If medical bills are starting to drive you into an unhealthy debt, don’t despair. You shouldn’t have to financially ruin yourself in order to care for your health. There are many sly ways of cutting expenses on your medical bills that could be worth taking advantage of. Here are just a few to take a look at:
If your boss offers an FSA – use it! More and more companies are supplying Flexible Savings Accounts as an option to their staff. Every contribution you make to these accounts is tax free and can be used to cover all manner of out-of-pocket medical costs including prescriptions, medicines, and dental care. You’re allowed to save up and spend a certain allowance each year – which should be fully taken advantage of. Even if you don’t have a medical problem throughout the year, FSA spendings can be used to buy over-the-counter drugs, baby products, bandages, crutches and in some cases eye wear such as glasses or contact lenses.
Ditch big brand medicine: Only buying medicine from big brands is a rip off. These brands may have enough popularity and money to advertise on TV, but they’ll have had to pass exactly the same quality tests as lesser known drugs from small brands. These small brands are likely to be much cheaper. If you’re on a prescription, shop around for other similar medicines that you could be saving money on. Ask your doctor and switch to generic brands to save a very pretty penny.
Tailor your insurance plan to you: Taking the time to really shop around for health insurance plans can save you a lot of money. Use comparison sites and check companies that are off of these comparison sites, too. Companies such as Health Insurance Innovations are known for being able to offer customized plans to suit your needs. You may also find a good family bundle somewhere that could also save costs. And remember that you can lower your premiums by raising your deductible.
Join a farm bureau: Every state has its own farm bureau – an organization primarily set up for farmers, although practically anyone can join (farmer or not!). Joining will cost a small monthly or annual fee, however, you usually will get all kinds of perks, a common one being huge medical discounts. Always check the incentives offered by your local bureau first before signing up, as perks do vary from state to state.
Get help from an advocate: Advocacy programs are largely in place to help those in need who may not be able to make a medical decision for themselves. However, advocates can also help out those that are financially struggling with healthcare. An advocate may be able to shop around for you, come up with alternative treatment plans, and negotiate better rates from hospitals and insurers. This isn’t a service that everyone can take advantage of – your financial situation may have to be assessed first to determine whether you really cannot pay off these medical bills.
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