Ways to Get Free or Low-Cost Healthcare
Free mental health assistance. Millions of Americans can’t afford mental health treatment, but need it for their emotional or drug problems. Visit the website freementalhealth.com to find out what free assistance you qualify for, including drug rehab programs.
Ways to Lower the Cost of Healthcare
Go to a clinic rather than the emergency room. If you just need medical care and it isn’t a serious emergency, a neighborhood medical clinic will charge you significantly less than a hospital emergency room, so go to a clinic if you aren’t having a true emergency, such as a stroke or heart attack or bleeding profusely from a major head wound.
Compare healthcare costs online. The website HealthcareBlueBook.com allows you to compare medical expenses and bills and obtain free estimates of what your healthcare might cost.
Pay in cash for certain tests and procedures. If you aren’t even close to meeting your insurance deductible but have a test or procedure scheduled that you can afford to pay in cash, ask the billing department if you can receive a discount for paying immediately in cash. They might give you a big discount. Some people have saved hundreds of dollars.
Refuse unnecessary procedures and tests. Medical procedures and tests often cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Recent research by a major consumer group has revealed that most tests doctors routinely perform, such as pap smears, prostate exams, colonoscopies, MRI scans and the like are a complete waste of money, particularly for people under 50 years old, and actually can do more harm to a patient’s health than the test is worth. Doctors often prescribe these tests when they aren’t necessary to protect themselves from malpractice law suits or because they think the patient wants it. The next time your doctor orders a test or procedure, ask her if it is medically necessary. If it isn’t necessary, skip it and save a huge amount of money. Doctors also over-prescribe drugs that are unnecessary. For example, prescriptions for antibiotics to fight colds and viruses often don’t work, but they are prescribed anyway.
Ways to Save Money
Ask for a bundled payment. More hospitals and clinics are offering to charge patients a flat fee or “bundled payment” for all services and procedures rather than sending out many bills for every doctor and procedure performed, which usually costs much less.
Use Coupons for Healthcare. Sign up with websites such as Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com to find deals on all types of healthcare needs such as dental, eye exams, and doctor visits. Since you have to sign up to view the content of these websites, it is suggested you create a free email account at Google or Yahoo to contain any future spam emails you might receive.
Lose weight. As you have probably heard, one third of Americans are overweight. Obesity costs this nation billions each year, and it costs the average obese person $258,000 over their lifetimes. A vast array of ailments, such as diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, arthritis, are associated with being overweight and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat each person.