10 Tips For Saving Money On Health Care


With rising health care expenses and a lingering recession, many Americans are wondering how theyll get the care they need without falling deeper into debt.

Medical costs are among the biggest budget busters, especially when health issues are unexpected, said Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, a national non-profit credit counseling agency[1]. While some bills cant be prevented, you may be surprised that you can drastically cut your overall health care expenses by questioning, negotiating and shopping around.

Sullivan explains further with these 10 tips for saving money on health care:

  • Stay Healthy: First and foremost commit to healthy living. Eat well, exercise and steer clear of unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, medical expenses for an obese person are about 42 percent higher than someone of healthy weight. Likewise, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it costs 18 percent more to insure a smoker.
  • Take Preventive Action: Preventive care is crucial for keeping health care costs down over time, and many insurance plans now provide preventive-care screenings without charging deductibles and copays. Annual well-visits give your doctor an opportunity to provide necessary medical advice and identify health concerns before they become major issues.
  • Choose In-Network Providers: If you have medical insurance, choose in-network health care providers to keep your out-of-pocket costs down. This applies to your family doctor, specialists, healthcare facilities and even medical labs.
  • Assess Urgency: If you need to see a doctor after hours, consider an urgent care or convenience-care clinic over the ER. You can save hundreds of dollars for relatively minor issues like a sprained ankle or the flu.
  • Maximize Your Deductible: If youre close to meeting (or have already met) your insurance deductible, schedule any necessary medical procedures or physician visits in the same calendar year. Your deductible starts over at years end, and waiting to schedule procedures means youll pay a larger share of the cost.
  • Inquire About Medical Necessities: Some medical procedures are urgent and necessary, others are less so. If money is tight especially if youre a private-pay patient ask your doctor about the feasibility of delaying your procedure.
  • Negotiate Costs: If you need to see a doctor and youre paying out of pocket, be sure to compare prices. Its important to know, too, that many providers will negotiate prices or provide cash discounts to private-pay patients. While the ER is no place to barter, consider this tactic for non-urgent or elective procedures.
  • Review Your Coverage: If youre self-insured, review your coverage annually to make sure youre not under- or over-insured. If youre insured through work, evaluate your plan during open enrollment. With health-care reform changes and a variety of insurance plans to choose from, the coverage you selected last year may no longer be the best option.
  • Find Rx Discounts: Many pharmacies extend special offers on prescription drugs. One pharmacy may advertise a $4 cholesterol medication while another may offer a low-price on blood-pressure meds. Be sure to shop around. If you have multiple prescriptions, it may be more cost effective to fill them at separate pharmacies. Additionally, ask your doctor to prescribe generics whenever possible.
  • Consider Online and Mail-Order Prescriptions: Search Web and mail-order pharmacies for deep discounts. Some even offer a three-month supply of drugs for the same price as one month at a neighborhood pharmacy.

About Take Charge America, Inc.

Take Charge America, Inc., a non-profit financial education, credit counseling, housing counseling and debt management agency, is dedicated to helping consumers nationwide improve their financial futures. Founded in 1987, the organization has helped more than 1.6 million consumers nationwide manage their personal finances and debts. To learn more, visit www.takechargeamerica.org[2] or call (888) 822-9193.


  1. ^ Take Charge America, a national non-profit credit counseling agency (cts.businesswire.com)
  2. ^ www.takechargeamerica.org (cts.businesswire.com)

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  1. Reply

    Health Tips!!!!!!!!!!!? I have lettuce…. Any ideas what I could put in it to make it less boring but still healthy?

    Any more healthy food ideas would be great too.

    Any health tips period would be great lol


      • HealthNut
      • November 1, 2012

      Strawberries, cut up and put in the salad 🙂 Also, raspberry vinaigrette, croutons, tiny little seeds, celery, cucumber, carrots, even little cubes of cheese and raisins 🙂

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Health Tips? Is it bad for the health when after eating, I immediately lie to sleep?

      • HealthNut
      • November 1, 2012

      Yes it is you should wait at least 2 hours after eating before going to sleep or else the food you just ate won’t burn up! you shouldn’t eat after like 6pm

  3. Reply

    Health Tips And Vitamins I Should Take Being A Growing Teen? Anyone recommend any daily vitamins i should take? please provide the store i can get em at and the price. what it does and all the details please. also any random health tips would be appreciated. thanks.

      • HealthNut
      • November 1, 2012

      A multi vitamin suh as centrum is good. Flaxseed oil capsules are great as well.

    • Kara
    • November 1, 2012

    Any Health Or Beauty Tips You Know About Weightloss, Looks, Health Etc? I want to try and be heathlier and feel better about myself because at the moment I have really low self esteem and I want to know any health tips you guys can give me.
    – How to lose weight safely
    – How to brush your hair or teeth properly
    – How to apply makeup
    – A good cleanser that won’t harm your skin.

    Basically just anything you know about being healthy or anything you can think of.

    Person with the most tips gets best answer!

      • HealthNut
      • November 1, 2012

      Hi Kara!

      I have dealt with this problem of weight lose (and low self esteem too!) for a couple of years now. But now I reached a point where I know if I will not do something for myself, no one will do it…So, here is a list of some questions/ideas that I think you will find useful and by answering to these question you will have some ideas on what to work on.

      1. Make the time to focus on health.

      2. Take a long hard look at what you are putting into your body.

      3. How much are you eating?

      4. Drink WATER!

      5. How much do you move each day?

      Hope you will be ok soon!



  4. Reply

    How Can I Get Healthy? -Health Tips? This year, I made it a point to become healthy. I have lost some weight and got rid of some acne.

    I really want to be healthy, and make sure that I look healthy.

    Can you give me some all over health tips?
    Im a teen girl by the way.

      • HealthNut
      • November 1, 2012


      The best advice I can give you is exercise daily and eat well. Eat at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day. Try to cut out as much sugar and snacks as you can manage. Drink plenty of water. Exercise for about 30 minutes a day, remember this does not have to be running a million miles and lifting 10 ton weights. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and is great because you can walk briskly around shops whilst looking at really cute outfits!

      I hope this helps!

    • Hg
    • November 1, 2012

    Do These Health Tips Actually Work? 1 apple / day – no doctor
    1 lemon / day – no fat
    1 cup of milk / day – no bone problems
    3 ltrs water / day – no diseases…

    Also what are some losing weight health tips?

      • HealthNut
      • November 1, 2012

      No, these health ‘tips’ are actually myths. It’s all very healthy to do that, but no.

      To lose weight, all you can really do is exercise more and eat healthy and try to keep your calories at around 1600 a day. It’s good to drink homemade lemonade that tastes pretty sour and not sweetened very much- it’s good for your metabolism. Tea is good, fruits and vegetables are good. It’s a great time to get active because it’s summer and you’ll sweat more, which is awesome for your body to flush out toxins and such. I like making fruit smoothies and adding spinach or kale (you can’t taste it and it’s so good for your body- not to mention filling). When you snack during the day, only snack on ‘raw’ foods like fruits and vegetables, or maybe a few almonds.

      Good luck!

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