Stretching Your Health Care Dollar
We’ve all heard the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” With the rising costs of health care, the old adage has never been more accurate. So, how can you possibly stretch your health care dollar and save time on your next trip to the doctor?
Below is a list of tips that may come in handy for your visit.
- Make a list of your questions, symptoms or concerns before a visit to ensure you are addressing all of your issues.
- Keep records of all appointments and outpatient visits which include the provider’s name, procedures or tests performed, and supplies or medications received or purchased.
- Keep track of any Explanation of Benefits (EOB) you receive and compare them to the invoices you receive.
- Review your provider payment status and record the dates that payments are made.
- If possible, find out in advance how much of the cost you will need to pay.
- Ask if the procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting rather than inpatient.
- Know the difference between situations that call for urgent and emergency care in order to avoid unnecessary and expensive trips to the emergency room. If an illness or injury is too serious to wait for a scheduled doctor appointment, but not a serious emergency, urgent care is the best choice.
- Ask your doctor if an over-the-counter medication would be appropriate for your condition, rather than a prescription medication.
- Ask your doctor if there is a generic version or less expensive brand-name drug that is just as effective as a drug he or she prescribes.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if tablet-splitting is an option, and if it could result in savings for the medication that has been prescribed.
After Your Visit
- Submit claims on time, know the deadline for submitting claims and keep copies of your claims.
- Make copies of all bills, receipts and copayments.
- Keep records of your interactions with member services department representatives or provider billing representatives.
- Get itemized bills for hospital stays, and check to ensure that they reflect the care you’ve received.