This article was last updated on September 20
There has been a lot of debate over health care reform the past year and how to control rising health care costs. While many experts are unsure whether the passed health care legislation will actually control costs, Americans can still work to control their own medical costs by shopping around for the most cost effective health coverage
Pick the Right Health Insurance Plan
Consumers need to purchase the right kind of health insurance plan to fit their needs. Individuals, who enjoy flexibility, should consider purchasing a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. These plans give consumers flexibility and require smaller out of pocket costs for out-of-network providers. PPO plans also allow consumers to opt for a high-deductible plan that will have a low monthly premium. Consumers with this kind of plan allow can save money on their monthly premium and are eligible for a Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan will only allow individuals to visit one physician and will require referrals for out-of-network visits. and specialists. This plan does not pay for any out-of-network costs or providers but tends to be cheaper than a PPO plan. It may be good if you have and are planning to live in the same area for a while; and have doctors and specialists in your HMO plan, but if you want flexibility and more choice a PPO plan could be the better option.
Compare Health Insurance Plans
One great way for people to save money on health insurance is to compare health insurance quotes . This allows consumers to view different plans that are available in their area and compare benefits with cost. There are various health care price portal sites that allow you to get quotes from multiple providers in one search.
It is not in the best interest for consumers to choose the cheapest plan. A plan may be inexpensive but not provide the benefits that a consumer is looking for. Sometimes a cheap plan can end up costing a consumer more then a well rounded plan. So before buying a plan, make sure you read the terms and conditions to ensure that they line up with your health care needs now and into the future.
Compare Costs of Prescriptions and Health Care Services
One great way for people to save money on health care costs is to compare prescription drug costs and the costs for health care services. Individuals can call different hospitals and health care providers in their network to see who can offer the best prices for the services. Sometimes hospitals that know an individual is comparing prices will negotiate their prices.
Prescription drug costs can be vary between pharmacies. Individuals can call different pharmacies to see which one offers the most competitive price for a given insurance provider. Also, rather than shop at CVS, Walgreen and other specialist drug stores, consider going to the pharmacies at Walmart and Target. Prices, for generic drugs in particular, can be significantly cheaper at these mega-merchant pharmacies.
Check all Medical Bills
One great way to saving money on health care costs is to check all medical bills. Both health insurance companies and health care providers make mistakes when they bill patients. Mistakes can be easily resolved when consumers call their health insurance companies to settle their payments.
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
One of the best ways to save money on health care costs is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Up to this point, the focus of medical experts has been to cure and treat disease but not preventing them. The public sentiment of prevention is changing though. Provisions in health care reform work to bring more prevention to Americans by making preventive services free in the next couple years.
Many Americans may be divided over health care reform but everyone can start saving money now.