And save money on healthcare!
I’m writing this post on New Year’s Day. Typical of the day, I’m also pondering a few questions.
What did I learn last year about staying healthy? What have I done well in my quest to be healthier and save money? What can I do better this year?
As so many of us know, healthcare is unreasonably expensive. My goal the last few years has been to exercise more, eat sensibly, and stress less. By staying healthy I avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor and save money. Last year my biggest health expense was an … Continue reading
Avoid the emergency room
Fridays, weekends and holidays are always bad times to get a doctor’s appointment, and many people end up in an emergency department. Which costs a lot of money, even for those with health insurance.
What can you do to decrease your chances of needing emergency care or other expensive healthcare over the holidays?
An emergency physician recently posted some good tips on the healthcare blog KevinMD, and I’ve included a few of my own.
- Refill your prescription medications before the holidays.
- Participate in winter activities, such as skiing or ice skating, safely. Use recommended safety equipment.
… Continue reading
Eyeglasses are too expensive!
Let me start with a disclosure: I’m not in any way affiliated with Zenni Optical; I just think they have a good product at a reasonable price and wanted to share my family’s experience.
My husband and I have an individual health insurance plan that does not include vision. When we need new glasses or contacts, we have to pay the full price.
I think it’s important to get an eye exam at least every two years, but because of the expense I only get new glasses every four or five years. And shopping for … Continue reading
An ambulance ride is often a hidden (and costly) expense
Kaiser Health News just published an article about patients being stuck with outrageously high bills for ambulance rides.
One patient got a $3,660 bill for a 4-mile ride. Another was charged $8,460 for a trip from one hospital that could not handle his case to another that could.
Several years ago when my husband ended up in an emergency room (long story—read my About page), he needed to be transferred to another hospital that was about half a mile away.
The ambulance ride for that short trip cost close to … Continue reading
Wait for the EOB
EOB stands for Explanation of Benefits.
It’s the form from your insurance company that shows how much your healthcare provider was reimbursed for your office visit, lab work, x-rays, etc.
Typically it arrives at your house before the individual bills from the provider, which show the balance owing, or what you are expected to pay.
Keep this in mind: Don’t pay a medical bill until you’ve compared the services and charges to your EOB!
Insurance claims can be wrong
A few months ago my husband had his annual physical. About a week before his visit, he … Continue reading
Today’s guest post about cost-effective home remedies for foot fungus comes from Sarah Jones (bio below). Thanks for sharing this information, Sarah! FN
Symptoms and causes of foot fungus
Foot fungus (athlete’s foot or toenail fungus) is relatively common and many will experience it at least once in their lifetime. Common symptoms include:
- Burning sensation
- Blisters or sores
- Cracked skin on your foot, particularly between the toes
- Yellow or white spots under your toenail(s)
- Yellow, brittle or extra-thick toenails
Foot fungus grows when your foot is wet or moist and warm. This means sweaty socks, showers, and pools. … Continue reading
Unnecessary tests = unnecessary expense
This is a follow up to my last post about the dangers of too much medical care.
One of the biggest doors leading to an overabundance of healthcare and healthcare costs is the annual exam and all the “routine” lab work that is ordered almost without thought.
Doctors’ offices strive to be efficient. They have a lot of patients to see every day, after all.
One way they streamline their practices is to set up routine or “standing” orders for common lab tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis (UA), … Continue reading
The best tip? Take your time and ask lots of questions
I’ve been exchanging emails this week with a friend who is in the market for a new dentist.
Like me, she expects good value for her money. She doesn’t want to feel like a cash cow and have unnecessary x-rays, procedures of questionable benefit, or expensive cosmetic dentistry.
She wants a dental office that’s clean and well managed, and a dentist she can feel comfortable talking to about costs. Someone who will answer her questions clearly and then let her decide what is best for her health and her … Continue reading
Just last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new epinephrine auto-injector, Symjepi.
I don’t much like the name, but if it’s cheaper…!
I’ve posted several times about the skyrocketing cost of EpiPens—over 500% in the last 10 years.
Anyone who, like me, has been shocked at the pharmacy to discover how much a two-pack of EpiPens costs will be hoping Symjepi will be more affordable.
It won’t be available on the market until later this year, so I don’t know yet how much it will cost. But Adamis Pharmceuticals, the company that makes Symjepi, … Continue reading
My guest post today is from Matthew Bahr, a healthcare finance specialist.
I’ve posted about surprise medical bills before. Sadly, they are becoming more common as healthcare costs continue to rise and provider networks shrink.
Consumer Reports estimates about one third of patients with health insurance receive these unexpectedly high medical bills.
Thank you, Matthew, for sharing your tips and expertise with my readers! FN
Although we know healthcare costs a lot of money, it still stings when we see that bill.
You might think because you’re insured, your insurance will cover most or many of the costs. But … Continue reading