Tuesday, March 13, 2012

17 Ways to Save on Medical Expenses

Each year many Americans file for bankruptcy due to medical debt. Over 40 million Americans do not have health insurance coverage. Many people are uninsured due to the high costs of medical coverage. Many employers only pay a small portion of healthcare costs leaving the remaining expense for the employee.

When a patient has health insurance there is a set limit that hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals can charge for services. Without medical insurance, a patient can be charged whatever fee the doctor or hospital chooses t for services and in some cases may be charged multiple times for the same services. The continual rising high school of medical season is due to the lack of mandated regulations in the health care industry, industry fraud and billing errors.

The United States has the highest incidents of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and cancer. If you do not have health insurance always request an itemized list of the services you received to ensure there are no errors. Here are 17 ways to save on medical expenses.

1. Do research. Verify the medical provider is licensed.
2. Verify the agreement. Verify the agreement you establish with the medical provider in writing and make sure you understand the terms of the agreement.
3. Barter Services. Barter medic al services and goods. ITEX Corp. has 24,000 members where patients can exchange medical good and services for barter dollars but is usually limited to dental or smaller doctor practices. Visit barternews.com site for listings by state.
4. Negotiate with the service provider (doctor or hospital) to get fees reduced or eliminated in exchange for paying the debt.
5. Go to free dental clinics or free medical clinics for free or reduced dental services.
6. Go to a training school for services: dental school, barber school, cosmetology school, etc.
7. Participate in discounted dental programs.
8. Use Flat Fee clinics or sliding fee scale clinics.
9. Use Free or Reduced Healthcare.
10. Receive a Medicare supplement.
11. Buy generic prescriptions and get them filled at discount stores such as Wal-Mart, Target or Walgreens.
12. Manage medical expenses in a Healthcare Savings Account and order your own medical services (blood work, urine sample, etc.). Order test directly from the lab instead of your doctor ordering it for you.
13. HSA for America has a contract with Direct Labs to offer low prices to the HSA for America readers. It is free to join and members can order x-rays, lab tests, MRIs or CT scans.
14. Setup your own Health Savings Account if you employer does not offer one.
15. Participate in clinical trials that provide medication or services for medical issues you are experiencing.
16. Order blood test online and get results in 48 hours.
17. Give back. Refer your medical provider to others on the network or by word of mouth to friends, relatives and co-workers, this can help you negotiate future services needed by the same medical provider.

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