Guest post from Rachel who blogs at RachelWojo.com
As mother to a child with a long-term, life-threatening illness, innovative methods of securing medical supplies have been crucial to our family’s financial sustainability. Obviously the following list is not comprehensive, but perhaps you will get a fresh idea or two that can practically assist you during high-demanding medical crises.
1. Use your private health insurance for every doctor’s visit, prescription, and therapy.
This point may seem like a no-brainer, but often consumers will forget to provide current information, especially at the beginning of a calendar year, or insurance plan year.
2. Take advantage of Flex Spending Plans.
If your employer has a medical flexible spending plan available, be sure you take advantage of this avenue to save from paying taxes on your necessary medical supplies. There are guidelines and restrictions as to the covered items, so be sure to identify the items and coverage you need from the flexible spending plan before you commit to it.
3. Determine if the prescription or therapy is truly medically necessary.
Often something as simple as the location of therapy changes the cost dramatically (such home versus facility). Get a second opinion if you are not confident.
4. Use a medical supply mail-order company for long term prescriptions.
Purchasing a 90-day supply over a 30-day supply will usually save money in the long run. Many companies have free shipping and you save time and money on pickup and gas.
5. Ask for samples.
When looking at medical supplies, weigh both quantity and quality. Ask for samples and test them before committing to a box of 500.
6. Use generic.
Ask the doctor for a generic brand prescription instead of the brand name.Whether the item is medication or testing supplies or whatever, often the generic will serve the same purpose while saving money.
7. Be proactive in asking others about their medical/financial strategies.
Social workers, clinical workers, nurses, fellow parents…you never know who has information about a program or benefit of which you are unaware.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for a payment plan.
If you owe a medical bill you cannot immediately pay in full, make payments. Most medical billing companies try to prevent turning the bills over to collections as long as the consumer is faithfully making payments, regardless of the size.
Many people encounter serious financial difficulty due to unexpected medical issues and it can be discouraging. My hope is that this list will promote new ideas that evolve into long-term solutions for you or your loved one’s continual medical care.
How do you save on medical bills?
Rachel Wojnarowski is originally a small town country girl who converted to a suburban mother of seven by way of life happening. She and her husband, Matt, enjoy caring for their busy family, whose ages span 9 months to 21 years and include a special needs daughter. She loves to inspire others through her blog by sharing faith, family, and fun.