The costs of medical treatment continue to skyrocket as COVID-19 puts an unprecedented strain on healthcare providers. Many people are foregoing non-essential treatment entirely to avoid the high costs and risks of exposure to the virus. However, it’s not all bad news. While medical costs are high, there are ways that you can prepare yourself for medical emergencies and other costs associated with your health. So, let’s look at the top 5 ways to save money on medical costs!
Shop For the Right Insurance Plan
If you’re younger and don’t qualify for Medicare, it can feel like health insurance is just a scam. You pay high premiums and high deductibles just to get basic “emergency” coverage. However, no two plans are exactly alike. This means that you shouldn’t just sign up for the first plan you find. Instead, shop for a plan that meets your specific needs and budget.
Get a Second Opinion
While doctors almost always have your best interests in mind, they are often entirely focused on your health and not on your wallet. Your doctor may recommend a non-essential procedure that is way out of your price range. So, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. For example, let’s say that you have painful bunions. Your doctor may recommend one procedure, but there are actually several different types of bunion surgery available to patients. You may just find that there’s a better and more affordable option out there.
Open an Emergency Savings Account
If you don’t already have an emergency savings account, you need to open one. Even if you’re not overly concerned about your health at the moment, you never know what could happen one month, one year, or even 10 years from now. The sooner you start saving, the better. This way, you’ll have a safety net to cover unexpected medical costs as they arise. Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may be able to open a Health Savings Account (HSA), which can help you kill two birds with one stone!
Maintain Healthy Diet and Exercise
You should always talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your lifestyle. That said, a healthy diet and exercise are great choices for the vast majority of people. Getting the right foods and maintaining a healthy BMI can help you stave off potential illnesses, keeping you from needing expensive medical procedures in the first place. However, keep in mind that diet and exercise will not make you invincible. These lifestyle choices will merely reduce the risk of common health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Practice COVID-19 Protocols
While the COVID-19 vaccine is already being rolled out in many countries, you may not have access to it for a few more weeks, months, or even longer. So, in the meantime, you still need to stay safe during the pandemic. This means that you should practice social distancing in public spaces, wear masks whenever you go out, and wash your hands regularly. Avoiding large gatherings will also greatly reduce the chance of catching COVID-19. Whether you fall within the “high-risk” demographic or not, avoiding COVID-19 will also help you avoid the associated medical costs — both short-term and long-term.