5 Ways for American Families to Save Money on Healthcare

If you and your family members see the doctor on a routine basis, you’re probably looking for some easy ways to cut down on your mounting medical bills. The good news is, you don’t have to look too far. There are plenty of easy ways to start saving money on your healthcare costs right away.

  1. Go Generic

In most cases, generic medications work precisely the same or nearly the same as name-brand medications. The most significant difference is the price – which can sometimes be hundreds of dollars cheaper. Especially if you have something like the free RX discount card, which places like Walmart usually run automatically if you ask for a generic of whatever you’re picking up.

Another great way to save on medication is to ask your doctor for free samples. Big Pharmaceutical companies are always sending out free samples to doctor’s offices, oftentimes enough to do a partial or full-on treatment with them. It never hurts to ask, and it’s rare to be denied.

  1. All-in-One Care

One of the best things you can do is find a family physician that offers various ancillary services to their patients. When you can get everything done “in-house,” you’ll end up saving a lot – not only on the services themselves but on gas, time, etc. If you aren’t having to take multiple days off work, drive to several locations, and pay hidden costs like transport fees, you end up saving quite a bit overall. This also just makes a trip to the doctor so much easier.

  1. Discount Club

There are plenty of discount clubs out there for healthcare. These will often be well under $30 a month (some even under $10) and can help you save up to 60% on doctor’s visits and follow-up care (even major surgery)! It’s a huge help, especially to those who go to the hospital frequently.

  1. Check Your Bill

Did you know that up to 50% of the time, your medical bill has errors? How about that these errors can cost you hundreds of dollars? It’s critical to always pour over your medical bills to ensure you aren’t being charged incorrectly due to a mistake. This is a super-easy way to save money and can end up saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the type of medical care you’ve received. (This is especially important if you’ve been to the ER or if you’ve been hospitalized.)

  1. Eat Well

Health starts at home. If you eat well, exercise, and create an environment that helps you boost your mental health, you’ll quickly see health problems minimize or even melt away. As a rule, you should eat a rainbow a day (if not each meal) because different colored plants contain high amounts of different vitamins. Cutting out sugars and opting for healthier sweeteners like honey, dates, and agave can also be fantastic for your health. Making food from scratch is another way to ensure that you’re eating well since store-bought food has questionable ingredients.

So don’t stress – you got this handled! It’s as simple as eating well, doing a little reading, and switching your medications to something more affordable. You don’t have to feel burdened by healthcare – it’s supposed to help you feel better.

5 Reasons to Get Private Health Insurance

Reasons to Get Private Health Insurance

Have you ever thought about getting private health insurance, but never quite got around to it? Perhaps you have been tempted to get private health insurance, only to be put off by the choice or the cost. Choosing private health cover can be tricky, and for some, it can seem unnecessary. However, there are some very good reasons why you should put aside your doubts, and get private health insurance coverage today!

5 Reasons You Should Get Private Health Insurance

 

1. Emergency Issues

No one has a crystal ball. Well, some fortune tellers obviously do, but it’s debatable whether they work. For this reason, no one can predict a trip down the stairs, a slip on the pavement, or something more serious.

Unfortunately, there are some medical emergencies that need a ride in an ambulance or a long stay in the hospital. If you don’t have private healthcare to cover these eventualities, you could find yourself paying steep medical bills out of pocket at a time when you should be concentrating on recovery. However, if you have private health insurance, then you don’t need to use your emergency fund to pay for these expenses.

2. Nice Smiles

Nice smiles and good dental insurance rarely come for free. From regular check-ups and fillings, to cleanings and braces, going to the dentist is a must. It can also be expensive – especially if the whole family needs to go. One of the reasons to get private health insurance is because it can cover extras such as dental. Having these insurance extras can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs in the dental chair. The same goes for optical extras, physio extras, and so much more.

3. Family Coverage

Anyone who has kids knows you can’t protect them in a plastic bubble. They get in scrapes, break things, and occasionally get sick. Additionally, they need glasses, they braces, vaccinations, and regular check-ups.

If they require a trip to the doctor, the dentist, the orthodontist, the optician, or even the hospital, those costs can really stack up. Private health insurance can cover the whole family, so no matter who needs treatment, they can get it!

4. Saving Money

There are various government-related reasons to invest in private health coverage as well. First, the Private Health Insurance Rebate offers up to 30% rebate on private health coverage costs.

There is also Lifetime Health Cover loading, which encourages you to get private health insurance by the time you are 31 (before it starts getting more expensive). And, if you earn over a certain amount and don’t have private healthcare, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

5. Cheaper Options

If you have put off buying private health insurance because you think it’s too expensive, it might be time to think again. There are a number of basic options to choose from. Best of all, you can mix and match hospital and extras coverage with different providers to get the best deal.

Where to Shop for Private Health Insurance

If you are looking into purchasing private health insurance, there is more to consider than just the premiums and deductibles. Many employers offered sponsored plans, but there are other options out there.

For those who do not qualify for employer-sponsored plans, you can visit the Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act to compare your coverage options. Not only can you see if you qualify for a subsidy, but the site also provides information about private plans as well.

When making your decision, be sure to compare all your options. You can learn more about the different types of insurance plans here. Be sure to choose the option that gives you the coverage you need, at a price that suits you. Always read the small print and ask your insurer questions if there is anything you are uncertain about. When it comes to your health, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.

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Making Sense of Motor Vehicle Insurance

Required by law in almost every jurisdiction on the planet, motor vehicle insurance is something every car and motorcycle owner must have before they hit the road. It’s a fundamental factor for enabling so many people to become drivers.

For most people, car insurance is little more than a monthly payment and a card they carry in their wallets. That is until they’re involved in an accident or caught driving without coverage. At that point, motor vehicle insurance becomes a significant part of their lives. Their choice of coverage – or their choice to go without it – will either come through for them or come back to haunt them.

What’s more, the month-to-month cost of car and motorcycle insurance adds up over time, making it a part of personal finance as much as personal responsibility. With this in mind, let’s break down the basics of motor vehicle insurance in hopes readers can apply that information to their decisions going forward:

What’s the difference between full coverage and liability only?

Also known as comprehensive insurance, full coverage policies exist to provide additional coverage on top of what’s required by law. On the other hand, liability insurance is the “bare minimum” required by the state in which the vehicle is registered.

The difference between full coverage and liability insurance is highlighted by the following hypothetical: let’s say you rear-ended another vehicle because you were looking down at your phone. If you have full coverage, your car’s damage is covered as much as the damage inflicted on the other vehicle. If you have liability only, the damage to your vehicle becomes an out-of-pocket expense.

It’s also worth noting that any car with a lien placed on it – such as those financed with car loans – will have to be covered by a comprehensive policy. That way, if the vehicle gets totaled in an accident, the lienholder isn’t left high and dry. Once the car loan is repaid and the lien is lifted, the owner can change to liability coverage.

What happens if you drive without insurance?

Driving without insurance is against the law in almost every state and country. First-time offenders are usually let go with a hefty fine, but repeat offenders will have their licenses revoked.

Getting caught without insurance – or causing an accident without coverage – is guaranteed to cost more than it would to obey the law and drive while insured. Most states require motorists to have an SR22 or SR1P certificate if they’ve been caught more than once driving without insurance. These certificates are issued by insurance companies, most of which will price their premiums higher as a reflection of the added risk.

Simply put, driving without insurance will almost certainly cost you time and money in the long run. If you’re having trouble paying your premiums, talk to your insurance company about ways to lower that price or shop around for a new insurance provider.

Which factors influence price?

The data used to determine the price of a policy varies from one insurance company to another. However, all of them take the driving record into consideration.

Age is another crucial factor that determines how much someone pays for car or motorcycle insurance. Generally speaking, policies get cheaper as people get older.

The type of vehicle is yet another factor that decides the price of an insurance policy. All other things being equal, sports cars or motorcycles will undoubtedly cost more to insure than minivans and sedans. Depending on the company, someone’s ZIP code, credit rating, and grade point average can further influence the cost of motor vehicle insurance.

Car insurance is one thing everyone has, but few rarely think about it for longer than a few minutes. However, given the potential consequences of your car insurance decisions, vehicle coverage is nothing to be taken lightly. The first step towards taking car insurance seriously is to learn more about the variations and variables involved.