The United States healthcare system is labyrinthine at the best of times. To outsiders, and those who have just set up their home in the United States, trying to make sense of the myriad of different health plans, insurance types and other instruments of the American healthcare system is nigh on impossible. Unfortunately, regardless of what anyone thinks about healthcare in the United States, the system as it exists today is one that punishes those who don’t understand how to navigate it.
In the United States much more than similar European countries, healthcare is viewed as a business. As a result, there is always a need to make money. Chasing financial goals has, on the one hand, allowed for the kind of investment needed to fund significant medical breakthroughs. On the other hand, this has led to cases where putting profits above patients has cost lives and caused significant harm.
It is worth knowing a few simple but very effective tips and tricks that you can use to save money on your healthcare. None of this amounts to cheating the system, nor are you avoiding paying anything that you rightfully owe, instead this will ensure that you are charged correctly and that you don’t end up paying more than you need to.
Ask About Generics
Whenever a doctor prescribes you a drug, you can ask if there is a generic version available. The generic version of a drug is exactly the same, containing the same active ingredient in the same amount. The difference in price between a generic version and a branded version can be huge! Now, pharmaceutical companies will tell you that their specific formulations are in some way more effective, so what’s the deal?
There may be some truth to the pharmaceutical company’s claims, as if they have a different delivery system this can impact the absorption rate of a drug. If a drug is absorbed very rapidly, it might be perceived as being stronger. It is also possible for a pharmaceutical company to add another active ingredient, or an ingredient which is inactive but still serves a purpose such as reducing discomfort.
For the most part however, a generic drug will do exactly what the branded version does.
Listen to Your Doctor
Going to the doctor can sometimes be difficult or embarrassing, however it is vital that you always go to the doctor when you feel that you need to. However, as this story from prmarketer.com illustrates, if you don’t ask you won’t get! It might be difficult bringing up certain conditions with your doctor, but they can advise you and often save you money compared to buying off the shelf remedies.
When most of us get a prescription filled, we just go to the nearest pharmacy and don’t think twice. However, you can make some pretty significant savings on the cost of your prescriptions by trying out a few different places, even if they’re right next door!
Healthcare can be a very costly aspect of many people’s lives, but there are some simple ways to save yourself money. In addition to the advice above, have a look online for other guides and tips.