Cutting Healthcare Costs

Despite the fact that 46 million Americans do not have health insurance, the costs of health care in the United States rose by 6.9% in 2008. What is more frightening is relating that to the current economic crisis. Medical bills are the reason 1.5 million Americans have faced the foreclosure of their homes. In 2007, the total cost of medical bills per person was $7900.00. Over 2.4 trillion dollars are spent each year in the USA, which is 17% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That number is expected to increase to 4.3 trillion dollars by the year 2016. These rising costs of medical care are the number one reason for drops in healthcare coverage. Retirees need to budget $250,000 to purchase basic coverage. All of this information and more can be explored at: The National Coalition on Healthcare website or contact them with your questions at: [email protected]

To keep healthcare costs low, use all the free resources available to you, while at the same time, understand when it is important to see your doctor. Be educated about your personal health concerns. Websites such as WebMd can provide you with a great deal of medical information, like:

An A-Z of common health concerns

Drug & Vitamin Information

Healthy Living Tips

Healthy Eating

Parenting & Pregnancy

Mental Health Disorders and Assistance

WebMd’s website is:

A similar website geared to teens and young adults is:

Medical costs can be reduced by using and understanding over-the-counter medications when possible and with the advice of your doctor and pharmacist. A great guide on these can be found at:

Here’s a few tips to cutting medical costs:

1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: eat healthy, exercise regularly

2. When appropriate, use over-the-counter products with professional medical advice

3. Use a family doctor instead of specialists when possible

4. Talk about tests with your doctor. Determine if they’re necessary and what the cost is in advance

5. Keep prescription costs down by purchasing generic products and ensuring medications are a necessity

6. Avoid the expensive costs of using the emergency room unless it’s a life-threatening situation

7. Try alternatives to hospital stays like Hospital-At-Home programs in your local hospital – keep stays as short as possible

8. Educate yourself about your health conditions and medications. Find out where the best deals are in pharmacy dispensing fees some are much more expensive than others

9. Look for free nurse or doctor hotlines, some insurance carriers provide them

Remember, with a little effort and education, you can avoid some of the high costs of health care!