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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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