Become a Better Healthcare Consumer

Keeping track of your healthcare costs can take effort, but the payoff can be worth it. Following these tips could mean more money in your pocket, and may even help you get healthier.

Know what your health plan covers. Is chiropractic care covered? How about rehab? Knowing this information ahead of time can help you avoid surprise medical bills.

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Understand your out-of-pocket costs. This includes copays for doctor visits and hospitalizations, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Choose in-network providers. Make sure that any doctors, hospitals, labs and other providers you use are in your health plan’s network before you make an appointment.

Have a high-deductible health plan? Sign up for a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs let you contribute pre-tax earnings to a federally insured savings account. The funds can be used for current qualified medical expenses or saved for the future.

Get regular preventive care. Annual physicals, mammograms and other screenings can find issues early, which could mean fewer doctor visits and lower healthcare costs in the future.

Save the ER for true medical emergencies. Urgent care centers can treat issues like sprains, cuts, fevers and other non-life-threatening conditions at a fraction of the cost.

Ask your doctor about generic drugs. You could save up to 80% on your medications.

Enroll in your health plan’s mail-order pharmacy service. Ordering a 90-day supply of maintenance medications can be a real money-saver.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle choices like eating healthier, exercising and quitting tobacco can help you avoid costly medical conditions down the road.

This article is used with permission from our partner Health AdvocateSM.