Health care is the most expensive part of a family’s budget. Although housing can be expensive, health care has the potential to bankrupt a family. Therefore, there can be no doubt that you must have health coverage for your family. However, the cost can be so high that it is not possible to keep this coverage. Any ideas that can help reduce the cost of health care are important to you, especially if you do not have coverage through your employer, or you are self-employed. You need all of the advice you can get. The following are four ways you may be able to lower your health care costs.
Buy a high deductible plan
This may be a good option for those with older children because younger children get sick and should see a doctor, especially infants. Young children often cannot explain what is wrong with them, and obviously, babies can do nothing but cry. With older children, you have options other than a doctor for minor problems, so you can avoid a doctor’s visit, except for an annual physical or serious problems. High deductible plans have lower monthly premiums. You will have to pay the annual deductible before the policy will kick in, but in cases of costly surgeries or extended hospital stays, your personal assets will be protected.
Use clinics when possible
There are private sector clinics that are spreading across the country and offer low cost treatment for basic ailments such as the flu. Often these clinics are staffed with nurses who have advanced degrees and training, as well as physician’s assistants. These medical professionals can diagnose such simple things as infections or simply the flu. In addition to this, they are able to write prescriptions for common drugs that are routinely used to treat these ailments. Examples include anti-bacterial creams and antibiotics.
Avoid the emergency room
Going to a hospital emergency room can be expensive. You should only visit one if you are truly in need of emergency care, at least the type offered by a hospital. This type of care is associated with emergency transportation by a paramedic unit or ambulance. There are walk-in emergency rooms, but they are often crowded, and the service is terrible with long wait times. On top of that, they will still charge you a lot for this poor service. You need to make sure you have an urgent care facility covered under your health care plan. This type of facility is a step above a clinic. There is usually at least one doctor on duty, and they can do such things as stitch an open wound.
Get a plan with a provider network
One way an insurance company will be able to provide affordable health care is with a prequalified provider network. The doctors and medical facilities are already a part of a network that has been approved by the health care insurance plan. The doctors and hospitals already know what they will and will not be reimbursed for, so they will not attempt to charge more than this. This is important to your finances because if you are responsible for a deductible or a percentage of the bill, it will be kept to a minimum by the approved provider network. One example of this is Health Insurance Innovations. Like others in the medical insurance field, Health Insurance Innovations has an approved provider list.
The more you know about health care, the better your chances are of keeping your medical costs down. The ideas above should be a helpful start.