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Insurance and healthcare costs just seem to keep going up. Since healthcare is important for optimum health, we need to find innovative ways to achieve healthcare savings without sacrificing our health and wellness.
This is simple in theory, but sometimes the most difficult to achieve. Maintaining an ideal weight, not smoking, eating well, exercising and reducing stress can all keep you in better shape, so you'll need fewer visits to the doctor or hospital. What a great route to healthcare savings!
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Many insurance programs offer this option. You place a certain amount of money in your FSA at the beginning of the year, or have it deducted from your salary throughout the year, and use the money to pay healthcare costs. You achieve healthcare savings because you get to spend this money before it is taxed.
Generic is the way to go.
Generic drugs can be significantly cheaper than their brand name counterparts, while providing the same benefits.
Stay in your network.
While insurance policies are notoriously complicated, learning the intricacies of yours can save you big bucks. Knowing what is covered and which doctors are in your network is vital to keeping your costs low and maximizing use of your plan.
Participate in company screening programs.
If you work for a company that offers free yearly health screenings for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and others, participate. These screenings can indicate whether you need a visit to your doctor and they're free!
Don't forget about the Healthcare Savings Account (HSA), which is slightly different from the FSA. One of the major differences is you can carry "unused money" over.
There are also many other ways to save, but the bottom line is don't forget to ask questions of your healthcare providers if you are unsure of ANYTHING and shop around. You may be surprised as to where you might find some of those discounts!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|