5 Ways to Lower Health Care Costs

In 2009, President Obama passed a health care reform bill, promising accessible coverage to the almost 46 million uninsured people by the year 2014. Despite the passage of this bill, health care coverage costs continue to increase. Higher deductibles, co-pays, and premiums all rise, but there are ways you can better control the costs of your medical coverage. 

1. Prevent Health Problems

It is easier than it sounds! Many medical conditions can not be controlled, however, plenty of others can be prevented or minimized. You can do your part with simple steps such as eating healthy, maintaining regular check-ups with your doctor, visiting the dentist yearly, and minimizing time in the sun. It is much cheaper than to visit the doctor once or twice per year for a check-up than to visit them regularly for a serious illness.

2. Don’t Smoke

You are probably already aware of how bad smoking is for you, and not just your health. Smokers will dig deeper into their wallets for health coverage as well. Health insurance rates nearly double for smokers, and the chance of developing serious illness also doubles. Smokers are also more prone to sickness, such as colds and the flu.If you smoke, get help today to stop smoking to prevent future health problems.

3. Buy Generic

Most medications have a generic equivalent to the brand name, and more often  than not, the generic version works just as well as the brand name. Check with your doctor to see if a generic is available, and if it is safe for you.If so, ask for a prescription for the generic drug instead. Brand name drugs can cost 5 times more than the generic.  

4. Review Your Health Plan

Before choosing any health care plan, read the plan carefully. Understanding what your plan will cover and will not cover can save both money and time. If the plan is not suitable for the things you need, consider a different type of plan. You will be wasting money paying for health coverage that you can not use. It is also a good idea to make sure you are getting what you have agreed to receive for the price agreed upon.

5. Participate in Pharmacy Plans

Stores such as Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s offer prescription discount programs that can drastically reduce the price you will pay for prescription medications. Many of these programs provide 30-day supplies of medications for $15 or less.