1. Get in touch
If you don’t already have one, get a primary care physician. Focusing on preventive care and keeping yourself healthy will reduce health care costs for all.
Confirm your coverage and find out how much of the cost you’ll be responsible for before having a major procedure.
2. Ask questions
Ask your doctor how much a recommended treatment or prescription drug will cost, and if it’s the most cost-effective solution. Sometimes an X-ray will do the trick instead of a MRI, and generic drugs are just as effective as name brands.
Ask for a second opinion when you feel it’s necessary. If you’re unsure that a recommended procedure is needed, go to another doctor and ask for his or her opinion. It could save you money and time in the long run.
3. Do some shopping
Have you ever considered shopping for the best quality and best price for a rotator cuff or knee replacement surgery? Begin to view health care in a different way – it’s the product, and you are the consumer. Did you know you could negotiate? Hospitals and other health care providers are sometimes willing to reduce health care costs based on what you can afford.
Just as you look for the best value when shopping for other goods and services like clothes and dry cleaning, it helps to have that same mindset when you’re shopping for health care.