Thursday, 20 Mar 2008

Six Ways to Save on Healthcare

Creative Commons License photo credit: Jaye_Elle

Healthcare costs are on the rise. However, there are steps you can take to reduce what you spend.

  • Use a flex spending account – If you know you will have medical expenses (copays, prescriptions, etc.) over the course of the year, you can choose to have pre-tax money set aside. After you incur an expense, you will be reimbursed. Also, many people don’t realize that a lot of over the counter medication is eligible for reimbursement as well.

  • Consider generics – Of course you should consult your physician but if possible, use generic medications instead of their brand name counterparts. Your copay will be cheaper this way.

  • Split the dosage – AAgain, you should consult your physician before trying this. However, sometimes it possible to save money by cutting your pills in half. If a 30 day supply of a 30mg dose is the same price as that of a 15mg dose, you can buy the higher dosage (when prescribed by your doctor) and split the pills to get twice as many doses for the same price.

  • Ask for samples. Occasionally doctor’s offices will have samples they can give you for a particular medication. While you will still need to refill your prescription, this may save you on a few days or up to a month’s cost.

  • Check the web. If you look on your drug manufacturer’s website, they may have a coupon or rebate that you can use to reduce your costs.

  • Use a mail order pharmacy.  If you need a prescription for multiple months, ask your doctor to write a three-month prescription vs a one-month prescription with two refills.  Brick and mortar pharmacies won’t fill prescriptions like that but mail order pharmacies will.  So instead of paying three co-pays (one for each month), you will just pay one (for the three month prescription).  That’s a two-thirds reduction in cost.

What do you do to save money on healthcare?

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