For many years, healthcare spending continued to follow a consistent pattern wherein the end consumer paid more and got less in return. However, recent trends have indicated a shift in this pattern, with more and more consumers inching towards the ‘pay less, get more’ era. This can be attributed to factors like increased coverage for more people as well as decreasing healthcare costs in many countries. As such, the end consumer will find out that there are many ways to pay less and get more in the healthcare industry. Here are some ways in which this is made possible.
Choosing the right health insurance plan
Every employee gets to choose a health insurance plan at the start of year. In this case, choosing a health plan with a high deductible will allow the consumer to pay only a small premium upfront for high deductible that needs to be hit before insurance coverage can be claimed for non-essential services.
Telemedicine has gained immense popularity over the past few years, thanks to technological advancements. When compared to standard clinical visits which can cost around $250, telemedicine visits cost only around $50. This allows the consumer to reduce healthcare costs while still enjoying a one to one consultation with the doctor over the phone or via video chat.
Opening a health savings account
Some high deductible plans allow consumers to open health savings accounts which can be used to store money for healthcare expenses that may crop up in the future. Consumers can choose to open such accounts even in their local banks. The money saved in such accounts can be exempted from tax as well, thus providing significant healthcare cost savings.
Shopping around beforehand
Consumers in search of healthcare plans need to shop around for various healthcare packages. The same goes for doctor visits as well. Shopping around will help the consumer find out about variations in costs between healthcare providers, thus allowing him/her to choose the one which best suits his/her needs and budgetary requirements.
Joining a stay-in network
The majority of health insurance plans belong to healthcare provider networks. These networks may be small and accommodate a few local doctors or may be large enough to accommodate healthcare personnel from different states. Consumers can find out that by choosing an ‘in-network’ visit (i.e. the consumer chooses to visit a doctor or hospital that is part of the provider network), they can pay much less than when compared to an ‘out-network’ visit. Hence choosing a plan that has the consumer’s preferred doctor or healthcare facility in-network can help the former save money in healthcare costs.
Healthcare spending has started to come down owing to increased efficacy of healthcare plans and reduced health care costs. Consumers wanting to save a few extra dollars on their healthcare costs can do the same by turning to a few smart pointers that will aid them while shopping for healthcare.