Save Big on Health Care

May 20, 2009 8:58:43 AM PDT
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, employee premium costs for health care rose to an average of $3,354 annually. According to the book Healthcare for Less, out-of-pocket costs for health care jumped nearly 10-percent each year from 2002 to 2007. Americans are shelling out more money for co-payments, co-insurance, prescription drugs and dental care than ever before. So what can we do about it? TIPS FOR SAVING: Some ways to save on health care include:

Negotiate: According to a survey in the Wall Street Journal, 70 percent of people who negotiated a health care bill got a lower price.

Add up your charges: If your medical and dental bills add up to more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, you can get a tax deduction.

Check out high deductible plans: As employee out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, high-deductible health plans may make sense for some people. You pay a lower premium and then fund the deductible through a health savings account. Many high deductible plans pay for physicals and other preventive health benefits, which could potentially lower costs even more (Source: www.filife.com).

Shop around for drugs: Many insurers offer their own mail-order services that can help you save one-third to one-half each year on costs for regular prescriptions. Some pharmacies, like Wal-Mart, also offer prescription programs (Source: www.filife.com). In addition, there are online options like www.rxaminer.com that offer popular drugs for a discount.

Become a medial tourist: The idea of traveling to cheaper places for expensive procedures is growing. There are even cheaper places in the United States. For instance, according to Aetna, an in-network cholesterol screening is $21 in Cincinnati vs. $61 in northern California. An arthroscopic knee or shoulder surgery in these same cities is $6,308 vs. $7,156. It may not always justify the trip, but sometimes your savings will (Source: www.filife.com).

? For More Information, Contact:

Diana Guayara, Media Coordinator Coral Springs Medical Center Coral Springs, FL (954) 344-3329 dguayara@browardhealth.org


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