5 ways you can save money on health care

GRAND Rapids, Mich. (WOTV) – People are continuously seeking health care without knowing if they actually need it, whether it’s covered by their insurance, or what it will actually cost them.

Is this a necessity in today’s health care environment? Or is there a way to go about this differently? Priority Health is here to discuss.

>>> See video above for more details.

Tips to save money

  1. Get your money’s worth. Modern day health insurance comes pre-loaded with a healthy serving of preventive care, and you don’t pay a penny extra. So why not take advantage? With most plans, you can see your primary care doctor for an annual checkup, get a flu shot and have preventive health screenings for free. Look for details on your health plan’s website or call their customer service number to ask for preventive care guidelines.
  2. Receive the right care for your circumstances. Don’t run off to the emergency room for cold or flu symptoms. Call your primary care doctor or head to an urgent care center, where your co-pays will be lower. Better yet, take advantage of a virtual visit from the comfort of your own couch. A licensed physician will treat you via phone or video chat.
  3. Know the cost before the care. Health insurance can be confusing. Even when you’re “covered” for a test or procedure, you may still need to pay part of it yourself. To avoid sticker shock, calculate in advance what you’ll pay—then look for ways to pay less. For example, many Priority Health plans include a Cost Estimator Tool so members have a good idea how much they’ll pay based on their plan, co-pays and deductible. Often you can save money by getting a test or procedure done at a different facility, without sacrificing the quality of your care. If you don’t have this kind of tool at your disposal, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way and ask. It’s always helpful to know as much cost information as possible upfront so you don’t get blindsided by the bill after the service.
  4. Use a health savings account to pay tax free. A health spending account can help you manage expenses and save money in the long run. There are two versions that act similar to your personal savings account, set aside specifically for your medical expenses. Any money contributed to the account is tax-exempt – giving you significant savings by paying for your health expenses pre-tax. They are also a great tool to help you budget appropriately for medical costs.
  5. Save on Medication. Integrate your pharmacy and medical benefits – the bundling approach can give you major cost savings. Just as you should shop around for care, research your prescriptions and ensure they are covered by your prescription plan.

A few tips to save on medication include

  • Ask your doctor if you can use generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs.
  • Ask about rebates, coupons or other discounts.
  • If you’re on a daily medication, using a home delivery pharmacy will probably save you money.

If you take several medications, it can get confusing and costly. Having a pharmacist review your prescriptions with you can be helpful. That’s why Priority Health offers Medication Therapy Management (MTM) prescription reviews at no cost to members. During this review, you work with a pharmacist to get the best results from your medication while keeping your out-of-pocket costs down.

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