3 Ways to Save Money on Health Care Costs

Rising health care costs have taken a toll on the average family budget. Increased deductibles and co-pays have led to higher out of pocket costs. Employers are transferring rising premiums to workers, and those obtaining insurance through the Marketplace finding less choice, and little or no access to low cost, plans. You can reduce health care costs by taking the following steps:

Take matters into your own hands. Eating healthy and exercising could reduce the need for medical care. Healthy individuals typically experience fewer doctor visits, which might allow you to enroll in a higher deductible plan without impacting out-of-pocket costs.

Compare your policy to your healthcare needs. Insurance and the personal cost of health care vary widely. Control some of those outlays by carefully reviewing your medical care usage over the past year. The Affordable Healthcare Act led to the coverage of annual visits, vaccinations, and some essential testing with no co-pays, which could allow you to increase deductibles and co-pays without raising costs. Qualified life events allow you to change policies outside of the traditional enrollment period.

See the right provider. Insurance companies charge different amounts based on the care you receive. In some cases, the co-pay rises and in other cases the deductible kicks in before coverage begins. For example, an office visit typically has a lower co-pay than an urgent care, and urgent care cost less out-of-pocket than an emergency room visit. Routine care through facilities such as CVS’ Minute Clinics can also reduce healthcare costs. Some policies now encourage consumers to use alternative forms of care through online, phone or video consultations, to lower costs even further.

The US healthcare system is among the most expensive in the world, yet, you can take proactive steps to lower costs without compromising the quality of your care.