5 Ways to Cut Your Health Care Costs

A recent survey revealed that 22 percent of Americans considered health care to be the single most critical problem confronting the U.S. now. And for good reason. Since 2000, health care prices have almost doubled, growing at five times the speed of salary increases.

The great news is because there are things that families can do to lower those prices.

Sign up for an HMO

If yours is a healthy family that just uses lots of routine care, you can likely get by with a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, if such a strategy can be found at your workplace. You almost certainly will not have to pay should you use physicians within the HMO network and deductibles and your copays will be lower.

Pay less for drugs

One place where you may have the ability to cut health care costs is in drugs. Many companies are providing financial incentives to support the utilization of drugs that are expensive. The truth is, almost nine out of 10 workers are in some sort of a plan with a tiered cost-sharing formula for medications.

The way these work is because there’s one copayment for generic drugs. Subsequently, there’s generally higher copay for preferred, brand name drugs like Levatol or Claritan for which there’s no generic replacement, and higher copays for non-preferred drugs.

Make sure you at all times check with your physician or pharmacist to find out whether there’s before filling a prescription, a generic replacement. Generics typically cost 30 to 70 percent less than brand-name drugs with an average copay of only $10 vs. $33 for a brand name, non-preferred drug. If there’s a replacement drug that will cost less under your health plan when there isn’t any generic equivalent to the drug you’ve been prescribed, ask your insurance company or business HR department.

Take advantage of a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

An FSA lets you deduct cash pretax from your pay check to cover out of pocket medical expenses. As the record of expenses you’ll be able to pay using FSA dollars has been expanded drastically the great news has gotten better, also. Actually, the list contains most over-the-counter drugs, and new services which make it simpler to spend your account off. Yet, despite all the many advantages of FSAs, just about 20 percent of eligible workers present take advantage of those.

You can regularly give as much as $5,000 per year. while contributions vary by company Given this, you will save as much as 30 percent in your Federal Income Tax. This can change depending in your tax bracket.

It’s possible for you to use FSA dollars to pay insurance deductibles and copays, and for such un-reimbursed expenses as LASIC operation and acupuncture, contact lenses, influenza shots. It’s possible for you to locate a listing of eligible items at irs.gov.

Make sure to request your HR department about the access to an FSA. You can just elect to give to an FSA for a specific calendar year during an open enrollment gains time or in the event that you have had a life-changing event, this type of wedding or the birth of a kid.

Lori Hoskens

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