Being Smart About Modern Healthcare
There are a lot of complaints about the American healthcare system today, but chances are pretty good that the average person has contributed to the issue in some way. From past due medical bills to not following through a prescription, the healthcare system in the U.S. is broken on many different levels. Though it is impossible to control the actions of others, it is possible to control our individual choices to make sure we’re doing what we can to right the healthcare ship.
Here are some easy ways that you can be smart about modern healthcare and limit medical costs that the entire system absorbs:
Buy Generic When You Can
Buy generic medication instead of brand name… even if brand name medication is covered by your insurance. Nearly 60% of people will buy generic medications when those prescriptions are covered by insurance, which means about 40% of people prefer to purchase the more expensive, name brand medication. When patients are required to pay for their own medication, three-quarters of them purchase generic medication instead.
In some cases, there are no generic alternatives because a medication might be new and covered by trademarks or patents. In other instances when a viable generic medication is available, costs can be saved to the healthcare system by taking the generic choice – even when insurance also covers the name brand.
Be Realistic About Medication
It can be frustrating at times to see all the advertisements for different medication, but nearly half of all people in a recent survey said that they had asked their doctor about medicine they had seen advertised on the television. Sometimes medication is necessary to bring about better health. Sometimes, however, better lifestyle choices are more effective than medication can be. Be proactive about what your choices are, try to make positive lifestyle choices, and take medicine as the last resort instead of the first resort.
Visit the Doctor When You Need To
Many people don’t visit the doctor when they think they probably should because of the costs that are associated with a visit. In many communities, a basic office visit can cost upwards of $200 and that’s money that many families need for groceries. It’s an understandable decision! If there is something serious going on, however, preventative measures cost less than severe disease treatment. Be smart about visiting the doctor and trust your gut – if you feel like you should go visit the doc, then go visit the doc.
Get Multiple Opinions
Don’t trust your doctor’s opinion solely. Though nearly 9 out of 10 people would recommend their general physician, it is always important to get a second opinion on serious matters. For some people, that second opinion comes from another doctor. Others rely on medical websites, like WebMD, for further advice. Whatever your personal preference is, it is always important to seek different opinions about your health so that you can have the full picture of what is happening instead of just one perspective that could cost you a fortune later on.
Healthcare doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If we’re all smart about when we visit the doctor and make wise choices about medication, we can begin to limit healthcare costs across the board.