“An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,” the saying goes. With the rising costs of health—from doctor’s fees to the price of surgery—it has become increasingly important to maintain good health and invest in disease prevention rather than spend thousands on medication and hospital stays. What can you do to stay healthy while keeping the costs down? Here are five practical things to bear in mind…
Shopping around doesn’t just apply to clothing and home furnishings; it’s also a good idea to compare prices when it comes to health care. There are free online consumer guides that can help you determine fair prices for services and products for health care. Browse websites of health care providers in your specialist field and geographical area to be as specific as possible. So, don’t just look at dentistry but consider top dentistry in Springfield PA for example. You can also check with your insurance company for a list of providers they have agreements with. The same procedure, such as an MRI scan, can have differing costs depending on the service provider.
Brand name prescription drugs can be very costly, but it’s within your rights to ask for a suitable generic alternative. Usually there is little to no difference at all between the brand-name meds and generics. According to the FDA, generic drugs utilize the same active ingredients and essentially work the same way in the body as brand-name medications, but cost up to eighty percent less. Taking generics can definitely give you big savings, especially for maintenance meds you have to take on a regular basis. Supplements such as vitamins can also have cheaper over-the-counter alternatives. Don’t be afraid to ask, it can save you a lot in the long run while still providing the same medicinal benefit.
Go for a checkup
Saving money on health costs also involves seeing a professional to make sure you are healthy, so don’t skip on your doctor’s appointments, including dentals. If the doctor is able to detect any health issues early on, you will most likely be able to save money in the long run. For instance, if your dentist is able to see to a tooth cavity now, you’ll be able to avoid a painful procedure such as an implant further down the line. The pain will be physical and financial.
Speaking of doctor’s appointments, don’t forget to take the freebies before you leave the office. Dental offices may have free toothpaste samples, flosses, and toothbrushes that you can take home and use. Some doctors may also give out samples of medications they prescribe, saving you on costs. You can also link with service providers who conduct free vision, blood sugar and hearing tests and screenings and also provide free glasses, contact solutions, vitamins, and hearing aids as part of their community service programs. Taking time to research these options cost you nothing, but the savings can be significant.
Another useful saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” An all-round healthy lifestyle will be beneficial to your health and your bank balance. Exercise regularly—a good 20 minutes of walking every day can do wonders—and have a healthy, balanced diet. Quitting bad habits such as smoking and desserts after ten can seriously make you healthier. Get some fresh air, enough sleep and, yes, eat those apples!