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Last Updated on 24 February 2019

Health Insurance and Out of Pocket Expenses

No one enjoys the out-of-pocket expenses that come with health insurance.  Yet, they are unfortunately part of the system, and you must be prepared to meet them.  Luckily there are some strategies and options that could be useful – read on for details…

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The flexibility to negotiate is not absent from health care.  In fact, negotiation has been proven to be effective. A Harris Interactive poll showed that 6 out of 10 people received a discount when negotiating out of pocket expenses.  If you are not covered for certain items, it can obviously be worth negotiating fees with your healthcare provider; there might be something that can be done to make it affordable.

A World of Options

A number of plans can help make out-of-pocket costs reasonable.  If you are struggling with such expenses, or simply want to be ready when they arise, take a look at some of the possible courses of action below.

Discount Plans

Health care discount plans may be offered by your healthcare provider, or as an alternative or supplement to health insurance.  Check with your insurer and other insurers, as well as independent companies, who can supply these types of programs.

The discount plan could involve a monthly or annual fee that you make.  Similar to a prescription plan, it can be an effective way to keep costs low for covered items – without the presence of health insurance.  You should definitely investigate these options in order to provide a wider set of coverage for the particular need.

Interest Free Payment Plans

Perhaps you aren’t covered for a specific item.  You may want to look at ways to manage paying for it yourself – and your doctor’s office or other caregiver may offer an interest free plan.

This can be an effective way to pay for your treatment over a period of time.  Instead of immediately coming up with $1,500 for a procedure, such a plan could allow you to pay it over the next several months.  This can beat neglecting your health needs or taking on a significantly higher health insurance plan.

Shop Around

“Shop around?  Aren’t we talking about health care?”

Indeed, we are.  If you are paying out of pocket, you may want to consider other options for a specific treatment.  Think about it: if your insurance doesn’t cover a procedure, and your provider won’t give a discount or plan to make it affordable – why shouldn’t you look elsewhere?

You may want to compare private health insurance options even when your provider does give some benefits.  Perhaps you’ll find a better plan, allowing you to save more money for future expenses.  It might just be worth the trouble, for the sake of your budget.  It doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your healthcare provider – your insurance might just dictate this temporary switch for a specific health-related need.

Take a look at some of these options to make your health-related needs more affordable.  Keep in mind that there will always be choices with the location you choose to take care of these needs, as well.

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication

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