10 MEDICAL TIPS
Tip 1. PREVENTION The cheapest medical advice there is simple. Stay healthy. Prevent disease before it happens. Those old bromides DO make sense - eat properly, exercise and sleep well.
Tip 2. BE PREPARED
Having a well stocked medical cabinet or medical kit is not only smart, but potentially life saving. What should be in it, is easy to find on the web. You can check one of our recommended web sites, or ask a nurse practioner.
Periodically check to be sure it is well stocked and adjust your inventory to reflect changes in the seasons. You'll need more flu supplies in the winter and more skin care (bandages, sun screen, etc.) in the summer.
Instructing responsible members of the family in basic emergency procedures is another one of those no-brainers.
Tip 3. BE FRUGAL
Let your doctor know you're concerned about cost. Tell them if you don't have insurance, or a high deductible. A discount may be available. A good doctor understands, if a patient is worried about paying, it may inhibit treatment.
Tip 4. GET SAVVY
There are many excellent online sources for medical information. Please see our TEN GREAT MEDICAL WEB SITES for a list. By using these sites, you can become smarter about your health and a specific issue. If you have a specific illness, be sure to follow updates through these websites or find one of the many sites doctors in that field follow.
Tip 5. DRUGS DEALS, pt 1
Many pharmacies now offer discount plan for prescriptions. if you are taking medicine, look into it. Before you commit, check out Consumers Reports. They periodically rate pharmacies large and small.
Tip 6. DRUG DEALS, pt 2
Always ask your doctor for generics prescriptions. They cheaper and have passed the time test. They are usually covered by the discount plan. Remember drug companies are not altruistic. They are in it for the money, your money.
Here are three quick tips.
Consider splitting pills. If your prescription is for 25mg. Buying 50 mg. pills and splitting them could be cheaper.
If you see a drug advertised on TV, you will be paying a premium.
If your doctor prescribes a name brand, be sure they are not being paid by the drug companies to promote their drug. It happens.
Tip 7. CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE
A couple of decades ago, chiropractors were considered quakcs. Today many people use them. There are alternative medical options. Sometimes these should be considered. Some of these alternatives are substantially less expensive. One word of caution, don't get hoodwinked by real quacks. Study your illness, be informed and make a judgement based on that, not on unrealistic promises.
Tip 8. HEAL THY SELF
Sometimes it is as simple of letting your body take care of itself. One astonishing statistic shows 50% of the patients do NOT follow doctor's instructions. This could be from taking medications as prescribed or doing rehab. The body has a remarkable ability to fix itself given the proper environment. Let your body heal itself. There may even be times when getting into the medical industry is not even worthwhile. Your body will do it all, but one word of caution. Don't be foolish. Seek care when it makes sense to.
Tip 9. MEDICAL VACATIONS
The US has the most expensive medical industry in the world. Consider taking a medical vacation. The concept is simple, find a country where the procedure you need is done well and have it done there. Check with your insurance company, they should be on board. Be sure to do your homework first. For example, Mexican dentistry is a fraction of what US dentists charge.
Tip 10. DEAL WITH IT
Once bills have been amassed, get ready to negotiate. Hospitals will settle with you. The person who pays the most in the medical industry is the single, uninsured person. Large insurers negotiate deals ahed of time. Use Medicare as a benchmark and discuss this openly with the people you owe money to. Just be sure you can live with any deal settled upon.