Tips to Managing your Healthcare in the New Year
If 2015 taught us anything, it was healthcare costs were going to continue to rise in 2016. With the majority of carriers urging individuals to take control of their health and thus reduce cost, we thought we’d share these tidbits to help you cut down on your healthcare costs this year.
- Wash your hands. 80% of communicable disease are transferred by touch. + By washing your hands you can avoid spreading the common cold and flu or foodborne illnesses like Salmonella and E. Coli. Wash your hands and stay healthy.
- Get enough sleep. Skip the booze which can lead to loss of REM sleep (you restorative stage of sleep) and sleep when you are tired. Your body is actively fighting against infection when you sleep.
- Eat Right. Eat foods full of vitamin C and zinc to help combat the common cold or flu.
- Drink Plenty of Fluids. Studies have shown when the body is hydrated it can fight off viruses better. Avoid caffeinated drinks but drink plenty of water-about 6-8 glasses per day.
- Just move. Exercise helps prevent a number of ailments. From improving the body’s immune system to fight off colds to helping you keep your balance which can prevent falls, regular exercise will help you stay out of the doctor’s office.
- Know your plan. Your carrier should provide to you a Summary of Benefits Coverage and/or a benefits grid. Review your co-pays and take control of your healthcare. Most of the time a co-pay for your physician’s office or Urgent Care will be less than the co-pay for the ER. Unless it is a life threatening ailment, most doctor offices or urgent cares can treat you the same way an ER would.
- Look for hidden costs. Sometimes you may need to go to a lab for bloodwork or other lab work. Some plans charge a different rate for these types of labs depending on where you go. For example, a hospital clinic may be more expensive than a stand-alone clinic.
- Take advantage of your well visit. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) all yearly well visits are 100% covered by your insurance. Preventative care is the best care.
- Review your prescriptions. Stay on top of your prescription costs by carrying on an open dialogue with your doctor to ensure you are on the correct medications for your diagnosis. Overmedicating can be expensive and a hazard to your health.
- Along the same lines as number 6, know your prescription costs. Most providers have mail-order service which will cut down on your costs by offering a lower co-pay.
Staying in control of your health and understanding your benefits is key to preventing skyrocketing healthcare costs. If you need help understanding your benefits call your account manager today!