5 unique ways to save money on health care that will surprise you

|
5 unique ways to save money on health care that will surprise you
Image Credit: The Associated Press
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.
Advertisement

Tired of paying too much money for your health care? Here’s a unique idea that could offer a solution.

Read more: Aetna to withdraw from Affordable Care Act in 11 of 15 states

A doctor on call for a membership fee

In an effort to circumvent health insurance headaches, some doctors have switched to cash-only practices and are saving their patients big bucks in the process.

Dr. Todd Johnson of Lincoln, Neb., is one such doctor. Fed up with the headaches of paperwork and payments from traditional insurance, Dr. Johnson has created an insurance-free practice that you can buy membership in.

There are no copays and no deductibles and you get unlimited consultations and office visits, according to the Associated Press.

Dr. Johnson charges an age-based fee that starts at $50 a month for younger adults and goes up to $75 for middle-age adults and $100 for senior citizens.

Another nice perk? Minimum 30-minute office visits instead of the usual thing where you see a doc for less than 15 minutes and it feels more like a speed race than a deep dive into your health.

The AP even reports that Dr. Johnson makes himself available to members any day of the week — including during the time when he is at home!

One of the challenges of this model has been cheap immunizations. Fortunately, Dr. Johnson discovered a local pharmacy that can give him a reasonable price on them.

Dr. Johnson’s goal to lower health care costs for all is laudable. But the cost of health care is still a struggle for many people.

When it comes to saving money on health care, we’ve all heard about the usual suspects like getting generic prescriptions, doing a flexible-spending account for health care costs and using only in-network doctors and facilities.

But here are some unique ways to save money you may not have considered…

Consider a virtual visit

Though telemedicine has been around for about 15 years, it is just now starting to gain some traction. See if it would make sense for your life.

Hire a medical billing specialist as an advocate

According to some estimates, roughly eight in 10 hospital bills have multiple errors. Hiring a medical billing specialist can save you the money and headache of fighting with the health care provider over something that you believe has been incorrectly billed.

Use free tools to know what you’re going to pay before you go under the knife

While Dr. Johnson’s practice is interesting, most of us still have insurance. But that doesn’t mean we have to face a future of unknown bills when we use our insurance for a medical procedure like an operation.

Check out this free service that allows you to research the cost of a particular procedure at your doctor of choice based on the insurance you have!

Choose a nurse-in-a-box clinic instead of an ER

One of the most expensive places to get medical care is in the hospital emergency room. There’s a much better alternative if you need medical care when your doctor’s office isn’t open: It’s those retail clinics typically located in drug stores, discount stores or supermarkets. See how much money they can save you vs. the ER.

Consider a faith-based program

This option is similar to Dr. Johnson’s membership model, but you would have to be a member of a particular religious group to qualify. Watch Clark discussing this option.

Read more: How to tell if your doctor is being paid to steer you to certain drugs

Stocking your medicine cabinet at the dollar store

Advertisement
Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments