thousands of dollars back into your pockets each year.