Thursday, July 05, 2012

Medical Cost Help Until 2014

Many patients struggle each year trying to pay off high cost medical debt due to lack of health insurance or inadequate health insurance coverage.  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 patients can be charged higher amounts for services and in some cases are charged multiple times for the same services. 

If you do not have health insurance ask for an itemized list of the services you received and review carefully to make sure there are no errors.  When you have health insurance errors made in medical bills are detected by your health insurance provider and corrected before any remaining costs are submitted to the patient. The United States has the highest incidents of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and cancer yet we pay the highest costs in medical insurance. 

Until the health care law goes into effect in 2014 here are some ways to save on medical costs if you do not have health insurance.  Here are 12 ways to save money on medical costs if you are uninsured.
  1. 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 site for listings by state.
  2. Negotiate with the service provider (doctor or hospital) to get fees reduced or eliminated in exchange for paying the debt.
  3. Go to free dental clinics or free medical clinics for free or reduced dental services.  
  4. Go to a training school for services:  dental school, barber school, cosmetology school, etc.
  5. Participate in discounted dental programs.
  6. Use Flat Fee clinics or sliding fee scale clinics. 
  7. Use Free or Reduced Healthcare.
  8. Buy generic prescriptions and get them filled at discount stores such as Wal-Mart, Target or Walgreens.
  9. Order tests directly from the lab instead of your doctor ordering it for you. You can also order blood test online and get results in 48 hours.
  10. Setup your own Health Savings Account if you employer does not offer one.
  11. Participate in clinical trials that provide medication or services for medical issues you are experiencing.
  12. Exercise and eat healthy.

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