Here are the next few things I learned over the past two year dealing with a lot of medical bills and a lot of paperwork. If you missed part one you can read it here.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if that test/procedure is really necessary. Once my doctor understood we would be responsible for a large portion of the bill for any tests or procedures he was a little less aggressive in ordering them. (I sometimes think practitioners take it for granted that insurance will cover things. ) I am confident I am still getting great care but the benefits of a test are now weighed more carefully.
6. Look for community or disease specific assistance programs. The company that makes my MS medication has a great patient assistance program. I do not know how we would afford the over $3,000 a month in medicine it takes to treat the disease if not for them. It took some effort on my part to check into the program, get all the paper work together, and get things set up. You have to be proactive in finding help.
7. Use coupons to get your over the counter medicines free. Those things really add up. Diligently watch for sales at Walgreens, CVS or other stores where you can get a lot of over the counter medicines free or very cheap with sales and coupons.
8. Set up a health care budget. We set aside a certain amount of money each month to pay on medical bills, then we used any extra money we had in a month to add to that. We eventually paid off the bills on all my MRIs and the medicines I had received prior to getting assistance. It can be a long and fairly confusing road, filled with a lot of paper work but eventually they will be paid off.
Now we set aside money each month knowing we will still be responsible for 20% of this year’s MRI.
9.Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep. Not a ground breaking tip I know, but it is worth mentioning. Some health issues you will have no control over, diet and exercise you can control. Staying as healthy as you can will save you money on health care.