Healthcare costs are at an all-time high, not just when seeking treatment for physical ailments. Therapy costs are also high. A typical family therapy session lasts for around 50 minutes and happens once a week, according to Medical News Today, and the costs can sometimes go as high as $300 in some cases. Here are tips that can help Rochester residents afford healthcare services.
1. Take Care of Your Health
If you currently can't afford health insurance, self-care should be your top priority. It includes everything from exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, following the directions on your prescription medicine, and keeping up with all your essential medical appointments.
Emphasizing the value of medical care when a person lacks insurance may seem paradoxical. However, skipping appointments and neglecting to take prescribed medications can cause you to find yourself in a health crisis that necessitates hospitalization. Some tips can help you maintain optimal health and cut healthcare costs.
Talk to your doctor about safe substitutes for your prescription meds. You can also benefit from downloading prescription discount apps such as CleverRx or GoodRx. This can be especially helpful if you're on specialty medication which is quite expensive. By 2023, Payerally projects that the U.S. will have spent over $500 billion on specialty drugs.
2. Look Out for Free Screenings
Some pharmacies or cities regularly hold pop-up events that offer free simple blood tests and health screenings. Keep an eye out for these and take advantage of them so you can monitor your health and potentially avoid more doctor visits or medical procedures in the future. For instance, the state health department in New York claims to provide free cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer screenings for uninsured residents. Searching for 'free screening/testing near me' using your preferred browser may be a good place to start if you have a health concern and want to be checked out.
3. Apply for Medicaid
If you're finding it challenging to afford healthcare, you could be eligible for Medicaid and not even know it. Millions of low-income Americans, including older people, adults and children, and those with disabilities, receive coverage from Medicaid, a federal and state-managed health insurance program. Some states decided to expand Medicaid coverage after the Affordable Care Act was approved in 2010, making it possible for more people to qualify.
Only households making less than the FPL (Federal Poverty Level) qualify for Medicaid in the states that choose not to expand it. Use the Healthcare.gov calculator to find out if you are eligible for Medicaid in your state.
4. Start a Health Savings Account
With a health savings account or HSA, you can save money for future medical expenses while receiving a tax break. Deposits into this account are usually tax-free, and in most states, you'll get additional tax breaks on the deposited funds. You own the interest-bearing account and have access to the money at all times for any purpose. However, you'll incur a penalty every time you withdraw money from your HSA for non-medical expenses until you reach 65.
Consult your bank or credit union to learn how to set up a health savings account. Deposits may be taken out of your pre-taxed wages or from your income tax. An employer can also put money into your HSA.
5. Go to the ER for Emergencies
Call 911 or head straight to the ER if you're hurt, and your life is in danger. Regardless of one's financial situation or whether you have health insurance, doctors are obligated by law to assist anybody who's facing a medical emergency. Although paying for medical expenses can be overwhelming, your health is way more valuable than money. Inform the front desk you're uninsured when you check in or leave, and they could help you devise a payment strategy.
The thing with emergencies is they can occur at any time. Over 8 million individuals needed emergency medical care for fall injuries in 2019 alone, according to Delaware.gov. Knowing what to do beforehand will help you enjoy substantial savings.
While you can't put a price on your health, healthcare costs are at an all-time high. Luckily, some tips can help you make these expenses more manageable. This read highlights them.