Your medical bills do not have to break the bank. Here are some useful tips for looking after the health of your wallet.
Go for your screening tests
The best cost saver and even life saver is to discover health issues before they become real problems. Early detection can be easier and cheaper to treat than the consequences later on. Prevention is better than cure and less expensive.
Give your doctor a call
Feeling poorly, but not sure what it could be? Call your doctor and ask if a consultation is truly necessary. Sometimes some rest or a visit to a pharmacy could do the trick.
Be connected and use in-network healthcare providers
Use a GP who is contracted with your medical scheme and who will charge medical scheme rates. You can ask your medical scheme for a list of healthcare providers to choose from.
Take your own medical supplies
You can find out in advance what you will need for your hospital stay and take those supplies with you. You can save on possible costs incurred by medical supplies such as bandages and antiseptic and even medical equipment such as crutches or braces.
Examine your hospital account
Request an itemised statement and analyse it carefully. You can ask your medical scheme to assist in the evaluation of the bill, if you feel there might be inconsistencies.
You can negotiate your doctor’s fee
Negotiating isn’t just for a better price on your car or house, if your doctor is charging more than the medical scheme rate, you can negotiate for a lower rate on your doctor’s fee. Remember, though, to be honest and respectful in your negotiation with your doctor.
Ask your doctor and pharmacist about generic medication
You can pay up to two-thirds less on generic medication. Generic medication has the same active ingredients as brand medication and could be a more affordable alternative.
Use large pharmacy chains
Large pharmacy chains are usually cheaper, as they can negotiate lower prices on bulk purchases. Make use of seasonal specials and stock up on the basics.
Consider using your pharmacy’s nursing services
Most pharmacies have trained nurses that can perform various tests, provide vaccinations and give injections, which can be a lot more affordable than going to your GP.