When it comes to health exchanges and what government health policies are being offered, these are very confusing times. But there are options that you can take advantage of that help you side-step costs and bureaucracy.
1. High-Deductible plans cover your catastrophes. Sure, you have to pay for your doctor and hospital visits, but if you are a healthy person, there won’t be much expense there. On the other hand, this plan comes with the lowest monthly premium so you pay the least on an ongoing basis.
2. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are tax-deferred and can be set up through your local bank. These tax-free savings can be used for the smaller health care costs like visits to the doctor and dentist, prescriptions and even eyeglasses. You can contribute up to $3250 for an individual savings or as much as $6,450 for family coverage. This is all tax-deferred.
3. Global Health Discounts have contracts with thousands of imaging centers nationwide to offer significant savings on CT and MRI scans. Prices include the cost of the scan as well as the radiologist reading the results and are only a fraction of what it would be through insurance. While a doctor referral is needed to schedule one of these scans, a free referral can be obtained for free. Contact a foreign hospital and inquire about medical tourism for a procedure involving the body area that you want scanned and they will send you the referral.
4. Online Lab Testing Services or Direct Access Testing cuts out the need to incur the cost of a physician to get a lab referral and again the cost of a physician to read the results. Contacting online services will refer you to a lab in your area where blood can be drawn and the results are interpreted, as well as sent to you within 2 days – all for a fraction of the cost. This is allowed in every state in the country except, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
5. MediBid is an online medical market site that offers both transparency and competition in medical pricing. MediBid divulges doctor training, education and experience as well as the price for a procedure or exam so that Doctor-Patient bidding can be done in an educated and competitive way. This makes health care more affordable and more accessible for you and your loved ones. The cost can be 80 percent less than retail and 50 percent off of insurance prices.
6. Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a multispecialty facility with top surgeons and anesthesiologists. Fees for the surgery include surgeon, anesthesiologist and facility in one low quoted price with no hidden charges or surprises. If surgery is needed and you have a high-deductible insurance plan or self-insured plan, consider this site before traveling abroad for your surgical needs.
7. Medical Tourism involves travel to other countries where doctors or surgeons are well trained to provide surgery at a fraction of what it would cost at home. Typical operations include joint replacement, dental and cosmetic surgeries as well as cardiac surgery and alternative care.
8. Prepaid Medical Plans are new approaches to the cost of doctor visits and an antidote to insurance problems. Patients pay a nominal flat rate per month (e.g.$60) that entitles them to unlimited primary and urgent care. This also helps the medical facility or doctor combat administrative costs by avoiding time and expense with insurance claim submission.
Consider some of these options the next time you must make a decision on your approach to health care coverage and costs.