So many changes have been made concerning healthcare in recent years which have raised lots of uncertainties in the air around the continuing rising costs and changing coverage. Some of these uncertainties are not as a result of our actions but there are steps we can take to help keep our personal healthcare costs to a minimum. 

Anticipate your known needs and choose the right plan from the start. There are some people that can be regarded as healthy as an ox because hardly see a doctor in a year. Such people can look in to basic plans that will cover them in the event of a catastrophe. We are all human and life can be uncontrollable. As much as you do not need the super pricey coverage that pays for more care than you need, it is still advisable to stay safe. You should upgrade to a plan that will cover your needs at a higher percentage and will save you money over the course of the year if you are a person that has an ongoing health issues that needs constant care and medication. The premium is higher, but the savings compared to paying out of pocket before hitting a high deductible will add up to create the best value. Search for calculators online to help you anticipate the best plan types for your needs.

Stay in network. Be sure to confirm the lab you are intending to consult is part of the network you belong to. No one likes calling insurance companies. It is however worth it to place a call to confirm or a pre-authorization for routine treatment. Waiting too long should be avoided as it can mean risking your health, be proactive to watch your bottom line. Be aware of the emergency rooms of hospitals and urgent care are in network and competent ahead of time. There would not be time to research or make those kinds of calls when an emergency strikes. Knowing beforehand where to go will help save time and money. 

Improve and maintain your health. This part is the best part and it is the most neglected part. The best advice to lower your healthcare costs is by improving your way of life. Lots of health issues can be out of our control but there are those that we can help minimize or eliminate with regular exercise, taking balanced diet and healthful food and living a moderate lifestyle. Endeavor to keep your sugar level low, alcohol and other vices should be in check. Make sure you are social in positive circles and try as much as possible to enjoy the outdoors for better mental health. Give your mental health as much care as your physical health because they work together to give you a better state. 

Keep stress levels low. Stress is an invasive foe that robs you of time and joy. Minimize stressors in your life that are in your control. If your job is highly stressful, look for ways to combat the stress and enjoy more of your day. If that isn’t possible, it may be time to search for other places of employment or other fields altogether. This is a personal choice that you need to weigh against the importance of your health. Take up yoga, meditation, walks outside, hiking, gin rummy with your pals. Whatever lets you release the tension of the day in a beneficial, non-destructive way.

Some insurance companies offer a free “phone-a-doc” or “tele-doc” type service. If your illness is minor but uncomfortable (think pink eye, minor skin conditions, the beginning of a UTI), consider calling it in and getting advice or a prescription over the phone. If you are certain of what is going on and feel comfortable with a phone consult, this can save you the expense of urgent care or doctor visit and the pain of having to wait for an appointment. However, there is no substitution for going in person if your illness is unfamiliar or getting worse.

Check out HAS insurance plans. HAS plans helps you to save a limited amount of tax-deferred money annually to go toward your healthcare costs. Out of pocket expenses and deductibles are higher while plan premiums are lower. You should really look into these tax-advantaged accounts depending on your health, financial situation and tax needs.

If you want to move forward and also wants to save on your healthcare, stay focused on your needs, care for your health and do your homework. All of these pays off in the long-run.

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