Despite the fact that there are now certainly policies in place that grant Americans with access to affordable health insurance, 11.9% of American adults remain uninsured whereas an estimated 23% of American adults remain underinsured. If you are among the millions of Americans who are either uninsured or underinsured, you may be avoiding necessary health care due to a lack of funds. Fortunately, there are ways for you to save on your trip to the doctor without sacrificing your health.
Establish a Primary Care Physician
Believe it or not, establishing a primary care physician, particularly with a family doctor, can save you money. Family doctors do more than handle regular checkups and basic health care needs. A comprehensive primary care physician, or PCP, can provide you with health care related to a wide range of problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions.
When you establish a PCP, you are enabling one doctor to take care of the majority of your medical needs. Since the doctor is able to become familiar with the status of your health and your health care needs, it means less costly visits to the ER and less money spent out-of-pocket to tackle expensive medical conditions.
Furthermore, when you build a relationship with your PCP, you are more likely to build trust. Through continued visits and on-time payments, it is likely that your primary care physician will allow you to set up a payment plan. Payment plans help ease the burdening cost of your appointments so that you are able to more easily cover the cost of your health care needs.
Don't Overlook the Benefits of a Health Clinic
Health clinics often provide more affordable coverage for people in your situation. In fact, many community clinics are willing to provide you with the care you need, even if you have no money that you can offer. Fortunately, the services found through clinics are often cheaper than those provided elsewhere.
If you are worried that the lower cost of a health care clinic equates to less comprehensive care, don't. Many clinics provide generalized primary care, prenatal care, and baby wellness care. Community clinics are also capable of referring you toward more specialized care practitioners and centers related to substance abuse, mental health, and a wealth of other specialized needs.
Part of what makes clinics so affordable is the fact the majority of them operate by basing your health care costs on the amount of income you make. Therefore, if you are uninsured or underinsured and you do not qualify for medical assistance, you can reduce the cost of your health care by providing proof of income to your nearby clinic. It is even possible for you to establish care with a PCP at your nearby clinic.
Brush Up On Your Negotiation Skills
Negotiating can go a long way toward saving you money. If your doctor recommends a specific treatment based on your health care needs, speak up and let the negotiations begin. You can start by negotiating your treatment options in order to obtain an option that is more affordable for you. If the treatment option chosen by your doctor is a must, you could always try negotiating the cost.
It is important you negotiate on the front-end of your treatment. However, you should also try to negotiate once you receive your bill. There may be additional costs added to your bill that you were initially unaware of. Make sure you place phone calls to the physician that provided your care in order to negotiate a lower bill.
If nothing else, your negotiations may lead you directly into an affordable payment arrangement. Payment arrangements allow you to avoid having to pay the bill in its entirety all at once. Negotiating a payment arrangement with your PCP gives you the opportunity to pay an amount toward your health care costs that you know you can afford.
For additional ways to save money, it is best to visit with your primary care physician, such as one from Rural Health Services Consortium Inc. Your doctor can provide you with various ways that you can save money on your health care needs. It is important that you speak to your PCP as soon as possible so that you can receive the health care you need when you need it most.