7 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Healthcare Spending

On a per capita basis, health spending has increased nearly 29-fold over the last four decades, from $355 per person in 1970 to $10,348 in 2016. Inflation over that same time only wen tup about 5x.  Another way to think about that is, while everything else you have to buy (food, housing, clothes, entertainment) has crept up in price, healthcare has skyrocketed many times as fast. 

 


Rising healthcare costs are killing North Carolina's economy.

Fight Back! Join the Coalition now!


Is there anything you can do to help lessen the pain of how much you’re spending on healthcare? There sure is.

1. Shop before you buy: Not everyone has a choice when it comes to healthcare decisions, but if you live near a large or mid-sized city, you probably do. If, for instance, you need an MRI, the prices vary wildly. In North Carolina, the same MRI, in the same area can cost anywhere from $933 to well over $10,000. You read that right.  The same service can cost more than 10 times as much depending on where you get it. Patients are often shocked to find out that their doctor charges vastly different prices for the same procedure depending on where the doctor performs the procedure.

2. Join the NC Coalition for Fiscal Health: Signing up for the coalition is a great way to tell the world you’ve had enough of rising healthcare costs. It’s also a great way to stay up to date on new drivers of healthcare costs and learn what you can do to have a real impact on healthcare policy that is being debated right now in Raleigh. 

3. Stay in-network: One of the great things about having health insurance is that you benefit from negotiated rates for medicals services…if you stay in-network. But if you venture outside your insurance plan’s network, you could find yourself with very large bills. In fact, sometimes you may not even know you are out of network unless you ask. 

According to one study, as many as 1 in 5 ER visits, even to an in-network hospital, results in an encounter with an out-of-network provider. In these cases, the patient doesn’t know about the out-of-network fees until they get an unpleasant surprise bill.

4. Never hand out your credit card: Never give out your credit card number to a healthcare provider until you know what they are going to charge you, and you agree that the charge is fair. (This is probably good advice for most financial transactions in life.)

5. Ask questions: If a provider tells you to do or buy something, and you are not completely clear why, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes if something doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because it doesn’t make sense at all. 

6. Get your yearly physical: As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. There’s no area in which that’s truer than in healthcare. Learning about small problems before they turn into big problems isn’t just good for your physical health – it’s good for your fiscal health, too.

7. Join the NC Coalition for Fiscal Health: Yeah, we already said it, but joining us in our fight to control healthcare costs is probably the best thing you can do to stay informed, and help our legislators do the right thing when it comes to setting healthcare policy.

 


Rising healthcare costs are killing North Carolina's economy.

Fight Back! Join the Coalition now!


 

 

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