5 Little Words Save Money on Healthcare

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5 Little Words Save Money on Healthcare

‘Tis the season of making health insurance choices, and the nexus of money and healthcare is on our minds. We’re focused on making sure we find a policy that covers us, but doesn’t over-cover us so we pay too much. It’s about those things that can be planned (the drugs we take, the regular medical appointments we keep). Plus an extra accounting for those things we may not plan for, but may have to deal with, like accidents, or grave diagnoses. But today’s post is quite different for helping to keep our overall costs lower. It’s about how we maximize our healthcare dollars in general. Bottom line: No one wants to spend one penny more on healthcare than is necessary, right? So today’s advice is simple. Five little words: Stay out of the hospital. Now – I don’t mean that in the snarky “don’t get sick and it won’t be too expensive” way. I mean – there are services people turn to a hospital to provide that just costs them (and the system, too) way too much money! I’m talking about services that have always been provided by hospitals, but no longer require a hospital to provide them. Examples: People with no primary care doctor too often show up in hospital emergency rooms when they become fearful of symptoms and don’t know where else to turn. But they might just have a bad cold or upper-respiratory problem, or it might be an allergy, or a bug bite, or possibly their blood sugar gets too low and they faint… and later they get sky-high bills. Or…. Labwork is ordered by a doctor – blood work, urinalysis, others…. Not knowing where else to go, and since the doctor’s office is right across the street, some patients will head over to the hospital for their lab work, only to find out later that the lab work at the hospital cost an arm and a leg. Or…. Imaging is required – maybe an annual mammogram, or a bone scan, or a lung or heart scan… Hospital imaging centers would love for you to use their facilities!  But you’ll pay a premium for something that would have cost far less in another center. Stay out of the hospital. In all those cases, there are alternatives, most of which will accept your insurance: A free-standing clinic or urgent care center will cost less. Freestanding labs cost…



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