6 Ways to Lower Your Health Care Costs
Health care can be expensive. Everyone can play a greater role in controlling the rising costs. A small investment made now can pay great dividends down the road. Here are six ways to stay in control of your health care costs now and in the future.
- Select the right care when it is needed. There are many options for treatment when you are sick or injured. The emergency room is equipped to handle the most critical cases and will often have long wait times because of the nature of triage. Consider a cheaper option with a shorter wait time, such as an urgent care for minor illnesses. If you can wait until office hours, the best option is a visit to your primary care provider who knows your medical history and can make the best recommendations for your health care needs. Connected Care is always an option because of the convenience of not having to leave your home when you feel sick.
- Seek preventive care. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Preventive care includes an annual physical, vaccinations, blood tests and cancer screenings. These quick checkups can prevent you from getting sick or detect a health issue before it becomes serious.
- Eat smart. A healthy diet can save you money. Not only will it keep you healthier in the short term, it will decrease your chances of developing costly chronic health issues down the road.
- Generic medications. Always ask your pharmacist if it is an option to fill your prescriptions with generic drugs. Generic drugs are the same as their brand-name equivalent and usually cost 30 to 70 percent less.
- Stay fit. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can do wonders for your health. Exercise helps you manage your weight and relieve stress. Exercise also helps to control or reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, which are major risk factors for heart disease.
- Treat yourself right. Not only are tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs expensive to buy, they can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and many other chronic health problems. Seek help quitting tobacco and practice moderation with alcohol. If you feel you are abusing substances due to depression or anxiety, it may be time to seek help. The sooner you quit, the sooner you will feel better.
Just as you perform routine maintenance on your vehicle and home to keep them in optimal condition, reduce operating costs and avoid greater expense, isn’t it a good idea to do the same with your body?
About the Author
John Jenkins, MD is the Chief Clinical Officer for Connected Care.