Today I’m talking about healthcare {scary!}. Whatever side of the issue you’re on regarding what we currently call “Obamacare” here in America, we can probably all agree that health care and medical expenses don’t usually fall on the cheap side of things.

Recently, we had a health concern in our house that sent my husband to the doctor four separate times to have several different treatments. It got me thinking about how important it is to look into options for health care as we consider our family situations and the potential costs of dentist bills, hospital bills, orthodontic work {gasp!}, and every other random medical need that seems to pop up at the most inconvenient time.

We’re not experts at this by any means, but I wanted to share with you three ways that can help trim health care costs {as far as it depends on us}. I hope this is encouraging to you, we’re still figuring it all out too!

3 ways we save money on healthcare costs - finding a solution to your frustrations about medical care and taking control of your health needs

 

3 Ways We Save Money on Healthcare Costs

Consider a different health insurance option. 

Rather than the typical coverage with high premiums, you could look into getting an HSA, or Health Savings Account. HSAs were created so that people covered by high-deductible health plans could deduct from their taxes money saved for medical expenses. This is the type of insurance we had for many years and it worked well for us because we did not have any large medical expenses and were able to set aside a decent amount of money (we lived on one rather small income while we did this, so it is possible). Many large insurance companies offer this plan. It’s helped us put aside extra money for health care costs because we have a lower premium. We can deduct this money from our taxes too, which is a great help to those who are self-employed, like my husband!

Here are some more in-depth articles on HSAs to help you decide if it may be right for you. Talk to a trusted insurance agent who can give you personal advice.

**Get Rich Slowly: HSA, Friend or Foe?

**OPM.GOV: Understanding High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts

Find an Alternative to Traditional Insurance

Another option is a medical sharing group like Samaritan Ministries. This isn’t insurance traditional insurance, but instead a Biblical approach to sharing health care needs that involves a reasonable cost per month with coverage for a wide variety of health needs, including cancer and maternity. We are currently using this program and have been for three years now. You can read our full reviews of Samaritan Ministries in these two posts:

The Positives (and Slight Negatives) of Our First Experience with Samaritan Ministries

What We Think of Samaritan Ministries After One Year as Members

Ask for a Cash Discount

For medical needs that your insurance doesn’t cover, if you’re under-insured or if you’re on a medical sharing plan such as Samaritan Ministries, ask your local clinic, dentist or hospital if they offer a cash discount or income-based discount. Sometimes they are just happy not to have to deal with an insurance company!

There are a growing number of clinics, including dentists and eye doctors, that offer reduced rates or sometimes free check-ups based on income or other need. Our local chiropractor offers us a cash discount, as general visits are not covered by Samaritan Ministries.

Also, because we had a high-deductible health plan in the past, we decided to try to negotiate the cost of the births of our children. We received a large discount because we offered to pay in full (thanks to our HSA, the money was available). Even if you can’t pay in full, many hospitals will negotiate a payment plan at a reduced rate. There are also ways you can reduce maternity costs, such as trying for a drug-free birth with minimal medical interventions (if this is safe for you, always discuss with your doctor).

3 ways to save money on health care costs
photo credit: pixabay

Use homeopathic or natural remedies for smaller health issues.

Last winter our 6 year old son had an earache. We called the doctor, who said he probably wouldn’t prescribe* anything because it wasn’t too serious and he wanted to avoid over-prescribing antibiotics {smart doctor!}. But of course our son was in pain, so I went online and found some natural ways to ease his pain and reduce the swelling in his ear. I’m pleased to say it worked and cleared up his earache overnight!

Now obviously this won’t work for every situation, but as I’m training myself not to treat everything like an emergency, we’ve saved on our medical costs and learned natural remedies to boot. Even if an insurance plan fully covers urgent care visits or regular appointments, this method will cause your (and everyone else’s) premium costs to rise over time (because somebody has to pay for it–there’s really no such thing as a free lunch!).

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*This is slightly unrelated, but one way to save money on your prescriptions is to check and see if you can order your medicines through a mail-order pharmacy. You can sometimes get a 90 day supply for the same cost that you’d pay for a 30 or 60 day supply in a walk-in pharmacy!

Okay, everyone, your turn! Do you have any questions about all this? How do you save money on health care or medical needs? 

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Jenn

Blogger/ Owner at The Purposeful Mom
Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm an "unstuffy" pastor's wife and mom to four amazing and active children. My desire is to equip you with the resources, tools and encouragement you need to learn God’s Word and apply it to your life so you can teach the Word to your children in a way that has a lasting impact! I want to help you turn good ideas into good practices so that you feel confident, by the grace of God, in carrying out the many vocations you have been called to as a Christian woman. Read more on my about page!

7 Comments on 3 Ways We Save Money on Healthcare Costs

    • Thanks so much for giving me a first-hand look at a situation where you used Samaritan. My husband and I are still a little nervous about starting it, but after his recent health issue, we realized we would have paid much less if we’d been on Samaritan (because we currently have a high-deductible plan).

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