Healthcare is expensive, especially when you factor the costs of the services that you will have during the course of the year. We all know that health insurance does not cover 100 percent of our medical bills. We are responsible for meeting our deductible and paying for co-pays. Therefore, you will want to have a good understanding of your out-of-pocket healthcare costs before purchasing insurance. Additionally, there are a few ways that you can reduce your out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
Do Your Research
First and foremost, you want to make sure you know everything about the plan that you have or are considering buying. Take a look at the co-insurance rates, deductibles, and max out-of-pocket costs. If you have a plan that provides out of network benefits you will want to make sure that you know all of these numbers for your out of network providers as well. Co-insurance is the percentage that you and your insurance company are responsible for. For example, if you co-insurance is 60/40 your insurance company will pick up 60 percent of the tab and you will be left to pay 40 percent. The higher the plan, the more your insurance company will pay. So, if you plan on having major surgery or have a serious health issue then you may want to consider paying more every month in premiums for a higher level plan. This will save you money in the long run.
People are often reluctant to talk to their doctor about the price of services. If you are worried about the costs, say something. There may be a more cost effective option for your treatment but if you don’t ask you will never know. It is also possible to negotiate the cost of medical treatment. Just because you need surgery, for instance, doesn’t mean that there is only one set price. Additionally, it pays to shop around. If you know the type of medical procedure you need, you can call multiple doctors and ask about pricing.
Fight Back Against the Insurance Companies
If your insurance company denies your claim or sends you a bill that you don’t think is accurate, speak up. Don’t just pay the bill and move on. If you feel that the bill is incorrect or that your claim should be paid call and speak to your insurance company. Be polite but persistent. Whenever you call your insurance company about a dispute make sure to document the phone call including the name of the individual with whom you spoke. Here is an article about appealing insurance decisions.