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Five Little Known Tips That Can Save Money on Medical Costs

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With the economy crunching down and trimming the incomes of some individuals, tips that can save money on medical costs are going to come in handy. After all, the increase in the prices that many consumers are paying on everything from groceries to electronics to college tuition to medical insurance to newspapers to even more is making it difficult to make ends meet financially.

A few simple tips that can save even just a few dollars could be quite beneficial to those individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. Not only has the cost of medical insurance premiums gone up, but also the cost of copays seems to have skyrocketed for some individuals. Therefore, following a few simple tips could help to save many people more than just a few dollars.

Sign up for a Free Screening for Skin Cancer

Every year, many hospitals offer free skin cancer screenings performed by physicians who offer their time and services at no cost to the individual who signs up. This practice saves each of these potential patients the cost of one copay. Since physicians who treat skin cancer are classified as specialists, the copay is typically higher than that charged for being seen by a general practitioner.

For some individuals who are lucky enough to have a low copay, this strategy might only save them ten dollars. However, for other individuals who have much higher copays, the savings could be as high as forty dollars. This savings is increased if more than one family member opts to participate in a free skin cancer screening.

Request Necessary Procedures Only

In order to cut back on medical costs, it is okay for a patient to request that only necessary procedures are scheduled. Some physicians include extra procedures that are not necessary simply because they are recommended procedures for a particular age group, weight class, or some other parameter.

In some cases, the procedure might be added on simply because it is easy to perform along with the other tests. However, this is not always the case and many medical tests are absolutely necessary and should be taken. As long as the patient is in good health and not experiencing any signs of illness, requesting only those procedures that are absolutely necessary could save the individual quite a few dollars.

Ask for Samples

Many times, physicians have access to free samples that are available for patients to use. If money is tight and you could use a bit of financial assistance when it comes to saving money and getting by, ask your doctor if he has any samples available for you if and when he prescribes you medication. Patients might be able to receive an entire month's supply of a new medication, saving them one full copay.

Request Generic

First, ask your physician if a generic brand would be permissible for you to use instead of a name brand medication. Typically, generic brands are just as good as their name brand counterparts. Plus, they cost quite a bit less money.

Check into Mail Order Prescriptions

In many cases, an individual's prescription plan includes the opportunity to order the prescription through a mail order service. One of the benefits of mail ordering a prescription is the opportunity to order a three-month supply rather than a single month's worth of the prescription.

The benefit of ordering through mail order services is a financial one since the cost is usually a reduced price when ordering a three-month supply. Some prescription plans charge only a one-month copay, while others might charge a two-month copay.


Click here to return to Amity Insurance E-Newsletter September 17, 2010.