Episode 170: Learn the top tips for budgeting and saving on healthcare using some traditional and modern solutions to become a smart healthcare consumer. We’re taking a look behind the scenes in healthcare costs with Scott Heiser, author of Healthcare is Making Me Sick.
Saving on healthcare isn’t about taking income away from our hardworking healthcare providers. Rather, it’s about making smart financial choices to find the right providers and plans to suit your needs and budget. Here are the top three tips for saving money on healthcare.
Develop a Health Profile and Objectives
Who are you as a health person? Consider what your lifestyle is, the risks, family history, and recent health expense history. You’ll also need to take an objective look at the costs and strategize where you can improve, which doctor to choose, which plan to invest in, etc.
In other words, you need to know yourself before you can choose the right healthcare options that will suit both your budget and needs.
Be a Proactive Consumer
Don’t be a passive healthcare consumer. When it comes to choosing plans and providers, you need to be willing to put in the legwork to make the right choice to fit your lifestyle.
Set aside time to learn about what’s being offered and do the research to find the right providers. In other words, shop around the way you would for a vehicle or a house. Remember: your health is the most important investment you will ever make.
Do the Math
Do the math to see what suits your budget. Having the numbers to compare will set you up to negotiate with providers. You will want to set aside time to do this every year, especially if you have a health condition. Don’t be intimidated by high deductible plans. Take your spending habits and crunch what you would spend based on last year’s numbers.
Non-Traditional Healthcare Options
The world of healthcare is evolving, and the COVID-19 situation will make many up-and-coming healthcare trends commonplace in the years to come.
Telemedicine is a prime example of this evolution. Look at operations like Haven Healthcare as a prime example of how telemedicine can help families save on their healthcare costs.
A part of this change stems from regulatory changes that allow primary physicians to put claims through Medicare for providing services remotely. This has been vital during the Coronavirus pandemic, as many healthcare providers can assist with social distancing protocols by offering telemedicine.
Telemedicine is lower cost, more efficient, streamlines the system, and will ultimately save the end-user money.
Concierge service is another alternative to traditional healthcare solutions that allows you to have direct, one-on-one contact with your physician. While this tends to have higher up-front costs, it gets you ahead of the line and streamlines your healing journey to save costs over the long term.
Traveling for healthcare doesn’t mean taking off to South America for knee surgery. Instead, look at the healthcare costs across your state or country and see how you can save.
Negotiating Your Costs
In many cases, when you go to the doctor you don’t know the costs until weeks later when you receive a bill. If you were buying a phone or a car, you’d never walk out the door without thinking of the costs associated with your purchase.
When you have your health plan prepped during the provider search process, you can ask questions about how to save. The words “I am paying for this, can you help me?” can be very powerful. Scott goes into this more in his book, Healthcare is Making me Sick.
Disclaimer: Kevin and Sean are not professional financial advisors. Do not take any advice they give without first speaking with a professional and performing your own due diligence.This post may include affiliate links.