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health shopper

The health insurance landscape is changing. Because of higher premiums along with larger deductibles and copays, the typical family is spending more of its household income on medical care. In fact, employee health costs are up 43% since 2010 and increased 8% in 2015 alone.

Becoming a more informed consumer could help you save money.

Start by telling service providers that costs matter to you. Physicians may be more inclined to take your financial situation into account when making recommendations.

Here are a few more tips to help reduce your medical bills.

1. Ask about generic prescription options for recommended drug regimens.

2. Insurers and network providers have agreed-upon reimbursements, but out-of-network providers may charge unusually high rates. Knowing which hospitals and urgent-care facilities are in your network could help you avoid an especially painful bill in the event of an emergency.

3. When arranging necessary or elective surgery or treatment, take your time when choosing a doctor and a facility because charges can vary widely. Ask for detailed estimates and try to negotiate a better price. Coordinate with your physician’s office and confirm that the facility, testing service, and team members (such as anesthesiologists and radiologists) are part of your insurer’s network.

4. If you receive a bill that is higher than expected, don’t assume it is set in stone. Check hospital bills closely for errors, check billing codes, and dispute charges that you think insurance should cover. If all else fails, offer to settle your account at a discount.

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist Let’s review your retirement plan together. I invite you to meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at (866) 471-7233 | MD, VA & DC.