Taking care of your health: It can be extremely expensive, and extremely stressful to think about. Here at DCCU, a local Madison credit union, we can’t do much to improve your physical health, but we can show you how to potentially alleviate some of your health care cost-related anxieties.
Here are some easy things you can do to salve a bit of your medical-bill wounds (and anxieties!) in the new year.
Get the health care plan that’s right for you.
We won’t get to into it here; health care plans can, unfortunately, be difficult to come by and afford. But having one can offer you peace of mind and, hopefully, some affordable care. That being said, an inexpensive policy won’t always cost you less than a more expensive one. Your plan choice should really depend on your personal health care needs–which means you need to choose wisely.
Stay within your insurer’s network.
It’s just going to be cheaper that way.
Be smart about your prescriptions.
If you’re about to start a new prescription, you can ask your doctor for free samples. You can also ask for the drug in generic form, or if there are any cheaper over-the-counter alternatives that will work just as well. If you have a long-term prescription, you may be able to order your drugs through the mail order, which is often cheaper than going through a physical pharmacy.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and review your bills.
- Compare costs for procedures at different facilities, as well as determine if all tests are necessary.
- You should ask your doctor any medical questions you have, no matter how silly they may seem – you are your best advocate when it comes to your personal health.
- Reach out to your insurance company if you believe your medical claims should be reduced.
Avoid the E.R., if possible.
If you can, swing by an urgent care center or snag a same-day doctor’s appointment, as their services cost less. That being said, if you have an emergency, you need to go to the E.R.
Have–or start saving towards–an emergency fund.
If you don’t already have one, open an emergency savings account at your favorite Madison credit union. Set up automatic deposit transfers for every time you get paid. This way, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a good start on any emergency out-of-pocket medical bills.
And, lastly, take advantage of preventative care.
If your health insurance covers free preventative care, taking advantage of it is probably the most cost-effective way of tackling potential medical expenses. You and your doctor will be able to catch many health issues as soon as possible, saving money down the road.