Who doesn’t like to cut costs? Especially on some of the unexpected things that can add up quick, like health care costs and medical bills.
The reality is that most policies – whether sponsored by an employer, through the Health Insurance Marketplace or Medicare – have a lengthy list of supplemental services that are not covered. And, if it’s not in your plan it means you could end up paying a lot out of your own pocket.
According to a report released in 2014 by the Commonwealth Fund, more than one of five 19-to-64-year-old adults who were insured all year spent 5% or more of their income on out-of-pocket costs, not including premiums, and 13% of adults spent 10% or more.
Your out-of-pocket health costs can come in a variety of ways and prices. It could be an$800 root canal at the dentist, a $79 eye exam, or, an acupuncture session that costs anywhere from $65 to $120.
The good news is that when it comes to medical bills, the web can be your money-saving friend. You just have to do a little research. To save you some time online, here are eight websites that can help cut your health care costs.
1. IRS: W-2s are on the way, so don’t forget about the tax deduction you can get if your medical bills add up to more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. To find out what medical services can be deducted from your taxes, the IRS has a very detailed and helpful list here.
2. Consumer Health Alliance: Supplemental services like dental care for adults, vision, hearing aids and alternative medicine can add up quickly. And, they’re often excluded from health insurance. Through our website, you can learn more about non-insurance discount health plans and how they help to fill the gaps and cut your health care costs (often saving 20% to 60%) at participating providers. You can also go to some of our member company websites to search for different discount health plan options in your area.
3. All About Vision: This website offers discount coupons, free trial certificates and other money-saving offers on eye care products and services, which are redeemable with retailers and eye care professionals. You can also find doctors and surgeons, as well as helpful articles and resources for your eye health.
4. American Dental Association: Many universities offer dental care services for a fraction of what you would normally pay at a practice. The work is done by students under the guidance of a seasoned instructor, plus the tools and equipment are often very up-to-date. But, the services typically take more time and there might be a waiting list to get in, or, you might not be accepted. Check out the American Dental Association's website here for a list of accredited dental schools across the country to see if there is one in your area to contact, learn more and schedule an appointment.
5. FAIR Health: This nonprofit organization’s website has a helpful online tool for you to look up general prices for dental and medical procedures in your area. This can help you anticipate and plan for out-of-pocket health care costs, or you can consider contacting another provider for what could be a lower price based on the estimates you received.
6. Teladoc: Telehealth, which is often added to discount health plans, can save you and your family time without having to leave your home. Teladoc has a large network of licensed doctors, nurses and pediatricians that are virtually accessible through phone consultations and video conferencing to provide remote clinical care 24/7 no matter where you are.
7. HealthWell Foundation: If you’re facing a chronic or life-threatening illness, the last thing you want to worry about is not being able to afford the ongoing medical care you need. The HealthWell Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to cover co-insurance, co-payments, health care premiums and deductibles for certain prescriptions and therapies.
8. Simplee ONE: This online resource can serve as a Mint.com for your health care costs. At Simplee ONE, you can store all of your health plans, doctors and records securely online, plus keep tabs on all your medical expenses. It will also alert you if it finds any potential medical billing errors, which some experts say can happen quite often.
Do you know of any websites that help to cut your health care costs? Please share them with us in the comments below.
(Image via AOL Daily Finance.)