Many American’s are writing their health care out of their budget due to the uncertain economy. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll, which showed that 53 percent of participants said that they or someone in their family has cut back on health care because of the high costs associated with it. Especially for American’s who are out of work, not having coverage can send health care costs skyrocketing with bills piling up rather quickly. The poll also indicates that more people are turning to home remedies and over the counter drugs, as opposed to seeking the help of a physician. Lastly, more American’s are not filling prescriptions and/or avoiding medical tests or treatments in order to just get by.
A few things that will help you save money is to request your own records and do it well in advance of your doctors appointment, Take note of any changes you have had in the last six months and write everything down before your visit, so you don’t forget to ask any important questions. Essentially, get the most out of one appointment as possible. Ask your doctor for free samples of any prescriptions to help keep costs down and ask about cheaper generic alternatives to your current medications.
American’s do have an option to ask for financial help as many hospitals and clinics usually have financial assistance programs. Some doctors, like Feltheimer of New York Presbyterian, lowers his fees to $50.00 for patients’ who are out of work or uninsured. Many doctors will work out a payment schedules, so do not hesitate to ask what your physician’s policies are. People with chronic or debilitating disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, can access the Patient Advocate Foundation. They provide help negotiating with insurers and helps people get the most out of their health plan. There are no financial requirements to qualify, so call (800) 532-5274 to be assigned a case manager.