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6 Simple ways to cut down expenses on doctors and healthcare

29 June 2017
We, generally, tend to spend a lot on healthcare- doctors, hospitals, medicines etc. Here are a few tips to save on your medical expenses.
 
 

On an average, the amount of money spent on healthcare forms almost 7% of the total expenditure of every Indian household. Why? Because most of us have a poor lifestyle, where we ignore health issues and fail to take proper care of ourselves. Delayed diagnosis and treatments, along with high inflation in health care are other factors that contribute to the high medical bills we often pay.

Here are a few ways to save the money you spend on doctors, hospitals and medicines, without compromising on quality healthcare. 

1. Get a health insurance plan 

Eighty percent of India’s population is not covered by health insurance. If you do not have a health insurance plan, a medical emergency can turn into a financial emergency. A health insurance plan can help you right from your dental check-ups to critical illnesses treatments.  

For instance, if your insurance plan offers a cover of Voveran, Betadine and Volini are examples of generic drugs. However, ensure these are first approved by your doctor. 

Another tip that can help reduce medical costs is buying medication from online pharmacies. Most of these pharmacies offer about 10 to 20% discount on medicine prices as compared to brick and mortar medical stores.  

 

2. Consider the cashless benefit 
An important decision you must make when getting a health plan is whether you want the cashless benefit or not. This benefit eliminates the need for you to pay for treatments from your own pocket. Instead, the expenses are taken care of by your insurer. This is particularly useful when dealing with chronic conditions or critical illnesses, for which treatments can run into lakhs of Rupees. 
Without this benefit, you not only have to bear the cost of your medical treatment initially, but will also have to fill out various forms and take care of all the paperwork by yourself. Alternately, with a cashless benefit, your insurance company oversees all the paperwork, so you have less to worry about. 
In addition to this, without the cashless benefit, you can only claim medical expenses once you have been discharged and have provided all the necessary bills. 


3. Choose preventive-care options 
Prevention is always better than cure. Health insurance plans and health care membership programs entitle you to receive regular health check-ups, screenings, immunizations, cholesterol and dental exams, mammograms etc. Regular check-ups can help save a lot of money as they help spot a health problem while in an early stage or can even prevent it altogether. Make use of these services as they ensure optimum healthcare benefits. 
Related link: Is your health insurance plan adequate to cover critical illness?

 


4. Look for low-cost medicines
Medicines are manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies, but have a specific chemical composition. You can find medicines of the same composition in the market at lower costs, which could reduce the amount of money you spend on medication. Glycomet, Voveran, Betadine and Volini are examples of generic drugs. However, ensure these are first approved by your doctor.
Another tip that can help reduce medical costs is buying medication from online pharmacies. Most of these pharmacies offer about 10 to 20% discount on medicine prices as compared to brick and mortar medical stores. 

 

5. Follow your doctor’s orders 

Most of us stop taking prescribed medicines or do not complete a course of medication once we start feeling better. Not following your doctor’s instructions may result in a relapse of a health condition or worsening of it. Consequently, you could end up spending more money to recover completely. Hence, it is advisable that you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. 

6. Improve your lifestyle 

The best way to reduce your healthcare expenditure is to keep yourself healthy. Some simple changes in your lifestyle- regular exercising, better eating habits, maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels etc. can go a long way in saving you those hospital trips and unnecessary medical expenses. 

Additionally, many insurers are also making an effort to ensure you stay healthy by offering different kinds of incentives. For instance, providing proof of your fitness regime through wearables could get you lower premiums. Meanwhile, some insurers are offering discounts on gym memberships, diagnostic centers etc. to make it easier and less expensive to maintain your health and fitness.  

All these go a long way in not only helping you take complete care of your body, but also helping you save money in the long run.

 

 
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