Healthcare spending is something that most American’s worry about no matter their age, but it’s an especially stressful topic for seniors or soon to be seniors. The last thing you want to do is dip into your retirement fund and spend all of your savings on basic medical expenses, but what else can you do? Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to get the healthcare you need on a budget you can afford.
Review Insurance Options
Don’t accept the first insurance plan you find. Instead, look around at a variety of both public and private health insurance plans. The two biggest things to pay attention to are the deductible for the plan and the max out-of-pocket price for the plan. These are the amounts that you’ll actually be paying when medical bills hit, while your insurance should cover the rest.
Not all insurance plans are made equal when it comes to copayments either. A copayment is the amount you’ll be required to pay when you’re seen by a doctor. The copayment will likely be different for primary care providers, specialists, urgent care centers, and emergency rooms. Look for a plan that fits in your monthly budget without having incredibly high copayments and deductibles.
Choose Alternative Treatment Methods
One of the quickest ways to rack up high medical bills is by taking trips to the emergency room for injury or illness. Instead of going to the emergency room for treatment, try your local urgent care center! Urgent care centers are designed to handle non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses in patients of all ages. You can also use your local urgent care for some preventative care needs like your flu shot or a yearly physical. Not only is the cost of treatment lower at an urgent care, but the copayment is typically lower too!
Stay Savvy and Find Discounts
Stay savvy with your healthcare spending by looking for discounts and coupons on your prescriptions. You can even price what it would look like to buy your medications in bulk! If buying in bulk isn’t an option, ask your healthcare provider to write a script for the generic version of your medications. Generic medications work just the same as name brand at a fraction of the price.
Read your healthcare plan in full to ensure you understand your benefits and use them to their best potential. Call your urgent care center to ensure they accept your insurance company before taking your trip!