Health care costs have been a burden to many people. A series of regulatory changes are expected to cause health care costs to grow twice as quickly in the coming years. You will need to be proactive about taking the steps to reduce your health care costs. The best place to start is by choosing the right provider.
Here are a few things that you will need to keep in mind when you are choosing a health care provider.
Find Providers in Your Network
You will need to make sure that every health care provider you use is within your network. Health care providers may charge over a thousand dollars for a particular service, but that doesn’t mean everybody will be forced to pay that rate. Insurance companies often negotiate better rates for their policy holders. Look for health care providers in your own network and you may be able to reduce the bill for your services by 50% or more.
Make Sure the Provider Has Lower After Hours Care
Emergencies can happen at the most inconvenient times. A typical visit to a health care provider who offers care after-hours is about $70. You would be paying almost $1,000 if you went to an emergency room. You will want to make sure that your provider has after-hours care at affordable rates so you aren’t stuck paying high fees if you have an emergency.
Find out What Discounts They Provide
Many insurance companies offer discounts when you work with providers they have standing relationships with. You will want to know about these various discounts so that you can make an informed decision. The standard discount is about 15%, so make sure you find out which providers are approved by your insurance company and whether any discounts are available.
Negotiate for Standard Rates
There are a couple of nonprofit organizations that track heath care spending and insurance rates throughout the country. You can tell your health care provider what rates their competitors usually accept and ask if they will adjust their rates accordingly. They may even offer to lower your rates if you make a good case and they are afraid you will leave.
Try Independent Facilities Instead of Hospitals
Many people receive all of their medical care through a hospital. You can receive the same services through an independent care facility and usually at half the cost. Look at various independent facilities that you could receive your services through instead. You can typically save even more money if you are willing to pay a higher deductible for the services offered through an independent facility.
Health care costs have been escalating in recent years. You will need to be careful about which providers you work with so that you can keep your medical costs low. Speak with your insurance company and find out what health providers they recommend.
About the Author: Kalen is both a health and financial advice writer. He works closely with HSA for America, where he writes about the benefits of a high deductible health insurance plan.