5 Ways to Cut Medical Costs


Use in-network doctors
and hospitals.

Health insurance companies negotiate discounted prices with
doctors and hospitals in their network. When you go out-of-network,
your insurer covers less of the cost.


Save on meds.

Ask your doctor to skip the brand names and write prescriptions for
generic drugs whenever possible. If you take a medication on a regular
basis, getting a three-month supply and filling your RX by mail order
could cut costs. You might also save by filling your prescriptions at a
supermarket pharmacy rather than a local one. Finally, know which
drugs require prior authorization.



Consider using an urgent

care center before

heading to the

emergency room.

Sprains, burns, flu or strep throat can be handled at these centers at a
fraction of the cost. Find out which urgent care center are in your
insurer’s network before you need one.



Review your medical bills

and insurance statements.

Medical experts estimate that 40% to 80% of bills contain mistakes. In
fact, one of the most common errors is when your insurer flags your
in-network doctor as being out-of-network. Deciphering statements
can be difficult, given the codes and language used to describe
procedures. If a claim is denied or the amount reimbursed is
unexpectedly low, review bills with your insurance company and your
doctor’s office.



Shop around for medical procedures.

The cost of low back pain surgery or cataract surgery can vary from
one doctor to the next. Healthcarebluebook.com lets you compare prices for
procedures and surgeries by zip code. Of course, cost alone shouldn’t guide
your decision. You’ll want to check out the physician’s credentials – and
be sure he or she participates in your insurer’s network.



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