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11 Ways To Save Money On Medical Bills

11 Ways To Save Money On Medical Bills

CNBC reports that nearly 2 million Americans file bankruptcy annually as a result of unpaid medical bills. It’s not just the uninsured that are suffering. Nearly 10 million Americans with health insurance are still struggling to pay off their medical bills due to high-deductible insurance plans. Here are a few tips to help you save money on your medical bills.

1. Choose an in-network provider

If you have a PPO insurance plan, pick a doctor within your network for the biggest savings. Your cost will be significantly higher if you visit a doctor outside of your network. Most insurance plans will let you browse their list of in-network physicians online. Make a list of doctors you would like to visit ahead of time.

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2. Write down your symptoms & questions

Jot down your symptoms and questions ahead of time on a piece of paper or on your smartphone. This will ensure that all your concerns will be addressed during the visit and help you get the most out of your time. It can also prevent future visits.

3. Join a medical trial

If you have a chronic illness, find out if there are any local clinical trials that you can partake in. Joining a trial may give you access to the latest medications and significantly lower your prescription and medical bills.

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4. Comparison shop

Many health insurance plans pay a percentage of your medical fees but that doesn’t mean that all doctor’s offices will charge the same fee for a particular procedure. It’s perfectly fine to shop around and call various offices in order to find out how much they charge.

5. Partake in free screenings

Most insurance plans include annual free exams and numerous preventative screenings. Participating in these tests can help catch serious problems before they progress and save you money in the long run. Some pharmacies, such as Walgreens, also offer free health screenings including a cholesterol and diabetes assessment.

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6. Call in for recurring issues

If you have a minor recurring issue like allergies or a pink eye, call the doctor’s office for a phone consultation instead of stopping by. You can also reorder a prescription without having to visit the office.

7. Perform tests for yourself

If you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or are diabetic, invest in a high blood pressure monitor or glucometer. This will enable you to monitor some of your own symptoms and take a proactive stance towards your own health care.

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8. Opt for generic medications

Most generic medications are just as effective as their more expensive brand-name counterparts. Ask for the generic version if it’s available. Providence reports that patients are more likely to use generic drugs on a regular basis while brand name medications are more likely to be left untouched.

9. Research online

WebMD allows you to narrow down your symptoms and learn more about your current illnesses (if any). Gaining knowledge about your health condition will give you more insight when dealing with your doctor. DoctorSpring lets you ask a doctor questions online about your symptoms and even upload photos of your condition. This can be helpful if you have a medical question that’s not an emergency.

10. Ask for a discount

If you need a procedure performed that’s not covered by health insurance, ask your doctor for a discount. You’ll have a better chance of success if you ask your doctor instead of the office manager, who is more likely to decline. Forget about asking for a discount on your co-pay; you’re obligated to pay the full amount legally.

11. Ask for free samples

If your doctor prescribes a pricey brand name medication that you’ve never used before, ask for a free sample. Doctor’s often receive free samples from various prescription brands. You may end up with a supply that will last you a few weeks if not a month.

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Jacqueline Cao

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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