There is no such thing as a free lunch. Moreover, there is no such thing as free medication. Some time or another, all of us will need medical treatment. Whether it would be for simple colds or for serious illnesses, these things would hurt us and burn our pockets.
According to a recent study, Americans spend more money on medical expenses than any other nationality in the world. As prices get higher and life gets harder, saving some money from your medical expenses will definitely benefit you.
Here are some practical tips on how to cut your medical costs:
Mind Your Health
Prevention is always better than cure. Being fit and healthy seems to be a 21st century fad and it wouldn't hurt us if we join in the bandwagon. An analysis of the 1987 National Medical Expenditures Survey revealed that people who are more active spend less on medical expenses than those who live lethargic lives. The analysis equated the benefit of being physically active to $330 (1987 dollar value) per person.
For smokers and drinkers, reducing cigarette and alcohol consumption is an option which you may find feasible. You will not only reduce future medical costs but also reduce direct costs from purchasing these products.
Taking generic drugs is the way to go. Patents are used by manufacturers to be able to set a price so as to recover their costs in developing their products. But these patents don't last forever and sooner or later, generic versions of these drugs will be available. Generic drugs are basically the same as the branded ones in terms of ingredients and quality.
Going generic can save you a lot of money. According to the Association of Chain Drug Stores, the generic drugs are priced at $24 on the average in 2004, while the average price of the branded ones is $96 dollars.
Deal with your Doctor
Take time out to discuss things with your doctor, for this can also save you a lot of cash. Don't be shy to ask him about the possible alternatives that you can take. Ask him if there is a generic drug that you can take if he prescribes you a branded drug. If you are going to have surgery, try to schedule wisely, so as to prevent overstaying in the hospital. And most importantly, do as you are told. If he asks you to quit your vice, quit it. If he tells you to be active, then you'd better be!
Medical expenses can really dig a hole in your pocket. Try to be wise in your medical transactions and more importantly, take care of your health.