How to Reduce Your Healthcare Spending
a savvy consumer in your healthcare purchasing decisions provides you with
information and incentives to choose healthcare providers based on value. Value
is not only about price but also includes quality. You can save money on your
healthcare expenses by finding and employing physicians and other providers who
believe in the free market. The tips listed below are a few of the many ways to
lower your out-of-pocket expenditures and possibly your future premiums.
Ask the Price First
can shop around for healthcare services just like you do with anything else you
buy. Many insurance plans do not require you to use the provider your doctor refers
you to or recommends. For example, if you need an MRI, there is no need to
utilize a high-priced hospital when the free-standing imaging center a few
miles away may cost much less. Let your physicians know that you want to shop
around for the best value, and they can write orders any imaging center can
follow. Call ahead to each imaging center and ask about the costs. If you are a
cash paying customer, let the facility know and you will often get a better
deal. This strategy works for most, if not all, non-emergency services such as
imaging, labs, outpatient surgeries, sleep studies and outpatient testing.
Use Online Tools to
Help Shop for Services
is an online tool that prices healthcare in a similar way to how Kelly Blue
Book prices automobiles. This particular tool, which gives you fair price
information for services in your zip code, can help you:
- Understand your
- Understand the
fair price for a specific healthcare service
- Work with your
doctor to use a fair price provider
Get Your Labs at a
like with imaging providers, there are many free-standing or independent
laboratories and draw sites that can save you money. Even when your physician
draws the labs in the office, have a discussion about the cost of the lab he is
utilizing. If you feel you can get a better value elsewhere, your physician can
write the lab orders for you to use at any independent laboratory. Often the
charges at these independent sites are about a 50 percent savings.
Try to Stay In Network
While Being Open to Other Options
health plan will likely provide a better benefit when you utilize an in-network
provider. However, staying in network does not always mean the best value for
your healthcare dollars. If there is a provider that can save you money but is
out of network, it still may be a better long-term value to utilize this
may even be able to submit receipts for care to your insurer for reimbursement
or deductible credit. Is your employer self-funded? If so, let them know about
cost-effective providers you find as they may be able to directly negotiate
with the provider and have the claims classified as in network. Self-funded
employers save money directly when employees utilize high-value providers.
is one of the costliest things we buy but it doesn’t need to be. Become a
better healthcare shopper by making a few phone calls and knowing your options,
which can ultimately result in significant savings..
information is provided with the understanding that the association is not
engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting or other professional services.
If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a competent,
professional person should be sought.
Provided as a public service by the member banks of
the Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma.