Health Advocate Blog

Tips to help you be a smarter healthcare consumer

Keeping your medical costs as low as possible takes a little effort, but the payoff can save you hundreds of dollars! In honor of February being Wise Healthcare Consumer Month, we offer the following tips that can help you keep more money in your pocket and get healthier, too.

Know what your health plan covers. Is rehab covered? Chiropractic? Getting this information beforehand can prevent receiving a surprise bill.

Understand your out-of-pocket costs. This includes copays for doctor visits and hospitalizations, deductibles, and co-insurance.

Stick with in-network providers. Always check that doctors, labs, hospitals and medical facilities are in your plan’s network before you make the appointment.

Have a high-deductible health plan? Sign up for an HSA! An HSA (Health Savings Account) allows you to contribute tax-free dollars deducted from your paycheck to help pay for medical expenses.

Take advantage of preventive care and screenings. Services like annual physical exams, mammograms, and flu shots can help promote good health and detect problems early, which could mean fewer doctor visits down the road!

Comparison-shop for services upfront. The costs for medical procedures and tests can vary widely even in your geographic area depending on the doctor and facility.

Visit an in-network urgent care center for non-emergency care. They can treat sprains, cuts and breaks, colds, fevers and other non-life threatening conditions for a fraction of the cost of visiting an ER.

Ask your doctor about generic versions of prescribed drugs. You could save up to 80 percent on medication costs!

If applicable, enroll in your health plan’s mail order prescription drug service. Ordering a 90-day supply of a maintenance medication can be a real money-saver.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, eating better, losing weight and quitting tobacco can help you be healthy and possibly avoid costly medical conditions.

For Health Advocate members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our Health Advocacy service, call us for personalized help. We can help locate in-network providers, make appointments, explain your health plan coverage and costs, check that medications are on your plan’s formulary (drug list), review bills for accuracy, assist with claims denials, and more!