DIY : Four Ways to Save Money on Healthcare – Healthcare in America
The United States is in a somewhat uncommon situation among other western countries in that healthcare is not free here. Visitors and immigrants from Europe and Canada often marvel at the notion of paying for basic healthcare — but it is life, and it is complicated.
With financial obstacles in your life, it can be very hard to afford the care you need. Insurance doesn’t cover everything for the people who have it, and some people aren’t in a position to have insurance anyway. When it comes to healthcare in the United States, it’s smart to know how to cut your costs down. Here are some ways you can do just that:
Pregnancies are expensive due to their dangerous nature regarding the life of a mother and child. Even with that said though, some of the standard birthing costs can be easily reduced. Now, your insurance situation will obviously make a big difference here. Without it, you will likely be paying upwards of $10,000 for standard pregnancy medical care. Additionally, C-sections and epidurals are typically in the thousands of dollars on their own.
If you don’t have insurance but do have family or friends that are trained birthing professionals, then you could save $10,000 or more just by not visiting a hospital and having the baby in-house. Of course, make sure that you are completely confident can deliver a baby for you, because this is literally a matter of life or death. The more control you have, the better you can plan for your birthing as well — many women, in fact, use natural means to help induce labor. That said, be extremely cautious in making this decision, and do your research.
It is wise to get insurance if you don’t already have it. This alone could potentially save you a lot of money. Even a low-end insurance company can save you thousands giving birth in a hospital. If you’re living where the ACA still applies by the time the GOP’s new healthcare changes take full effect, try to enroll before the fourth quarter — your costs for professional care may be much less.
Get LASIK. No, Seriously.
“LASIK surgery?” you may be thinking to yourself. “Isn’t that expensive?” Well, relatively speaking, no. The reason is that smaller eye care expenses cost a lot over time.
Hiatt Eye Center published a piece on their website recently explaining the cost of regular procedure eyecare. Eye exams typically cost a couple hundred dollars, while contact lenses may cost up to $700 every time you have a change in prescription. Stylish glasses are often up to $1,000 by themselves, and if you put this in the context of lifetime updates, you’ll end up with tens of thousands of dollars in costs over the course of your life.
The thing about LASIK is you usually only have to get it once. Considering the cost of routine eye care, LASIK pays for itself within a few years. It may be expensive now, but it may be worth the cost in the big picture.
Take Advantage of Free Resources
Free medical resources do exist and are worth your time. Organizations like Planned Parenthood and other free clinics offer free STI testing for teens and adults. If you’re a student, colleges often offer free doctor’s visits as well as mental health services.
All of this said, remember you have the internet at your disposal. It’s a technological advancement that’s completely changed the way we live — and part of that is convenience of information! If you have a recognizable illness, websites like WebMD may give you options for keeping yourself in healthy spirits before you’re able to see a doctor. You could at least use it in deciding whether or not to go to a clinic or doctor’s office. It’s all about how much you know and what sources you trust, however, so tread carefully.
Keep Up the Hygiene — Again, Yes This Is Serious
An easy way to save on medical care is to simply take care of yourself. Being properly nourished, brushing your teeth three times a day, washing your hands after coming in from the outdoors and after using the toilet, and showering every other day at least are all good ways to keep yourself healthy. Sleep hygiene and air quality are very important factors as well, so make that your air is clean and of good quality.
Remember, being healthy requires being consistent with these things. You won’t be healthy if your nutrition and hygiene are only addressed and taken care of every few days. You can’t expect to be able to catch up on your sleep if you deprive yourself of rest for a week. In fact, your immune system may get weaker, and you won’t be able to handle sickness when it knocks on your door.
Healthcare is expensive; in the meantime, while we vote for politicians who will effect change and wait for the U.S. system to catch up with the rest of the developed world, there are ways to save and stay healthy. How have you cut costs on healthcare? We’d love more suggestions — feel free to leave them in the comments below!