Americans spend twice as much on health care as other developed countries, with health care spending accounting for 18 percent of the U.S. economy. While countries like Canada and Japan spend an average of $5,400 per capita on health care, Americans spend $9,400.
Health care is expensive, and health insurance isn’t cheap either. But there are still ways to save money. Disease Called Debt shares three of them:
Shop for Medication
When looking for medicine, you should shop around for cheaper prices instead of buying at the first pharmacy you find. At Costco pharmacy, you will find cheaper drugs and it is open even for non-members. Target and Wal-Mart also offer cheaper generic drugs, which might be less than the insurance co-pay.
Ask Whether Tests are Necessary
Even if a drug is new, that does not mean it is better than the older ones that are cheaper. You should ask your doctor whether a test, procedure, or prescription is necessary. If you let your doctor know that you are paying out-of-pocket, she might suggest that you wait and see whether the disease will resolve on its own.
Moreover, if you are undergoing physical therapy, you should pay for one session and learn how to do the exercises for yourself at home.
Ask for Prices Upfront
You should call your doctor or hospital if you want to know the price of a certain procedure upfront. Moreover, some hospitals will give you a discount if you choose to pay in cash. All you have to do is ask whether the discounts are available before paying with a credit card.
Also remember: You should not visit the emergency room unless it’s a life-threatening condition. Urgent care centers and clinics can be a lot cheaper, while still providing high-quality service.