How not to worry about medical expenses, and minimize your hospital bills
Have you ever experienced being admitted to a hospital because of your illness and your eyes bulge when you see the expensive medical bills that you have to pay for and you don’t have enough money to pay it? There is a saying that when we are young, we work too hard and trade our time and health for money. Then when we are old, we trade our money to hopefully gain back some health.
This is so true because there are so many old folks who save hard and put the money in the bank but the interest earned is barely enough to cover the medical cost inflation.
Nowadays, many people had realized the high cost of being hospitalized. When medical fees keep escalating, more people are aware and seek for medical insurance coverage. So the first step towards cutting medical expenses is to get insured, while you are still qualified to apply for total coverage.
1.Get insured with Hospitalization & Surgical benefit
I explained about medical insurance before. Refer the video for a very simple and easy to comprehend presentation.
Utmost, personal health should be one’s top most priority. You can’t go to work if you are having a high fever, right? Because if you do, you won’t be that productive compared if you are on your normal state.
In the past, I’ve met several MLM or direct salespersons who normally sell all kind of health product. Once they know that I’m an insurance agent, they almost always pitch the idea that when you eat healthily and take good care of your body, you’ll never get sick. Therefore, there is no need to buy medical insurance.
This statement may have some truth in it although some insurance agents may get offended by the whole idea of stay healthy and throw away your “medical card”. So the second obvious tips on cutting medical bills is to live a healthy lifestyle!
2.Eat organic food, workout regularly, and take care of your personal hygiene and your home’s cleanliness to have a healthy lifestyle, therefore a healthy body.
However, if you are too late to get insured, or your health is already depleted in some way, don’t be panic. There are still more tips coming up that may save your hospital bills. Just in case you are hospitalized (touch wood) due to unforeseen circumstances, here are more tips that could get you going.
3. Have your previous test report ready and decline other unnecessary “add-on”
First things first, for you to lessen the cost of your medical bills, you have to have your updated previous test results for your health with you. If the test was taken days ago, then you could bring that when you want to be admitted on a hospital. These previous results that you have could lessen your cost since you will not take some tests because they are going to refer the results on what you have. But bear in mind that not all previous results is helpful when you want to cut costs. Some tests need to be taken anew to provide you progress or update on your current health and for them to find out if there is anything wrong with your present health.
Another thing to remember when you want to prevent necessary costs is that, when you have a hospital room, you can always decline offers of having a television set on your room or a fridge there to be put, or any additional appliance or room ornaments that add up to your costs. By doing these things, you can start saving your costs though it may seem to be small but at least you started it.
If you have already chosen a hospital room for you to be in and you have already taken the necessary tests for you, having the right doctor and being admitted on a good time is the next thing that you need to consider.
4. Consult a practitioner rather than a specialist
We cannot predict when or where we are going to get sick. We always have to take good care of ourselves for us to avoid being in the hospital for any extensive treatment and for us to avoid any expensive hospital costs. But there really is a time that you can’t stand the pain or illness that you have and you really need to go to a hospital for treatment. In finding a doctor, for you to cut costs, you can consult a general practitioner rather than a specialist. Why? It’s because general practitioners are more affordable than those specialists. Payments for specialists for consultations are half more expensive than that of general practitioners. See how much you can already save when you meet for a doctor?
But you should always go to the general practitioners that you trust. If not, sometimes you may end up paying even more when your first visit is not fruitful. You may still need to visit the specialist later.
Another thing that you can keep in mind is the time that you are admitted. There are certain times in the calendar that medical costs would raise and you would have to pay an expensive bill. But you don’t always have to keep the pain in and wait until the time that costs are cheaper. It is your health still and you should always take care of it.
5. Always request for the itemized billing statement
Be clever. Since you want to invest more on your health, you have to know everything that you pay for in the hospital. That is why you need to request the hospital to provide you detailed information on your medical bill. From the cotton ball that was used down to the drug that was administered, everything in the hospital is paid.
As a clever and knowledgeable customer, since a hospital is a service and at the same time a business, know what you really are paying for. Though mistakes unusually happen on the breakdown of your medical bills, still, you can always double check it.
6. Ask for discount – from doctors and also from hospitals
Another good tip that you can adhere to if you want to save on your medical bills, is that you can ask for discounts. Hospitals could give you discounts but not all people can truly avail of this kind of service that they provide. It would now be based on the situation that you are in, in terms of the financial aspect.
For you to be able to have this discount, the hospital may ask you to procure any proof of your salary so that they could estimate if your income is suitable for a discount or not. It is all based on the income that you have. If you have a fairly low income, the hospital could grant you the discount or another way for you to pay is by installment. Meaning, you will pay a percentage of the total amount of the hospital bill for the meantime for you to be released and you will pay the remainder of the amount on the latter, depending on the agreement that the hospital provided you to abide for.
If the hospital cannot provide you with a discount then you can always ask for the approximated amount that you need to pay for the entire duration of the treatment. This is usually done by customers who have a tight budget for and they could allot money for the medical bills since they already know how much it would cost. You can always ask for how much it would cost all-in-all even if the treatment hasn’t started yet.
Beside asking discount from the financial department or billing department of the hospitals, you can also ask for discount from the doctors who treat you. Get enough sympathy, and the doctor will write off some consultation fees, or procedure charge.
7. There are cheaper options of generic drug.
If your intention is to have a good health and keep your pockets intact, then you can consider this next tip. When choosing the medications that you need to buy, you can always find out choices from generic medications. These kinds of drugs in terms of cost may be cheaper compared to those branded drugs which go half or three quarters more expensive than that of generic drugs.
Also, you need to know that the payment that you pay for those branded drugs may include the branding cost of the company. Generic drugs may have the same quality as to patented drugs in terms of the effects of the medicine. It is usually similar in terms of the pharmaceutical components of both. Another one is in terms of its potency and effectiveness as a drug, though generic ones are cheaper in costs, some of them still give you the same effects like that of those branded ones.
If you can find generic and cheaper drugs instead of patented ones, you may save lots of money and at the same time, cure yourself of the illness that you have. Anyway, you shouldn’t be mislead that all generic drugs are as good as the “branded” drugs.
Warning: Always seek advise from medical professional and pharmacist before taking on any drug.
Here is a reminder by CKK
Update by CKK:
Recall back the Pharmaniaga scandal where the generic manufacturer was clampdown by the authority which found out their factory was in a mess and expired drugs were mixed up with new stocks!
There are many other cases of abuse and shoddy generic manufacturers dishing out sub-quality drugs out of their factories. Ask a medical doctor treating life-threatening diseases like organ rejections, systemic infections etc and they will tell you the problems with generic drugs (ineffective). If you want to die fast, go cheap and go generic.
8. Get help from your employer.
If you are working in a company, you can always have them to help you shoulder some of the bills for your hospitalization, especially if the injury or the incident that happened to you is work-related.
Companies nowadays, offer their employees and potential employees health benefits. Since the industry of commerce puts you into stress you might consider your company helping you for your bills.
Some companies provide free annual checkups and other tests like physical tests, reproductive tests, and drug tests. Also, companies now offer extended medical services for your children or your other halves. Be wise to know what your company offers you so that you could have an advantage in taking care of your medical budget and your health as well. Ask your manager or go to the HR officer to find out about the medical terms and coverage that your office could help you to.
Health is very important for us. By following the tips mentioned, you can now be wise enough and be resourceful for in order to not only save on our medical bills but at the same time, have a healthy and productive life.