Quick Tips to Save Money on Healthcare in 2017

January 4, 2017

 

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Happy New Year everyone!

 

January first marks the day when everything resets….including your health insurance deductible! :(

 

Healthcare costs are climbing for everyone. And being an informed healthcare shopper is one of life’s most infuriating experiences. Just try asking your cardiologist how much that test is going to cost. They’ll look at you like you have three heads.

 

But we have some tricks that can really help you save money on day to day medical expenses. Read on!

 

1. Weigh the pros and cons of dental insurance

  • Dental insurance is sometimes a ripoff. You might be better off paying out of pocket, searching for coupons and new patient promotions, and using an HSA for emergencies

  • For example, we searched on EHealthInsurance and found that the cheapest dental plan from Nationwide was $20/mo + a $6 application fee (it might be cheaper if you get it through your employer). That’s $246 a year.

 

And what do you get with this insurance plan?

Teeth cleanings

Bitewing XRays

 

There is no coverage on this plan for:

Restorative dentistry

Oral Surgery

Extractions

Crowns

Root canals

Periodontics

Bridges

 

  • What could you have done instead?

    • Get a Groupon or new patient special for a $49 cleaning + X rays

    • Use funds in an HSA if you need a filling or other emergency dental work – you can even sometimes find Groupons for emergency dental work such as root canals

    • Go to a dental school and pay cash (using your HSA or FSA) for discounted medical care performed by supervised students

    • Pay cash at your dentist for cleanings and procedures but use a cashback credit card

    • Shop around for a better price for the procedure 

 

2. Use your FSA or HSA for healthcare expenses

 

3. Ask your Pharmacist to compare use of a “discount card” with your insurance

  • The discount offered by the discount card might be even bigger than the discount offered by your insurance!

  • For example, you can download the EasyDrug card here: http://www.easydrugcard.com/  It seems too good to be true but it really does get you a discount on most drugs!

  • You do not need insurance to use a discount card.

  • If you have insurance, you can't combine it with the discount card.

 

4. Ask your Pharmacist if there are any generic alternatives to your drug

  • Generic drugs are usually 80-85% cheaper than brand name drugs and they have the same active ingredients.

  • Your pharmacist may automatically place you onto the generic drug. They also might not. It’s worth asking if the drug you are on is the generic version.

 

5. Ask your doctor if there are any similar drugs that are cheaper

  • Say that you are on the medication Adderall.

  • Adderall is very similar to Ritalin but what you may not know is that Adderall is much more expensive than Ritalin.

  • Speak with your doctor about whether you can switch your medication from Adderall to Ritalin to reduce out of pocket costs.

 

6. Shop around for prescriptions

  • You might be surprised at the different prices between pharmacies!

 

7. Go to Walmart and Target for prescriptions - they have $4 generics!

 

 

8. Consider an online pharmacy – they can sometimes get you a deal on drugs!

  • Never buy drugs from a website without a prescription

  • For safety and security of your health and financial information, look for pharmacies with a blue and red Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site (VIPPS) seal from the NABP

 

9. Check Out BLINK HEALTH For your Prescriptions

 

Blink is an awesome new website where you can search for your medication, pay online, and pick up at a local pharmacy including Walgreens, CVS, and others

  • Blink doesn't use insurance - they just have great rates on drugs! The rate might be better than what you get with your insurance

  • New users automatically get $5 off

 

 

10. Use a cashback credit card on major procedures

  • A large procedure is a great way to hit a sign up bonus on a credit card! If you’re getting a $10,000 surgery and paying $5,000 out of pocket, consider using a credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for that purchase. You’ll get a huge sign up bonus which can be worth over $1000! Pretty sweet deal to make $1000 back off of your surgery.

 

11. Negotiate for a discount if you pay up front

  • This works best for big procedures. For example, some orthodontists may be willing to give you 10% off of your braces if you pay up front. Similarly, surgeons may offer you a discount. Always ask – all they can say is no!

 

 

 

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