During summer, many Americans celebrate by making the most of the season with vacations, visits with friends and family, and probably eating too many hot dogs.
And once in awhile, that’s ok. But, once summer vacations are over, most of us will be heading back into the “real world” where it's important to maintain a budget. Particularly, many of us are interested in discovering unique savings options for some of the major expenses we incur, such as healthcare.
Declare independence from endlessly rising healthcare costs
Since all of us want and need to stay healthy, it’s a foregone conclusion that receiving adequate medical care needs to be a priority for everyone. However, the average citizen has no practical control over how much it costs to purchase a given drug, have a given procedure performed, or obtain insurance to cover those types of costs.
While we technically have the “freedom” to decide which doctors or pharmacies to visit, and to decide whether or not we’re going to go through with recommended treatments, the average American seeking care is obligated to pay the fee they are charged.
Why not liberate your healthcare budget this summer?
Freeing yourself from rising healthcare costs can be as simple as making a decision and taking action:
In our free market economy, entrepreneurs and businesses are constantly inventing new products, ideas or processes that improve upon the status quo. They’re always struggling to grab the interest of consumers and get their idea or process noticed and appreciated.
As a result, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hospitals, insurance companies, and private businesses are constantly in a state of fierce competition over the American public.
The one simple and powerful way to liberate your healthcare budget is to use the freedom you have to choose which medical professionals you’ll visit.
Shop around for the best value in your area
For every licensed practitioner with a tried-and-true treatment method, there are alternative methods, products, or recommendations that promise the same results for a fraction of the cost. Even medical professionals performing exactly the same procedures will charge wildly different prices in an effort to win patients away from higher-priced competitors.
An example of this ongoing competition can be seen in the increasingly common practice of doctors and dentists offering prepaid annual service packages to uninsured or underinsured patients. These packages include a suite of routine, preventive services (like x-rays and semi-annual teeth cleaning or an annual physical and routine labs) at a discounted, package price.
Take advantage of discount dental cards and other membership programs
"By comparing the details of various discount programs, a savvy consumer can easily determine where the best value is for themselves or their family."
Another common result of competition is the advent of membership programs offering discounts toward prescriptions, vision care, dental services, and the like. Members of these programs generally pay of small monthly or annual fee for access to access a nationwide network of participating dentists who have agreed to offer significant discounts off their normal retail prices.
For example, the Wellness Complete and Dental Solutions programs provide 20% to 50% off many general and specialized dental, optical, pharmaceutical, chiropractic, and other services for an entire household for a small monthly fee. By comparing the details of various discount programs, a savvy consumer can easily determine where the best value is for themselves or their family.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Like any other business interested in building and maintaining a solid customer base, healthcare providers are generally willing to offer a lower price, more attractive financing terms, or value-added options as opposed to watching you walk out and visit their competition. Take this into consideration and discover your options each time you’re handed a cost estimate for recommended services.
If you’re looking for ways to liberate yourself from rising healthcare costs, making the most of the freedom you have to decide on the right financing options is the simplest, most powerful way to do so this summer.