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10 Tips to Lower Healthcare Costs [How to Maintain Healthcare on Budget]

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Healthcare costs are a major concern for individuals, businesses, and even policymakers in the United States. In 2022, the health expenditure per person was $13,493.  But is there a way to make healthcare more affordable?

You can use comparison shops, tax deductions, insurance, etc to lower healthcare costs. Enrolling in an HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account) is also a way of saving money. Generic medications and preventive measures may also come in handy.

Compared to many high-income countries, US citizens often live an unhealthier or shorter life. Find out more on how to live a healthier life at a lower cost!

Why Are Healthcare Costs So High in the US?

Before exploring ways to lower costs, let’s take a look at the reasons behind the problem. Many factors drive the healthcare cost in the US –

  • Government Policies: Medicare & Medicaid might let providers raise prices since the government pays the bills and not the patients.
  • Rising Prices: Factors such as population growth, population aging, and increasing prices for healthcare products and services contribute to the rising costs of healthcare.
  • Increased Chronic Illnesses: Conditions like diabetes, lower back and neck pain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can significantly increase healthcare spending.

Apart from these, administrative burdens and lack of transparency also play a role in the high healthcare costs.

 

How to Lower Healthcare Costs: 10 Easy Tips

How to Lower Healthcare Costs: 10 Easy Tips

While there are many factors contributing to high healthcare costs, there are also numerous strategies to lower healthcare costs –

1. Strong Health Insurance

Make sure your health insurance coverage is working for you. Review your current plan and past medical bills to know whether you’re using the benefits properly. Low usage might mean you’re overpaying, while frequent use could mean you’re under-covered.

Consider the pros and cons of low-deductible and high-deductible health plans while exploring affordable health insurance plans.

2. Research and Compare

Compare prices for medical procedures and services to ensure you are getting the best value. Use online tools and resources to help you make a decision.

You can look at prices for non-emergency services like MRIs or lab tests. Some facilities offer cash discounts or bundled pricing.

3. Generic Medications

Discuss generic alternatives with your doctor. Generics are usually just as effective as brand-name drugs but significantly cheaper.

Thanks to generic medications, the US healthcare system saves an estimated $330 billion every year.

4. Tax Deduction

If you have significant medical expenses, you may be able to deduct them on your tax return. Consult with a tax professional to know if you are eligible.

The tax deduction benefits can help you save a great deal of money!

5. Government Facilities

Programs like Medicare and Medicaid provide coverage for specific populations. You may be eligible based on age or income.

The Biden Administration has taken steps to reduce health insurance premiums and prescription drug prices. From 2025, the cost of out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000.

From 2025, the cost of out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000.

6.  Use HSAs or FSAs

Employers often provide HSAs or FSAs which allow you to keep the pre-tax medical expenses separately. Speaking of employers, it’d be better to analyze small business health insurance.

Look, you own your HSA, earn interest, and can transfer it to the new employer. But FSAs are owned by employers and you receive no interest.

HSAs offer tax advantages and greater flexibility, while FSAs have a “use it or lose it” policy.

7. Preventive Measures

Prioritize preventive measures like regular checkups, screenings, and vaccinations. If you can detect these health issues early on, you can save a lot of money in the long run.

Many health plans offer free or low-cost preventive care services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and flu shots.

8. Telemedicine and Online Consultations

Telehealth and remote monitoring technologies allow patients to receive care from the comfort of their own homes. This can reduce healthcare costs.

However, this can’t be a substitute for in-person healthcare and should be used only when it’s appropriate.

9. Reduce Administrative Burden

If the administrative costs are lowered, it can reduce up to 25% of the healthcare spending.

This can be done by streamlining billing and coding, offering fear health plans, and keeping digital records.

10. Controlling Opioid Abuse

The opioid epidemic is a double-edged sword for healthcare costs. It not only increases human suffering but also strains the system with billions in expenses. Almost 70,000 Americans passed away due to opioid overdose in 2020.

Promoting non-opioid medication, easier treatment access, and stricter prescribing can greatly reduce this problem.

Almost 70,000 Americans passed away due to opioid overdose in 2020.

Final Words

Growing healthcare costs have now become a global issue. Particularly, in the United States, people often don’t receive medical treatments because of the high cost. But how can we make healthcare affordable?

Use your tax benefits, government facilities, and insurance plans properly to lower healthcare costs. Generic medications can be a great alternative to expensive pills. Make sure you have an HSA or FSA for more benefits!

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